Mad Dogs and Fear Biters

I’m not sure how to say this, other than simply and clearly.Raver wikimedia commons

An attack on gay Americans is an attack on all Americans. An attack on Muslim Americans is an attack on all Americans’ religious liberty. Attacking a Latinx dance party assaults every American’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of beats. Attacking gun culture subverts our history and demonizes our neighbors. Attacking police officers scorns the sacrifices of stand-up Americans. Attacking politicians that WE ELECTED is the political equivalent of cutting ourselves.

Some of us didn’t even wait until lunch, let alone for the facts to come in, before baying for heads on platters. In every case, we defaulted to comfortable paradigms of blame. That guy over there who doesn’t comport with my views, well, she’s clearly the problem. My views are defined and sanctified by the act of vocally opposing the evil that is him.

Every time we fall for this ancient trap, we abandon kindness and kinship. Every time we meet anger with viciousness, we volunteer to be defined by the evil we oppose. Stop. Listen to us talk at each other. Every clotpoll we’ve called for has been the head of some one of our fellows.

Kiwanis pledgersI’d like to cry out that you don’t get to do that and call yourself an American, but it would just be a variant of the same blame game. Instead I want to remind you that this country became dominant in the modern world not chiefly by our military power; not primarily by our economic power; but in great part through grand acts of inclusion that have attracted to us the world’s most varied and brilliant palette of food, dance, language, music, technology, writing, sports, religion, and sex. Our differences included outweigh, and vastly outshine, our differences divided.

Except when we keep yelling past each other. Do families yell at each other? Abso-freakin’-lutely, and plenty loud, too. But when someone gropes our sister, jostles Granny or punches our brother, it’s on, baby. When bullies posture and threaten, wound and kill, we stand back to back and face out.

We got this.


The tightly woven blood lines at Orlando donation centers remind us what we are: a nation, if we can keep it. Those willing donors are better – we are better – than a loose collocation of schismatic subcultures. Intersectionality isn’t just a social term du jour; it’s our national identity.

And it’s our strategy. Long past the time of terror, this joint’ll be jumpin’. Against all enemies, foreign and domestic, we many types of Americans make this happy vow: to lock arms and dance into our future, fearless.

Club dancers, square dancers, crunksteppers, ravers, and Western swingers: we will not be divided from one another. We will not lose to ourselves. In the greatest assemblage of pluralistic, parallel communities that ever cohabited a patch on this planet, victory must transcend the mere crushing of evil.

Love is the triumph. Step back and breathe. Look around you. Put your hand out; feel the grip of history. Give it a warm squeeze. This is how we win, and we are winning.

Let that happen; take your part in it, and rejoice.

dance club 2 wikimedia

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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  1. Mike Mekinda says

    Well said- if only it could be louder, and heard by a much wider group of Americans!

  2. Sean Brendan-Brown says

    Love ya, Man, but you and I have both looked “radical” Islam down the barrel of a gun and you know this a fight to the finish, Jack! We’re infidels, there’s no room in the Koran for Americans, Jews or faggots, and you KNOW THAT!
    Yeah, you know I despise white trash too, voted for Obama twice and believe in gun & ammo control, so maybe that balances my well-earned Islamaphobia?

  3. Dave Gomes says

    Grieve for them. Give for me. Grieve for all who hate. We all hate something, somewhere, sometime. Even just a little? Hate locks our beauty in a prison of lead and steel. Thank goodness we all have the key to that prison. The key is love. When the key is lost, light is lost, hope is lost, life is lost. All who have lost their keys can be saved by those who still hold their own. So grieve for those who’ve lost the key to their prison of hate. Love them and set us all free. Thanks for the reminder Jack.

  4. Dave Gomes says

    The second sentence was to have been “Grieve for me”.

    Definitely grieve for my ability to proofread. 🙂

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