Nothing Has Changed

I wrote and originally posted this five years ago on a day that shocked America. Since the original posting, a few names in that column have changed and those changes are included here. One thing, however, remains the same. We are no longer shocked by events such as the one that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Oh, we say we are but the sad reality is nothing has changed since that fateful day and there is – after all of the political bullshit, finger pointing and name calling – a reason nothing will ever change. We have become a society obsessed with one word. One despicable word.

Twenty little children went to school today. Their biggest concern when they got there was thinking about who they would play with at recess.

Recess never arrived.

And now that girl with the freckles will never have the chance to go to the prom with the little guy in the front row; you know, the one missing a front tooth.

The body of a little boy who wanted nothing more than to be a policeman when he grew up, had his body covered with a sheet by a man in blue. The child who thought policemen weren’t afraid of anything never realized they cry.

Recess never arrived.

Who sang the best at last night’s winter concert? Who goofed up? The time to discuss that, amidst all the giggles, would come at recess.

Recess never arrived.

Twenty extraordinary children – and every child is extraordinary in their own beautiful way – died today. I don’t know why it happened and neither do you. There will be an endless stream of speculation but the reality is only one person knew and he is gone.

But I do know this: This country has a fascination with the word HATE. If you don’t agree with someone’s opinion, you are automatically a hater. You see it everywhere; in online comment sections and it is the standard response on Facebook. If you didn’t like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, Democrats called you a hater. If you don’t support Donald Trump, Republicans say you’re a hater.

If you are a Red Sox fan, it’s a given that Yankee fans will dismiss you as a hater and vice versa. The same thing holds true for fans of Ohio State and Michigan or Auburn and Alabama. Pick a musician, any musician. Those who love them will always hear from those who hate them. That word, that despicable damn word, is so casually tossed around we have become numb to it.

Somewhere deep inside the mind of an obviously troubled individual, that word festered and grew into an uncontrollable rage. Authorities will attempt to dig deep into his psyche but no matter what they discover, one inescapable truth will remain.

For twenty innocent children – kids who hadn’t learned the ugly meaning of hate – recess never arrived.

hate

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