We must heal these wounds

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2016

There’s an old saying that if your foot hurts, punch a wall and your foot won’t hurt anymore.

The idea is if something hurts, something else can always happen to you that hurts more, making you forget about the previous injury.

Oftentimes, physical pain and mental anguish are equal on the pain chart.

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Unfortunately, this country seems to be continuously beating itself up in hopes of covering up all its previous booboos.

Our country’s wounds suffered on Sept. 11 had finally scabbed up. Even the ugly scars were starting to fade, except for the families losing loved ones from cancer from working at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks. But overall, the pain was starting to fade for most Americans.

However, in that case, the county came together and helped each other heal.

That’s not the case these days. In fact, we are all putting salt on each others’ wounds daily.

A month ago, friends and family members were fighting on social media about who should or shouldn’t be president. People were “unfriended” for opposing views. The country seemed even more divided. Either you’re a “libatard” or “a crazy conservative.” It was an ugly, festering wound.

Now we find ourselves bleeding from much deeper cuts.

We barely got over the shock of the attack in Orlando where 49 people were gunned down at a nightclub, 50 if you include the shooter. While many took pleasure in sprinkling salt, blaming the attack on God for condemning gay people or all Muslims, we weren’t blaming each other.

Within two days of each other, videos showing two African-American men shot by police in Louisiana and Minnesota spurred protests and debate over police use of deadly force across the country.

During a peaceful protest in Dallas, a veteran who had served in Afghanistan, opened fire, killing five police officers.

Since then, there’s been protests all over the country. Black Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter. If you stand with those who claim one, you’re immediately against the other.

We are a country at odds. We are a country in pain.

It’s as if people have stopped caring about the presidential election and its two major candidates. No, we have bigger reasons to hate each other now. We are in such pain from the racial divide and mistrust that political issues only barely gnaw at us now. Social media is the anti-drug. It prevents the wounds from healing. We’re bombarded by videos, memes, bloggers — some blaming police, some blaming protesters, some blaming the president, some blaming an entire race of people.

But no one will admit to their role in causing the first black and blue mark.

I have three mixed grandchildren and I am losing sleep over worrying about the world they will be growing up in. We’re going backwards. Where will they fit in if this country finds itself in the midst of another civil war?

If something doesn’t change, our wounds will become so infected, there will be nothing that can mend them and we will rot as a nation.

The America I grew up in is better than this. I fear the only way we will reunite is if something bigger stomps on our foot again. It’s disheartening to think our salvation lies in the hands of a common threat.

No lives will matter until all lives matter and all lives won’t matter until we start coming together and healing the wounds of these latest atrocities together, as a nation undivided.

alyssa schnugg is city editor of the EAGLE. Write to her at alyssa.schnugg@oxfordeagle.com