STOP THE SENSELESS VIOLENCE NOW
"He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."
Thanksgiving for thousands of college students across America this year was a time of: remembrance, reflection, relaxation and rest. During Thanksgiving students spent time with family and had an opportunity to take a break from studying. When I was a student at Hampton University I looked forward to traveling back to South Orange, New Jersey every Thanksgiving just to get some of my mom's delicious collard greens and tasty peach cobbler. Thanksgiving break was also a time when I had the opportunity to catch up with high school friends and hear how their semester at their respective colleges was going. Thanksgiving for myself and many others is the holiday that gets our hearts and minds ready for Christmas and the New Year. Many people plan to put their Christmas decorations and trees up after Thanksgiving. I don't think anyone expects tragedy to occur so close to Christmas and if it does it certainly puts a damper on one's spirit.
On Monday morning I was taking a breakfast break at work when I overheard the news of the Ohio State attack. In the cafeteria at my job they have a flat screen television mounted int he wall. On this television is where I get a glance at the latest political news, and tragedies that have taken place in America and around the world. On Monday 11/28/2016 while eating my boiled egg I discovered that a man ran into pedestrians with his car on the Ohio State campus. Then exited the vehicle with a butcher knife and started cutting victims. WAIT A MINUTE PAUSE! A man ran into some people with a car then got out the whip and started cutting folks? This story is something out of a morbid novel, or one of those sick and twisted Purge movies. This is incident is certainly not something you expect to hear about coming off them Thanksgiving leftovers. Did the suspect Artan not have a good Thanksgiving? Clearly this brother was lacking grandma's glazed ham, my mom's collard greens, my sister's macaroni and cheese, and some of that stuffing with gravy that my aunt Shirley fixes up.
In my opinion it is evident that this man was lacking love. CNN reported that the attacker had just transferred from Columbus State and said he was struggling to find a place to pray in peace on the large campus. Artan felt afraid to pray in the open as a Muslim because of everything that is going on right now. What kind of world are we living in where people are afraid to practice their faith in public? What kind of world are we living in where someone feels as though something bad may happen to them because they are a Muslim or a Christian in some cases?
During the presidential campaign we heard statements about making American great again but what does that really mean? America over the years has become a melting pot that consists of many ethnicities and religious beliefs. Is it impossible for everyone to live together in harmony? Is it impossible for each race, culture, political party, religious denomination, gender, and lifestyle choice to be respected? If we continue to spread hate in our society we will see more and more acts like these where individuals act out of fear, confusion, misguidance, anger and total disregard for humanity.
I believe that the perpetrator is not free from blame in this scenario but I can see where he acted out of fear and anger. As citizens in America and believers in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or any other religion that recognizes a higher being we must not fall victim to fear. We must practice and teach love in our homes and communities. When we notice that someone may be struggling or acting strange we should go out of our way to encourage them. We should go out of our way to see what is bothering them and embrace them if they are feeling like an outcast. Love sounds like a corny remedy to these types of tragedies but I think it is efficacious enough to prevent some of them.
Artan said reports of human rights abuses against Myanmar pushed him to a "boiling point." In a post he said he couldn't take it any more. In Isiah 2:4 the scripture tells us that God shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many people. As a people we need to turn from violence, hate, anger, war and focus on God, peace and loving our neighbors. In closing how do you feel about this tragic event? How can these types of occurrences be prevented? Is there a solution to senseless violence? What is the solution to senseless violence? Does your child or family member's college have an emergency plan in place in the event that something like this happens again? Are you familiar with it?