Don’t Politicize the Massacre

Don’t Politicize the Massacre

“Don’t politicize the massacre,” they said.

“Not now.  It is too soon.”

Actually, they meant not ever.  Because this massacre has no policy implications.

If the perpetrator had been different, then the massacre could have policy implications.   It the perpetrator had been a Muslim, they could tell us to shut down Muslims in America. It he had been a member of Islamic State, they could strengthen the War on Terror.  If the perpetrator had been Black, they could tell us to take on Black Lives Matter and reverse racism.  If the perpetrator had been Mexican, or Central American, or an immigrant from anywhere else, or, even better, an illegal immigrant, they could tell us to enhance our border security and speed deportations.  If he had come from one of those countries on the list, it could provide evidence for the ban on refugees.

If the perpetrator had only had a history of mental illness, they could recommend action to protect us from crazy people. In all those cases, we would benefit from immediate policy recommendations.

But, as it turned out, the perpetrator was a well-to-do elderly white man, a professional, with no history of mental illness; just the sort of person who should exercise his second amendment gun rights, if he chooses to.  So the massacre turns out to be just the price we pay for our cherished freedom.

That’s what they say.

About the Author
Louis Finkelman teaches Literature and Writing at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. He serves as half of the rabbinic team at Congregation Or Chadash in Oak Park, Michigan.
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