time to wake up.

I thought that my second post in Taiwan would be about Taiwan.

I am not going to pretend that blogging isn’t inherently narcissistic.

I am too broken hearted + enraged to write about my new adventures right now.

Assuming that you do not have all of the world’s timezones committed to memory, Taiwan is 13 hours ahead of the U.S. (12 hours during daylight savings time). So, when I wake up in the morning it is evening time in NYC + I have slept through most of my friends’ + family’s waking hours. On Saturday morning, I woke up excited to move into my Taipei apartment + eager to search for cute, fun stationary. I went for my first run in Asia + was ready to brag about it.

I logged on to Facebook to update my status + look at the ICLP wall to see where people in my program recommended I should go for school supplies. I noticed that my dad (who is the KING of fb) had posted something about mass murder in Connecticut + a stabbing spree in China. I knew I had missed something. When I checked out the New York Times website and read that 27 people had been slain in Newtown, CT, 20 of them children, my heart broke.

Completely.

When any person loses their life to a senseless act of violence, it is heartbreaking. When a child loses their life to a senseless act of violence, it is all the more hard to digest. I have been a Sunday School teacher at Judson Memorial Church for four years. While I am not a parent, I have many children in my life who I love very much. I just can’t imagine.

Then I noticed that someone in the ICLP group posted this:

Then, I wept.

I am not sure that I have anything to say that has not been said already. It is way past time for the American government + people to wake up and realize that we must do something about guns in our country. We also need to be addressing mental health. Seriously. We all need to take a step back + start caring for each other a little bit more. Actually, a lot more.

People are senselessly murdered every single day in America. We hear about the mass murders, but many more happen that do not get any media attention. I am happy that our President alluded to this in his speech (ie “a streetcorner in Chicago”). Now I hope that he can grow a pair (pardon my French) and DO SOMETHING about gun violence in America.

I am appalled that I have had tragic reason to post this amazingly well researched, well written article about America’s gun culture twice in the last 5 months. (First in my post after the massacre in Aurora.) In “Battleground America: One nation, under the gun.“, debunks everything about gun culture in the United States that the NRA + bleeding heart Second Amendment supporters have been preaching. Do yourself a favor + read it.

Also, an Op-Ed worth a read in the wake of the Newtown shooting is by New York Times columnist, Gail Collins. In “Looking for America,” Collins eloquently states:

Every country has a sizable contingent of mentally ill citizens. We’re the one that gives them the technological power to play god.

Taking it a step further to bring up white male privilege + the fact that almost all mass shootings in this country have been carried out by white males, chauncydevega of Daily Kos wrote “If Adam Lanza was Named Tariq Muhammad Would the Media be Calling Him a ‘Terrorist?’” He concludes by saying,

Once more the luxury of being white in the United States is the freedom to have your violent deeds be a reflection of a personal failing, as opposed to a cultural or racial one. On a practical level, White privilege is a set of taken for granted and unearned advantages in life. On an abstract level, white privilege also removes certain questions from consideration regarding such matters as social deviancy and crime. As we saw with James Holmes, and now today with Adam Lanza, an unwillingness to ask those hard questions about gun violence, white masculinity, and crime will only continue to hurt all of us across the colorline.

I also can’t help thinking of the Cheryl Wheeler song, “If It Were Up To Me,” which I posted as the music in my August Aurora reaction.

“If It Were Up To Me”

Maybe it’s the movies, maybe it’s the books
Maybe it’s the bullets, maybe it’s the real crooks
Maybe it’s the drugs, maybe it’s the parents
Maybe it’s the colors everybody’s wearin’
Maybe it’s the President, maybe it’s the last one
Maybe it’s the one before that, what he done
Maybe it’s the high schools, maybe it’s the teachers
Maybe it’s the tattooed children in the bleachers
Maybe it’s the Bible, maybe it’s the lack
Maybe it’s the music, maybe it’s the crack
Maybe it’s the hairdos, maybe it’s the TV
Maybe it’s the cigarettes, maybe it’s the family
Maybe it’s the fast food, maybe it’s the news
Maybe it’s divorce, maybe it’s abuse
Maybe it’s the lawyers, maybe it’s the prisons
Maybe it’s the Senators, maybe it’s the system
Maybe it’s the fathers, maybe it’s the sons
Maybe it’s the sisters, maybe it’s the moms
Maybe it’s the radio, maybe it’s road rage
Maybe El Niño or UV rays
Maybe it’s the army, maybe it’s the liquor
Maybe it’s the papers, maybe the militia
Maybe it’s the athletes, maybe it’s the ads
Maybe it’s the sports fans, maybe it’s a fad
Maybe it’s the magazines, maybe it’s the internet
Maybe it’s the lottery, maybe it’s the immigrants
Maybe it’s taxes, big business
Maybe it’s the KKK and the skinheads
Maybe it’s the communists, maybe it’s the Catholics
Maybe it’s the hippies, maybe it’s the addicts
Maybe it’s the art, maybe it’s the sex
Maybe it’s the homeless, maybe it’s the banks
Maybe it’s the clearcut, maybe it’s the ozone
Maybe it’s the chemicals, maybe it’s the car phone
Maybe it’s the fertilizer, maybe it’s the nose rings
Maybe it’s the end, but I know one thing
If it were up to me, I’d take away the guns
I’d take away the guns
I’d take away the guns

I am sending so much love to those affected by this tragedy. My heart is utterly broken over this + I personally did not know anyone who lost their life on Friday. (Though a friend’s cousin lost their 7 year old, Josie.) I cannot even imagine the pain + anger that those directly affected are experiencing. I keep hearing a line from Erykah Badu’s song “Soldier,”

Pain will last, Time will pass.

WAKE UP. HELP OTHERS. SPREAD LOVE.

My coming of age was September 11, 2001. This was how America’s most popular, high-profile music stars responded. While some of the stars are not relevant anymore, its message, unfortunately, still entirely is.

8 responses to “time to wake up.

  1. Beautiful, Lulu. I love you so much. xoxoxo

    THOM ”Life is the mistake that only ART can correct.”–STEW

  2. So beautiful, Lu. We are, indeed, all heartbroken not just at this latest tragedy but at all it points to. We miss you already, but I’m glad you are on the blog. I’ll listen in. with love, Holly

  3. Lu, i sent an email, very temperate, to the NRA, and am awaiting a response. I am encouraged to see that some of our legislators with A ratings from NRA are making reasonable noises. Let’s hold them to it. Regarding the other part of the argument, males are programmed to hunt and kill. It’s inbred, and society must bring the impulse under control.

  4. Lulu, you are an amazing woman and a beautiful writer. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with others. I’m very grateful your proud dad is sharing this with his friends. Soak up Taiwan. I was there many years ago and found it a beautiful and fascinating country! xoxo

  5. Pingback: trayvon martin verdict + institutionalized racism in the united states | apples and azaleas·

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