by David J. Leonard & C. Richard King | NewBlackMan (in Exile)
Increasingly since 9/11, American political discourse and popular culture has acknowledged, if not celebrated, the sacrifices of members of its armed forces. The often self serving praise of the service of others, which so few with privilege have ever seriously contemplated, has not resulted in heightened care for soldiers and veterans, nor deeper reflection among many on those who opt to serve, and what their service might mean for American democracy.
Unfortunately, Wade Michael Page likely will not foster the needed conversations about these issues, but instead prompt attention to the dispositions and drives that led to Page to commit what has repeatedly been described “as a senseless act.” Yet, as noted by Rinku Sen in Colorlines, these murders “are neither senseless nor random, and the vast majority of such incidents here involve white men. Racism holds a terrible logic, for a concept with no grounding whatsoever in science or morality, yet too many white people don’t see any pattern.” Equally powerful, Harsha Walia reminds readers to break down the walls between extreme and mainstream, between individual and societal, between civilian and military, to look at this violence not as yet another instance of a bad apple but yet another of the rotten tree(s):