Day 14: Bowling For Bowling Green

In defending Trump’s unconstitutional and absurd Muslim ban this morning, Kellyanne Conway cited one of the most brutal, bloody attacks on American soil in our history, the Bowling Green Massacre. The carnage was immense, the perpetrators Muslim immigrants, the Obama administration responded in typically pathetic fashion. It was worse than anyone could have possibly imagined.

Except for Kellyanne Conway of course, who imagined the whole thing and told the fabricated story to the press.

That’s a shame, because there were a lot of true stories that Kellyanne Conway could’ve told about terrorist attacks.

She could’ve told the story about the terrorist attack last week in Quebec City, where a white supremacist who was radicalized online opened fire in a mosque, killing six people. But she said nothing.

She could’ve told the story about the terrorist attack last year in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white supremacist who was radicalized online opened fire in a church, killing nine parishioners. But she said nothing.

She could’ve talked about any of the victims of gun violence in this country, the silent genocide we’ve allowed to occur because of the paranoia of a few and the craven business model of the gun industry which profits from these fears.

I view the proliferation of weapons in this country through the lens of institutional racism, not just because the NRA caters to the most vile of those who perpetrate these viewpoints, but because of the systemic oppression that gun violence brings to black people and the neighborhoods where they reside. White policy makers allow weapons to go unregulated. Guns are purchased legally, no questions asked, and make their way into states with strict rules surrounding firearms. In many black neighborhoods, which have been zoned based on racist principles, poverty rears its ugly head. This makes residents more likely to experience conditions where they are surrounded by lower academic educational attainment, a higher crime rate and a larger percentage of the residing population unemployed.

It should come as no surprise that if a system exists that is meant to keep a certain group of people (in the case of our country, and many others, people of color) that individuals will employ violence as a means of obtaining money that isn’t available on other avenues. This is what tinges the “but what about black on black crime” argument that the Trumpkins employ with racism. That people of color should be forced to live in conditions that you as a (very likely if you support Trump) white person would not live in and be demonized for it. Throw in Trump’s support for unchecked use of force by the police and it isn’t hard to see why working class voters of color voted overwhelmingly against him.

On this third day of Black History Month, I would like to acknowledge the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violencewhich is working to prevent gun violence in Chicago and the adoption of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution. 147 years ago, the 15th Amendment was ratified, giving black men the right to vote following the abolition of slavery.

We’ve made lots of progress as a nation, but we’ve got such a long way to go. Let’s continue to strive for peace and true equality.

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