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We have all seen it before: another mass shooting has occurred in America, yet again claiming the lives of innocent people. Initially, there was confusion surrounding the identity of the shooter and their motives. However, as the dust began to settle, it became clear that another white supremacist had taken the lives of those who they deemed “less than.”
While the tragedies that unfold from these mass shootings leave us with a sense of horror, fear, and sadness, the sense of disbelief that accompanies the constant knowledge that there may very well be a direct link between the shooter and the President of the United States compounds these difficult emotions.
It is in this moment that Rachel Maddow once again stepped forth to provide a voice for those who are lost, a voice for those who are afraid, and a voice that speaks truth in the face of a political regime that seems to speak nothing but lies.
This time, Maddow brought to light a connection between the 23-year-old El Paso shooter and President Donald J. Trump. In her segment, Maddow notes that the shooter’s, now notorious, manifesto included familiar language codified by Trump and his administration, further suggesting that Trump’s rhetoric has played a role in each act of violence perpetrated by white supremacists since he took the office.
Maddow further highlights that, in addition to advocating white superiority, his manifesto also echoes common conservative talking points regarding immigration and provides a warning against “the Hispanic invasion,” further echoing language consistently employed by Trump and his advisers.
The direct link between Trump’s rhetoric and the actions of these white supremacist shooters are not new. What makes Maddow’s words stand out, however, is the way in which she lays bare the reality of the situation while maintaining both perspective and an unwavering demand for change.
The impact of Maddow’s words can be seen in the fact that they compose a call to action of sorts, urging us to do more than simply mourn the lives we have lost. The words make it clear that it is time for a political movement to demand more from our leaders. And that it is time for us as individuals to decide whether we will simply accept the tide of violence that now seems to lap at our feet, or if we will stand up and fight.
While her words are powerful, Maddow knows that it is not enough to simply call out the problem. Instead, she understands that there must be action to support the words if positive change is to be made. For this reason, she encourages her listeners to do better, to be better, and to act better. The power rests with the people.
By encouraging action, Maddow has created the impetus for a conversation that is long overdue. Let us make it clear, once and for all, that hate is not a political agenda. Let us create a world where people are not gunned down simply for being who they are.
Maddow’s words remind us that violence begins with the language we use to describe those who we are taught to hate. She reminds us that beyond the political rhetoric, there are real lives being lost and, until we come together and acknowledge the reality of this situation, it will continue on.
The metaphor of a gaping wound comes to mind, the depth and breadth of which is now beyond comprehension. With every instance of violence, the wound bleeds wide open, and as the current administration continues to provide succor to those who perpetrate such heinous events, that wound deepens and becomes even more dangerous.
But Maddow reminds us that there is hope. That, in moments like these, it is important to not lose sight of the power that the people hold. She reminds us that words can be remarkable weapons of change and, if used correctly, can alter the course of our history for the better.
The world looks different today than it did just a week ago, and the harsh reality of the situation is almost too much to bear. But amid all the pain comes the power of hope, and the knowledge that no matter how hard things may seem, it is not over yet.
Rachel Maddow has provided a new perspective on the situation facing America today. Her words have cut to the core of the issue, not just by pointing out the problem, but also by encouraging those who would listen to take action.
Now it is up to us to carry this message forward and make a difference in the lives of those who have been lost, and in the lives of those who still remain. Let this be the beginning of a new understanding, a new way of doing things, and let us never forget those who have been lost.