Letter: How can we live well together?

Published: 5/22/2022 7:02:08 AM
Modified: 5/22/2022 7:00:13 AM

Yet again, we are horrified (but perhaps not as shocked as we once were) by the latest mass shooting in Buffalo targeting African Americans, taking 10 lives and injuring three others. Clearly, this was the intersection of racism and gun violence. But what spurred on the other 21 mass shootings which happened during the week of May 7-13th? According to Mass Shooting Tracker, in that week alone, there were 22 mass shootings, leaving a total of 27 people dead and 95 people wounded. The Buffalo tragedy is the 234th mass shooting in the US so far this year.

Since hearing the news of the latest mass shooting, I keep returning to the wisdom of Desmond Tutu, who implored us to remember our common humanity. He wrote, “we all have a part in creating a society that creates a perpetrator.” Our culpability comes both by what we do or (more often, at least for me) what we fail to do. It is time to create a better society. It’s time to stop demonizing each other. We must come together, tell our stories, listen to each other and, in doing so, recognize our shared humanity. If we can do that, we may have a chance to address the issues, racism and gun violence among them, which divide us. Finally, we must refuse to elect anyone to public office who is unwilling to do the hard work of grappling with the question poet and theologian Padraig O’Tuama so beautifully poses, “How can we live well together?”

Nancy Brown



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