When Sandy Hook came and nothing changed, we were divided into two camps, but not the two you think.
There are the handful of those who think a classroom full of babies is the price we pay for freedom, and then there’s everyone else. The latter group is the majority of Americans who butted heads for months over solutions until the onslaught of repeated tragedies led them down different paths.
Then, a young man walked into a church with a gun. The difference was that there was something simple to attack in response. Heath care is complicated. Racism, eternal. Gun control or lack thereof? Astounding. Tear down That Old Flag, though, and most of us can agree.
There are still outliers in the countryside who fly it with glee. The miniscule number of KKK members cling to it, and misguided teens fly it from their trucks in southern towns, but something changed.
Sadly, that’s all that changed. Those angry folks started flying the Gadsden Flag, you know, the yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” with the snake. They flew the US flag even harder. Their patriotism swelled. This is not Confederate, they said. This is American. Let’s make it Great Again.
Now we’re kneeling at the anthem for damned good reason. The high school sports teams get it, and it gives me a glimmer of hope, but once again, that symbol can be defeated or changed or adapted or not, but the cancer of hate will mutate in response.
We’re already there in that terrible place some threaten if we don’t vote the way they wish. I’m not going to label it otherwise because then people will want to argue over definitions, but no one can deny that this is America.
The malignancy isn’t coming in November, or next January. That’s just affliction with a different name.
We’re sick with it. We were born this way, baby.