With yet another act of domestic terrorism in Las Vegas over the past weekend, America finds itself having the predictable "gun control" debate once again. While investigators and forensic departments aim to find a motive for the gunman's
actions, it's given me a moment to reflect on how our country responds to tragedies when they affect people in the mainstream.
Earlier this summer, when a Caucasian woman was run over by a violent Neo Nazi member in Charlottesville, VA. it caused not only alarm, but more importantly, consequential action. In the days that followed the horrific incident, many Americans
across the country decided that symbols and statutes of the losing side of the Civil War should be removed, destroyed, or doused in red paint to symbolize their disrespect towards leaders of the defeated Confederacy which continue to permeate
and infest our society. Similarly, when nine African American people were mercilessly murdered in 2015 in Charleston SC, the nationwide response was to remove one Confederate flag from South Carolina's State Capitol building and herein
lies the problem.
African Americans have been fighting for equality since we were forcefully brought here centuries ago, but unfortunately as we've seen over some years now, things do not truly change until it affects America's mainstream population. How
else can one explain the loss of nine innocent Black lives resulting in a single hate-filled flag coming down and the loss of one innocent White life resulting in not only marches, but coordinated and thoughtful responses from non profit
groups, business leaders, government officials, and everyone in between. The math simply does not add up.
Another instance of this hypocrisy by race is the way America has handled drug epidemics experienced by black and white people. In the 80s, the crack era was in full effect and America's response was to criminalize the user (who were predominantly
African American) and militarize their neighborhoods, but now if we look at how our country approaches its opiod and meth crises (predominantly Caucasian users), we see a much more humanized and compassionate approach. You see, when someone
outside of the mainstream is oppressed, we all may become aware of it, however, at that point we make a conscience decision to either care and empathize or refute and ignore. However, when something happens to mainstream America, whether
we care or not, our entire country turns itself upside down until change is had.
What the shooting in Las Vegas reminded us is that nowadays one does not have to be in a low-income, gang-infested, or sketchy neighborhood to become victimized, now it can happen to anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion,
or any other divisive label. That concert was attended largely by white people who were murdered senselessly by another white person with no clear motivation for the lives he stole. At this very moment, we are all more equal than we've
ever been, and because of that shared equality, we should be willing to come together to create change in gun laws, how we respond to domestic terrorism no matter what the victims look like, and what we can do today to make sure this never