Mira Bohannan Kumar
It is hard to imagine being human without feeling pain or empathy, and it is hard to imagine being human without those emotions knocking the wind out of you when you hear news so antithetical to the principles for which you stand that it is scarcely believable.
Last week 17 people died in a brutal school shooting in Parkland, Florida. One would hope that this kind of tragedy would inspire action, and it has; the survivors of this shooting, as well as students across the country, have taken action. However, in many cases they are facing unprecedented backlash: many opponents of their gun-control platform are painting unsavory pictures of these students, asserting that they are tools of the liberal media and that their grief is somehow ‘manufactured’ or ‘orchestrated.’
Life changes people. It changes how people look at the world, and it changes how they interact with it. In the case of these students, it has given them something to fight for, and it has given them unimaginable grief. To minimize these experiences is beyond callous.
Most forces in this country angle themselves toward politics. We are increasingly skeptical of any movement, no matter how apparently sincere or emotion-driven, because we automatically assume that it’s motivated by political views.
To those who put forth these allegations, the blatant hypocrisy of their actions does not seem apparent. In proposing that the media and the other side is using or manufacturing grief for their own purposes, they are taking it for their own. Reducing people to a political device makes them one. It is turning people into numbers, into ‘fatalities,’ which is too common these days. It is inexcusable.
We see tragedy so often that we think it is no longer anything but an opportunity to advance our own goals. At these times, it is hard to imagine being human at all.