My goal in writing this Advanced Essay was to ultimately "wake" the reader up to a lense of America typically avoided and that there is little to no progress made on. The event that I keep referencing(where 6 people died) was really like an eye opener for me, personally, specifically when it happened, as soon as Spring was beginning to open, and made me sad to hear about. I do think it is a shame that this is the point that our culture has come to, but I am also not surprised, which I also hoped to express in essay as well. The writing process was admittedly awkward, to say the least, due to a combination of me approaching an analytically themed writing style that I don't often reach for, along with the nature of the subject, being one that I only ever mostly discussed in a broad sense, not considering how people died and whatnot and fitting it all into an essay that was reasonably sized. Nonetheless, I still think it's a good read, and still should serve its purpose fairly.
A lot of people died the other day. Six of them actually. There had already been over 40 in the city by the 3rd month this year, and I have become confused as about to which point the violence was supposed to become unacceptable. On the night of March 8th, 2016, Philadelphia had become a sort of war zone. Separate occasions across the city put Philadelphia back on the map and helped, once again, further define what it truly means to be American, that is, what it truly means to be violent. Even under our evident war torn history, our violently inclined present, and the inevitably destructive future that lies ahead of us, we still seem to be crazed with war. Even in the past year’s violence in American lifestyle becoming a norm,, intensity of gun violence debates and police brutality, still, a lot of people died yesterday and the question that remains is how.
This was premeditated. “In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the U.S. gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over,” said Dan Hodges in response to the recent gun controversy surrounding the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, North Carolina. On June 17th, 2015 a man by the name Dylann Roof killed nine people in their church after a session of bible study. The church invited him with open arms into their service, and to his own personal ill, I guess it was ok niggas died. This is not even to mention the other near 13,000 who died to gun violence just last year alone. 36 People die everyday, on average, but still I take offense that six of them died last Tuesday.
Of course this in turn means that some lucky child had the opportunity to witness at least one murder a day on his local news channel that year, and perhaps one could see the irony that those same news channel would turn up studies of how violence in video games may be the cause of a violent youth. We use our weapons to protect ourselves, and 756 children were killed in 2015, they are understandably very dangerous, and it is ok. We like turn to terrorism for the blame. Between 2005 and 2015, 71 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, and their deaths were not in vain; in the same time period, over 301,000 Americans died, to each other.
Our culture seems to have grown to romanticize the features of death. We must like the way it looks. It is on our T.V. screens, it is in our books, and the flavors of it, you can even taste in our heroes. As a community, our lust for blood has even grown so wicked, that you can practically smell it in the hearts of our youth, it wreaks from them, so badly so that it would probably take you by surprise if our future generations could manage to resolve a conflict without violence.
Dr. Bruce D Perry, in his analysis “Why Does Violence Happen?” identifies that one of the biggest sources of violence is due to our detachment from others or one another. He states that “When we become more detached from each other and from common unifying beliefs, violence increases,” he continues “ ..when we hateful ideologies to make groups or classes of people to be viewed as different, bad or even less than human, violence increases.” This would speak to a part of the reason why it is believed that, today, black men are disproportionately affected by gun violence in America; last year, 50% of the gun deaths were deaths of African American men, who make up only 6% of the American population. The ideologies that Dr.Perry presents are scary simply by their nature. It is an outlook that is especially hard for America to uphold and try to make more synonymous with its lifestyle, being that America’s entire history was built around the concept of otherness. In the 1700s we fled from Great Britain in refuge from a difference of vision with King George III, we enslaved dependant on melanin, we sought to take control of any country who did not share our values, we had been America since day one, and we made it explicitly known.
The last Winter had been a long one, but things were finally starting to look for the kids of the ghetto. The essence of Spring was so beautiful, I remember, you could practically smell it’s eloquent breezes as you stepped outside. I remember the crew had been anticipating the arrival for days now, below 20 degree conditions and being snowed in can not compare with 70 degree days outside and flowers we were promised. But last Tuesday, once again America had made sure its vision was explicitly seen. Why am I surprised to wake to hearing the words “a lot of people died yesterday in Philadelphia,” from the local news this morning. Six of them actually.
Chang, David. "6 Die During Violent Day in the City." NBC 10 Philadelphia. NBC 10, 8 Mar. 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2016. <http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Philadelphia-Double-Shooting-Fatal-Injury-Gunman--371463021.html>.
Perry, Perry D. "Why Does Violence Happen?" Why Does Violence Happen? Scholastic, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016. <http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/why_violence.htm>.
Mascia, Jennifer. "15 Statistics That Tell the Story of Gun Violence This Year." The Trace 15 Statistics That Tell the Story of Gun Violence This Year Comments. The Trace, 23 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2016. <http://www.thetrace.org/2015/12/gun-violence-stats-2015/>.
Smead, Howard. "Why Americans Are so Violent?" Howardsmead. Howard Smead, n.d. Web. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.howardsmead.com%2Fwhy_we_americans_are_so_violent.htm>.
Mathis, Joel. "So Far, Philly's Murder Rate Is Down in 2016." Philadelphia Magazine. Philly Mag, 04 Mar. 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2016. <http://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/03/04/philly-murder-rate-drop/>.