Color of Protection


Mass media acknowledges the eighth slaughter in a week because they finally have a skin color to blame the action on. They flash headlines of religious acts of violence to fuel the already established racial hate against foreign ideals and to fund the war against a belief system. Terror remains a foreign issue, so as soon as our eyes dry, we close them again, and we do not address the root of the problem.

June 12, 2016, 51 innocent American lives were taken, not by the hands of a radical jihadist group in some far off land, but by the hands of an American security guard in Orlando, Fla.

History class teaches us to define war in concrete terms, with a beginning and an end, a victor and a victim. But now, there is a war in our country, and no one will be victorious. Our brothers and sisters, children and parents, are dying in the streets, but all we can see is the amount of melanin in someone’s skin. The only color we should be seeing is the red of the blood of the dead.

In an average month, 91 people are killed by gun violence in the U.S. according to, making our murder rate 25 times higher than any other developed country. With over 40 million more (registered) guns than citizens in the U.S., these statistics shouldn’t shock us, but without the media’s coverage, they are rarely discussed. Overseas terrorism is readily broadcasted across America’s main news outlets, yet only 45 Americans have been killed by overseas Islamic terrorism since the 9/11 attacks.

While any life lost is one too many, the growing internal murder rate must be slowed. There is a war in our streets against and between our people, funded and supported by our government officials who value corporate interests rather than the safety of the nation, the profit of the gun industry rather than the interest of the citizens.

We must not allow our differences in race, sexuality, gender, religion, and political affiliation to inhibit us and wage a new war, united against hate instead of against each other. We must give up our “right to protect ourselves” in order to protect each other. We must become faithful in our government by electing people who have our best interests in mind. It is time to strip the nation of gun violence. It is time to strip the word terror from a skin color and religion and treat it on a case-by-case basis like the disease it really is.