Denial is a dangerous thing. It’s even more so when it is used by politicians. If you do not believe me, just ask Richard Nixon, Gary Hart, or Bill Clinton. Each suffered far more than they had to because of their reliance on denial. It’s what made them lie, cover up, cheat, and lie some more rather than confront the truth. Unfortunately, the behaviors of politicians like these three and countless others have filtered into our own behavior, which in turn has complicated life in this country.
We have fooled ourselves long enough and worked too hard at trying to not to face the truth — we have a problem with terrorism inside our borders. What happened in San Bernardino was not the first time we have had to deal with a terrorist attack. In fact, we have been dealing with them long before 9/11 ever happened only we have refused to admit it. Hopefully, San Bernardino will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and make our government and its citizens admit we have a problem and need help with it.
During the Clinton administration, Al Qaeda attempted to bring down the Twin Towers by detonating trucks loaded of explosives. Where was the government’s admission of terrorism? Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and injured another 600 when he blew up the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, but he was just another disgruntled white American, not a terrorist, right?
There have been far too many other acts of terrorism in our nation that have been allowed to be described as something else just so our government would not have to solve a problem they did not want to admit existed. Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, and so many more I have lost track of them all.
Somehow we have been brainwashed into thinking only Muslims from the Middle East can be terrorists. This makes about as much sense as saying only whites can be racists. We have allowed our government and media to use terms like mentally ill, gang activity, or disgruntled worker for far too long. Am I the only one who finds it strange that every time a white male goes on a shooting spree he is described as mentally ill, but when a self proclaimed Muslim does so he is a terrorist?
Do you really believe Bloods and Crips are just gangs and not well organized groups that inflict terror in our cities and suburbs for their personal gain?
Pretending a problem does not exist does not make the problem go away, it only empowers it. Just ask President Obama how his denial of ISIS being a problem turned out when he described them as the JV squad. Like a cancer, ISIS has metastasized and spread well beyond its original location and it now threatens our way of life.
Le’s say we decide to go ahead and nuke the Middle East and turn it into a giant sea of glass to rid ourselves of ISIS. Guess what? We still have our share of cancers inside our borders and unless we set about actively ridding ourselves of every one of them, they will learn from San Bernardino just how easy it is to strike any of the millions of soft targets that exist in our country.
Unless you prefer living your entire life inside your home and rely completely on the internet to meet all your needs, you need to begin considering what changes we must make as a culture so we no longer raise children who turn out to be young heartless mass killers willing to die in a hail of gunfire.
Perhaps this means more parents will choose to remain home and raise families in a more loving environment, one that promotes understanding, cooperation, acceptance, and respect, while valuing all human life.
Maybe it means shutting off all our electronics devices each evening and sitting together and sharing a meal and our day with one another.
Clearly, the problem of homegrown terrorism cannot be solved by our government. First, they have to admit the problem exists and then they must be willing to put into place a system that allows families to be families again rather than outsourcing the parenting job to day care centers, sitters, relatives, or neighbors. This means they have to create actual jobs that utilize and reward employees with a livable wage, rather than relying on unskilled work that only pays minimum wage. It also means getting off the PC soapbox and start focusing on the values this nation was built on — hard work, respect, freedom, and love of country.
Most importantly, it means we can never allow ourselves to become so callous that we get to the point where events like San Bernardino are looked at as commonplace. If this happens, we are dead as a nation and for those who refuse to think it could happen, take a minute and think about all the other things we have let slide over the years.
We have handed our government over to big business because we, the people who vote, allowed it to happen. We have lost faith in our elected representatives because we, the voters, have allowed them to accomplish nothing while being rewarded with re-election.
We have allowed ourselves, as a culture, to carry on a love affair with violence to the point it has permeated the minds of countless children who grow up to become angry, confused, and sick whites, blacks, browns, Christians, Muslims, and God knows what else, all because we tell ourselves nothing bad can come of this — denial!
Wake up America! It is time to face all our demons rather than do what is convenient and blame one specific group or individual. No president is going to fix this. It is going to take a concerted effort on the part of all Americans who are willing to work together, in some cases with people we do not like or understand, to undo what each of us has had a part in creating.
Of course, you are free to disagree with me, but I’d be willing to bet if you do, you are just one of the millions who are still living in denial
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.