DR. E. FAYE WILLIAMS

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—This week, I must first acknowledge the senseless taking of lives in Las Vegas. My prayers of condolence reach out to those directly victimized and those suffering the loss of family and friends. However one might search, there’s no rationalization that can support the inhumanity of that act. For the sake of our children, it’s my fervent prayer that we can achieve a level of civility and understanding that will eliminate similar future acts.

Sadly, recent events have left me inured to the potential recurrence of this type of violence. The Las Vegas Massacre was labeled by media sources as the nation’s 273rd mass shooting in 2017. It was incorrectly labeled as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. History. Some therapists believe the first step towards remedying a problem is to acknowledge the problem. Our national romance with violence is nothing new and our history confirms that violence begets violence. Lacking knowledge of one’s own history typically results in a skewed interpretation or distorted perception of events. Before we can end these acts of violence, we must understand what inspires such violence.

The Washington Post defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are killed or injured by gunfire. Fox News, an unlikely source for me, printed a timeline of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. History. (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/02/deadliest-shootings-in-u-s-history.html) Their article was surprisingly honest and confirmed that Blacks and Indigenous People held the record for victimization. Unfortunately, their article omitted historic events of violence that are fairly well-known and have casualty rates that equal or surpass Las Vegas. The Greenwood, OK Massacre, the Wounded Knee Massacre, the East St. Louis Massacre, the Red Summer are all events omitted in the article, but which resulted in numerous deaths of Blacks and Indigenous People.

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