We Can’t Afford To Turn Away From Injustice


Another mindless shooting.

We put the word “mindless” in front of it as a way to lessen the blow, it seems. Perhaps we do this because we cannot grapple with the idea of this being a mindful action. Because accepting that conscious beings perpetrated these actions entails a type of responsibility we do not want to assign. It implies the reality of a world we do not want to be living in. It implies not only the reality of these isolated actions, but a whole host of people acting and reacting within a system. A system which does not shake the illusion of separateness but which, on the contrary, keeps us bonded in separate cells of imagination. A system that somehow keeps us from feeling the empathy, the rage, the fury for our brothers and sisters of the world. The fury does not come readily enough. It seems it cannot come readily enough, because we don’t have the psychological bandwidth for it. Because inside of late-stage capitalism, most of us have to focus the majority of our mental space towards simply surviving.

We live entwined with a deafening amount of inequality, unmatched in human history. And the line so rarely gets drawn back to the slave and near-slave conditions which create the objects we obsess to possess. We know it and yet we cannot keep it in our minds. We fail so often to be mindful; instead, we keep falling on words like “mindless” and “senseless” to describe the events around us. Mindless violence that we perpetuate with our mindlessness. The mess that results from not cultivating mindfulness about every action we participate in, both directly and indirectly.

We all know it now, it seems. We all know the disparate inequalities of our world, the poverty, the injustices. We have heard it and we know it, yet it still remains disconnected from us. We must be reminded of it, and even then it falls on deaf ears. It becomes a trope, a cliche, and even that in and of itself is a successful spin. So many of us, it seems, do not allow our brains to accept the novelty and horror of the conditions of inequality in our own country alone. We do not digest it. What a wild and magnificent feat has been accomplished here in this country and all over the world: to have been so brazen, so obvious, so out in the open about our inequality. It remains incredible that there is so much information, and yet still, so much complacency has been cultivated. So much has become so commonplace to us. So many of us feel so helpless in changing the system that we dare not bother to care anymore. Or worse, we cannot afford to care, in an effort to not fall apart or not fall behind on our bills. What a feat it is to have manufactured consent to such a degree that we must numb ourselves in order to keep swimming. And that we continue to perpetuate and glorify these systems, consciously or unconsciously. We continue to fail our brothers and sisters of the world, by never framing reality with enough reality in it. Another mindless act of violence.