Those people

It wasn’t Americans, it was those people.

It wasn’t people from our generation, it was those people who never learned our values.

It wasn’t people who look like you and me, it was those people from the inner city.

It wasn’t people from our neighborhoods, it was those people who live in trailers.

It wasn’t people who sound like us, it those people with accents.

It wasn’t good people like us, it was those people who made bad choices in their lives.

It wasn’t healthy people like us, it was those people who are mentally sick.

It wasn’t our political group, it was those people who have taken it to an extreme.

It wasn’t our church, it was those people who interpret a passage slightly differently than we do.

It wasn’t our gun culture, it was those people, with the slightly different gun culture.

It wasn’t people like you and I who always make good choices when we are desperate. It was those people who make bad choices when they are desperate.

Read the headlines today. See if you can find all the those peoples hiding out in them.

What would happen if you ran out of those people?

What if you couldn’t find a distinction, no matter how hair-thin?

This is rhetorical, of course. There is always a distinction to be made. That guy was a little too quiet. We were never sure about that side of the family.

But pretend for a second, that you couldn’t find a line to draw.  What would you have to do, if it wasn’t about dealing with those people, who are obviously,  qualitatively different from us people? What would have to change if you looked into the future and saw the gun, the club, the bomb warm in your hands? Or your parent’s hands, or your child’s hands, or your lovers’?

What would you want people to know? What would you fight for? What would you wish you could go back and change?


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