Sometimes it takes a tragedy for all of us to finally open our eyes and ears to what is going on around us. In the past couple of weeks one of these tragedies occurred. A young man went to a church service with the sole purpose of murdering individuals. I don't know what many of you thought when you first heard the news about the shootings that occurred in Charleston this month, but one of my initial thoughts was what is wrong with people? I also thought is there any place that is safe? I felt sad and angry about the incident.
Over the past week quite a few things have happened. There have been discussions over gun control and racism that always follow these tragedies. And low and behold the state of South Carolina has decided to stop flying the Confederate flag over the state capitol. I wasn't surprised when I heard this, but I wondered why after years of debate over this issue in the state it suddenly became the solution to this tragedy. I wondered why after years of calls for the state to lower that flag this incident had to be the decisive event.
And this is what I've decided. We simply aren't listening to each other. For years individuals have stated that there are symbols of hatred that we have control over. Unfortunately, the issue was debated, and individuals felt that it wasn't worth the hassle of removing it from the state capitol. And now nine individuals are dead, and it is something that needs to happen. Do I think that the removal of this flag at an earlier point in time would have stopped the recent tragedy? It may or may not have. I don't think the issues surrounding this event are quite that simple. But I do believe that a simple act at an earlier time would have sent a strong message out to individuals that we are willing to deal with our past.
I often hear individuals state that people are making a big deal out of racial issues. The problem with this statement is that the issues are important to the individuals who are saying there are issues. And therefore it is a big deal!
So I guess the point of this post is will it really take another tragedy for me and you to listen to what individuals are really trying to say?
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