~ On Friday July 21st, 1972, the Irish Republic Army (IRA) exploded 26 bombs in the span of 8 minutes in the city of Belfast. Nine people were killed and more than a hundred men, women, and children were injured.
At the time, Bloody Friday was considered gruesome, treacherous, and inhumane, it was plastered onto the front pages of newspapers all over the world. A symbol for the violence that had spread throughout Northern Ireland. The conflict was a nearly 100 year nightmarish war between the Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants of Ireland that saw many bloody days and nights and for a long time seemed as though it would never end.
Thirty years later, the head of the IRA and the man who had been associated with being a key player in the Bloody Sunday operation, Gerry Adams, entered into an agreement with Great Britain and Ireland to end the war. Adams disbanded the IRA, betraying his radicalized partners and soldiers, and since signing that agreement in 2005 Northern Ireland has enjoyed a relatively peaceful era.
Yesterday at a Kenyan University, 147 Christians were murdered for merely being Christian. Islamist extremists took hostage most of the University and let all the Muslim students go, but ended the lives of 147 young men and women, merely for the faith in Jesus Christ that those students professed.
Bloody Friday only saw the deaths of 8 people. Yesterday 147 people died. It puts things in context doesn’t it? After all, for most of us, we saw the headline about the Kenyan University and merely shrugged and thought in passing, “Oh well, another senseless day of violence in Africa” and then went about our day.
Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn
Unfortunately, we can’t really mourn for everyone that dies in a senseless act of violence, can we? Wouldn’t we end up spending our every waking moment in a deluge of tears if we were to constantly be aware of all the mass murders that are occurring all over the globe?
Today in the United States and around much of the world is Good Friday. On this day Christians celebrate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. In silent Mass and somber tones, Christians will leave work today at noon to attend vigils celebrating a bloody day that occurred a couple thousand years ago.
The bloody death of Jesus did not end senseless violence. For thousands of years before Jesus ever walked the earth there was senseless war and violence, and for the two thousand years since his death, there has been senseless war and violence. There have been Bloody Fridays, Bloody Tuesdays, and Bloody Everything’s for as long as humanity has walked this earth.
There is something in our DNA which propels us to an attitude of violence. Various men and women have tried to live perfect lives, but I have yet to meet someone who is perfect. I have seen the tempers flare on hardcore Christians and hardcore Atheists. Men and women who claim to have no violent bone in their body, can suddenly, without notice, spring into violent rage and anger.
The Internet often seems to exist as a reminder to us of how nasty our fellow humans can be. Insults, vitriol, nastiness are par for the course in the World Wide Web. We here in the West pretend that we are more civilized than our brothers and sisters in Africa but we deceive ourselves.
In the United States we have perfected the art of senseless violence against Black Americans;
—) Nearly every month a new video is released of American Police Officers murdering, torturing and killing Black Americans
—) Every day Black Americans are thrown into prison at a staggering rate <article>
—) Through the guise of Abortion, Black children are killed at a exponential scale compared to whites in the USA.
“Several years ago, when 17,000 aborted babies were found in a dumpster outside a pathology laboratory in Los, Angeles, California, some 12-15,000 were observed to be black.”
–Erma Clardy Craven (deceased)
Social Worker and Civil Rights Leader
It always amuses me when I hear people from the Western World talk about how civilized we are compared to other countries. It is often well-educated atheists, agnostics and religious folk, with their attitude of self-righteousness that bemoan the crudeness of third world countries, yet ignore the senseless violence that lurks in the back alleys of Western Countries every single day.
You see, the Western World is every bit as violent as anywhere else; we have merely coated our violence with justifications;
—) “Killing Black children is not murder, it is merely preventing unwanted black children from being born”
—) “Police officers who beat up African Americans are merely a few bad apples”
—) “The African American men and women who are in jail deserve to be there; they committed crimes”
Our justifications are endless, and I cannot even begin to respond to all of them. Suffice to say, the violence that the United States has enacted against African Americans has been on a scale unequaled by the deaths that occurred in Kenya yesterday or the casualties of war in the Northern Ireland conflict.
As I silently walk sit at Mass later this morning, I will remember how violent humans are, and how evil it is when us Americans pretend that we are more righteous and more humane than people in Africa or the Middle East. I will remember that we are doing next to nothing here in the United States to correct the wrongs that are occurring to African Americans and that are occurring within the African American community.
Today is a bloody day….and I mourn.
Categories: Culture & Society