My father is always in the back of my mind. I feel that he is always here with me…. watching over me. I think it is the reason that I push myself so much in school. I just want him to be proud of me. He is always a part of my day. Of my life.
Today, nothing really profound happened to me. But it got me really thinking about my dad…. and what happened to him. Everything in the media lately demonizes cops. Demonizes people of a certain race or religious background. Not individuals. The media demonizes guns. Not the INDIVIDUALS who use guns to harm innocent people. I suppose it hasn’t only been in the media lately…. but it seems more prevalent now than in the past. Maybe it is because I am older now and am more exposed to mass media. I don’t know.
My father was murdered. I do harbor a lot of anger, even to this day. But not toward a group of people, a “race” of people. And not toward guns. My anger is directed at the man who took my father from me. Toward the individual who chose to get high on crack. Toward the individual who chose to murder my father. He made the decision to pull the trigger…. not once… not twice… but six times. I do not blame guns. I do not blame crack cocaine. I blame a man who chose to get high. I blame the man who used the gun to kill my father. I don’t blame the people of his “race” (there is only one race… the HUMAN RACE… race as we seem to classify it is a social construct… Not a biological construct. Look at the racial distinctions in the U.S. versus those in Brazil). I do not blame the individual’s faith (Christianity) which was brought into the defense’s case to show his character. His faith did not kill my father. To me, we as a society are not putting enough emphasis on the individual and the actions he or she chose. We should put more emphasis on the individual. Hold the individual responsible. Not sensationalize the individual’s race or weapon he or she chose to use. Blaming the instrument the individual chose to use redirects the blame away from individuals. Should we then call for a ban on all vehicles because people are killed by individuals who hit them with their cars? Should we then call for a ban on knives? Lighters? Alcohol? We have already criminalized crack cocaine, meth, heroin, etc., but does that prevent people from obtaining and using it? Those who are going to commit a crime are going to do so in spite of laws. That is what makes them criminals. We cannot displace blame on inanimate objects. Nor faiths. Nor should we focus on the social construct of race. We need to hold individuals accountable as individuals and leave it at that. Is racial bias a problem? Yes. But do we need to focus on it and sensationalize it in our media? No. Is religious bias a problem? Yes. But do we need to focus on it? No. We need to focus on the individual.
I have chosen to focus on the individual who destroyed my life. The individual who ripped my father away from me before my life even really began. Before my sister’s life even began. I blame the individual who took so much from me and my family. The individual who lives while my father does not.
Yes, I harbor a lot of anger. But toward the individual. Nothing else. No one else.