One of my favorite parts of the concert was when the band played a song that they had not performed in a long time. They felt that given the recent tragedy in Charleston, SC, it would be fitting to perform. The song is entitled "No Killing" and the words were perfect for the situation. Listen below if you are unfamiliar.
I love how the song has no political stance, no complicated solutions, "The world is starved for love." Simple. I love the simplicity of that statement. There is so much truth behind that. I have been reading the articles and the political rants about the Charleston tragedy. Gun control, mental health and the lack of programs, etc., etc., everybody is weighing in. But what it really boils down to...is hate. As a society, we want to believe that we are all healed from the racism of the past. We want to believe that prejudice is dead. But we all know, that is a lie. I still hear the whispers in the white community about other ethnic groups. Just because you're whispering it people does not make it nonexistent. Police brutality, hate crimes, the justice system, neighborhood investment programs, all point to the chasm between the black culture and white culture. Are all white people racist? No. Are all cops racist and brutal? No. But our culture as a whole has got to admit that there is still an open wound of racial divide in this country. Dylann Roof is not mentally ill. Dylann Roof is full of hate. Hate toward a race of people that he wants to punish for the color of their skin. Even the judge opened up his bond hearing with a quick acknowledgement of the nine victims murdered by this young man and pointed out that Dylann's family are victims as well. Really?? I have long said that I feel empathy toward the families of people who do unspeakable crimes, I truly do. But would that have been pointed out had the church been predominantly white and Dylann Roof had been a black man. Interesting to consider. Kalief Browder sat in jail for three years without a trial, ultimately leading to his suicide. Some say its the extreme backlog of the court system, but I can't help but consider that it happened to a young...black...man. We want to make excuses. We want to deny the obvious when it is placed right in front of our face. Facts are facts...it is what it is. Racism.
I do not have a solution. Would more gun control be the answer? Aren't drugs illegal, but people can always find them. Better mental health? Mental health programs cannot treat hate. Maybe the Violent Femmes know the answer. Maybe, the world IS starved for love.