Alton Sterling was murdered by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 5th. Philando Castile was murdered by police in Falcon Heights, Minnesota on July 6th. Five Dallas, Texas police officers were murdered by a maniac on July 8th.
Even by this country's standards that it is a pretty amazing run of senseless violence fueled by deeply rooted prejudice and hatred.
Apparently we are getting better at it.
I find it impossible to find optimism in any of this, in any of the backlash, any of the protests, any of the outcry and informed discussion. Frankly I believe the vicious underbelly of this country - our racially intolerant, frustrated and hate-filled citizens - is being revealed for what it truly is - our nature; our karma.
I have listened to President Obama consistently try to dig for some hope, to inspire a determination to change, as he is forced to eulogize over and over again people who are innocent victims. I don't know how he does it and I don't know if he even believes change can happen.
Maybe he is just being a leader, which I admire him for.
Some like to compare where we are now to where we were in the sixties and insist that we have made progress. Which is true on some levels but not where it matters the most - in people's hearts, their minds and their souls. And the violence we are seeing right now definitely approaches the levels we saw back then.
Which is goddamn frightening.
People in this country hate each other because of the color of their skin. Because of their religion. Because of any petty, indefensible reason they can come up with.
This happens all over the world, of course, but not with the frequency and the intensity we experience in the United States. Not even close.
We are all about doing everything bigger and better.
I wonder what makes us so hateful, so prone to violence and the effortless taking of innocent lives.
Karma. We stole this country from people that were so far ahead of us spiritually they made us look like infants. We stole it by lying to them, by breaking promises and by slaughtering them.
Our ridiculous approach to life. We work harder and longer for less money and with less time off, compromising our health and shortening our lifespans. Workers are exploited callously. Still the country continues to fall behind in all significant measurements of the factors that define "advanced" countries.
Shrinking opportunity. Working people are being squeezed by the obscenely rich and undeserving powerful. The American Dream is dead; the playing field is unfair and getting worse. How many people do you know who work two and even three part time jobs and still struggle to just survive?
There is no way out.
Corporations farm work out to other countries for cheaper labor; robots do more of the work here at home.
There is enormous frustration in this country.
Talking heads say we need to have a conversation, to begin a dialogue. I hear this on MSNBC all the time and it drives me up a wall.
Wishful thinking. We are way beyond the point where people can be enlightened and educated. Hatred and prejudice is too deep seated in this country, frustration is boiling over and tempers are short.
The United States of America is a powder keg getting ready to blow. Again. Just like in the sixties when assassinations rocked our lives, when students were gunned down on college campuses. I couldn't believe it was happening then; I cannot believe what is happening now.
I do believe that we are a vicious, selfish, close minded population that hates for the sake of hating.
I was listening to talking heads on Meet The Press yesterday discussing the recent killings and the thought fleetingly crossed my mind that I am lucky to live where I live. Rural NH where all appears tranquil. Then it occurred to me that I am just as likely to be surrounded by gun toting, racially prejudiced, hateful people with small minds as anywhere else in this country.
I don't know where all this is headed.
I definitely don't have a good feeling about it.