Source: Copyright Rita Watson 2018/ Sign on a neighbor’s door.
As we are caught up in the grief of a school shooting in Sante Fe, Texas, we are reminded that just over three months ago Valentine’s Day turned into a day of mourning in Parkland, Florida. At Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School we witnessed a shooting that took the lives of 17 people At Santa Fe High School there were 10 deaths and 10 injuries. Politicians offered prayers and made accusations, but took no action on gun control.
Despite the MSD shooting and the massacre six months ago in Las Vegas, resulting in 59 dead and 500 injured, Mike Pence and Donald Trump are still pandering to the National Rifle Association. They both spoke at the NRA’s no-guns-allowed Dallas meeting in May.
Students at MSD High School almost immediately turned shock, grief, and anger into positive action. They organized the March for our Lives. Around the nation people gathered and students in Sante Fe marched in solidarity. However, in Santa Fe, Texas — where guns are a part of the culture — they will not be calling for gun control according to NBC News reported on May 22, “We have to heal in a different way.” Nonethelss, MSD students will continue to pursue activism.
In a scientific paper, Professor Emeriti David B. Adams, Wesleyan, now coordinator for Culture of Peace Network, noted that:
“. . . anger is the personal fuel in the social motor that resolves the institutional contradictions that arise in the course of history.” . . . . Drawing on the work of J.R. Averill (Anger and Aggression: An Essay on Emotion, Springer, 1984), I conclude that most human anger is anger at perceived injustice, and that anger, rather than being a negative emotion, is one that often leads to positive results in interpersonal relations and in the processes of history.”
Michael Gratzke, Ph.D., is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Hull. He notes “each occurrence of love should be judged against the backdrop of the socio-historic circumstances in which a set of love acts is performed.” And he says:
- “Firstly, that we cannot grasp the full potentiality of love (it is always yet to come);
- secondly that love is performative (it needs to come into being in individual occurrences of love);
- thirdly that changes to the ways in which people experience and represent love happen through countless iterations of ‘love acts.’”
With these tragic shootings, we are witnessing camaraderie love, neighborly and community love, which, despite bereavement and heartbreak, is taking on activism. The Triumph of Love and Activism Over Tragedy/ Psychology Today.
According its website, the goal of March for our Lives is: “. . . to assure that no special interest group or political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country. We demand morally-just leaders to rise up from both parties in order to ensure public safety.”
Additionally this group is encouraging students turning 18 to vote in November and to vote out of office those who are refusing to acknowledge the danger of guns. Students can register to vote on its website. In many ways the MSD students are re-defining the language of love into an active political force.
Copyright 2018 Rita Watson