A Light On the Water
Bobby Kennedy . . .
The victims of violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one, no matter where he lives or what he does, can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on.
The Menace of Violence . . .
There is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.
Since 1968, we’ve seen the slow destruction of an entire nation. Instead of heeding Bobby Kennedy’s wisdom, we’ve honored swagger and bluster and the wielders of force. We’ve not only excused those who’ve been willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others, we’ve glorified them, we’ve given them control of our economy, our media, our courts, and our government.
Hope faded, equality faded, justice faded, into the world of night, through shadows’ falling, out of memory and time. What could we see, on the horizon? A pale moon rising, that’s what we saw. Pale horsemen riding, through Vietnam, through Panama, through Nicaragua and El Salvador and Iraq and Afghanistan, pale riders of the war machine. And they carried death with them across the sea, and they carried death with them here, the pale riders of the NRA, the pale riders of the Cult of the Second Amendment, pale riders of that creed of oblivion who shed the blood of the innocent and call it freedom.
Why do you weep, America? What are these tears upon your face? You watched those pale horsemen ride for decades and did nothing. Nothing. Well at long last, maybe you’ve finally seen enough. Maybe you’ve finally realized that there’s no shelter to be found in conservative dogma, maybe you finally understand that it is in the shelter of each other that people live.
Remember these children . . .
Let them be the last to be sacrificed.
Enough is enough.
The ships of eternity have sailed to our shores, and have carried them home. Let their memory be a light on the water, a light that shines so bright even politicians can see it, a light of remembrance that will comfort their families and show us all the way home.