For the love of…

So. Another white man acts on his twisted ideals of supremacy, and ends the lives of non-white bodies. Because he can. From all indications, these people – the majority of whom were Asian-American women working in massage parlors in the Atlanta GA area – were objects of his sexual fetishization. They were not human. They were objects, and so it was as easy for him to remove himself psychologically from their murder as it is for a child to break a toy that no longer entertains them.

An object exists only for the pleasure and use of a human. So ending it, causing it to be no more, is not a momentous choice. It is the same choice that slave owners made when using bull whips on errant stock items of their inventory, who had the audacity to bleed and cry out in pain. The audacity to not produce, or entertain, or comply. It is the same choice that sexual predators make when they abduct and assault, or kill, women (and children, and some young men) when they rape and then kill.

There is very little difference between Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy and this Aaron Long of Georgia, except the length of the serial outburst. Bundy and Gacy took years to manifest their nefarious compulsions, while Aaron Long was mercifully brought short in less than twelve hours. That makes it no less horrific.

The women killed by Aaron Long were minding their own business, working. Working while Asian. I have not checked to see whether these women were born in the United States, or had immigrated here, or were possibly even trafficked here, but it matters not. He didn’t look that up, either. All he saw were physical features that were unlike his own, and which he apparently exociticized. But again, he did not see these Asian bodies as human – he saw them as objects. We have been seeing that same dehumanization, without evidence of the sexualization, in the plethora of cases that ended in the murder of unarmed Black men and women by law enforcement officers.

To me, this constitutes depravity, moral and otherwise. This is the result of a human devoid of that which makes us human – moral compass, empathy, compassion. When you are assured that your choices, and your perceptions, your way of walking in the world, are unquestioningly correct you don’t need to pause and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing. When your world has conspired to give you no consequence for bad behavior, or enforced any valid code of conduct on you, you don’t second guess yourself. That is the fertile ground of mental illness, of the toxic narcissist, and when coupled with a firearm you get eight people dead after a casual trip across the metro-Atlanta landscape.

Are there serial killers of color? Of course there are. They are simply in far less number than white serial killers. Are there female serial killers? Yes, but again, in far less number than white male serial killers. It stands to reason that rational people would raise the question of what the HELL is going on with so many white men who are so enraged and so willing to dehumanize other people?

Homicide and serial killers have been around since the earliest moments of human history. What is concerning at this point, though, is that we can see this in real time, and we can’t turn away from it or pretend we don’t see it or ignore it. I contend the propensity to generate these aberrant personalities starts very early, and sometimes people live out their lives without acting on their errant impulses. But sometimes they do. And sometimes we get fair warning, but do nothing. We need to take a look at that.

As with any other unacceptable behavior patterns, we’re all responsible for speaking out against them, or at least sound the alarm. Seeing insurrectionists using bear spray and flagpoles on law enforcement officers during the January 6 insurrection seems like uncloaking the same kind of sadistic and murderous rage that characterized Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, Jack the Ripper even. Had it not been for media coverage, we might have been looking at a ridiculously high death toll. We might have been looking at the end of the American experiment.

The killings in Atlanta are the end result of unchecked hatred, and bigotry. And this is why racial and ethnic minority communities are not surprised by this, and not sympathetic toward neighbors who express shock and surprise at this occurrence. We are however, dismayed, disappointed, and afraid. This is the same story, just the names and faces are changed. This is the same rage, whether clothed under cover of badges or business suits or polo shirts and khakis. Ethnic communities are numb. The Black community, in particular, has been seeing this for 400 years…lynching was a public event, sometimes an entertainment venue. You cannot maintain a level of outrage for all this time without some degree of resignation, and despair. All of that is related to all of this, and for so many of us, there are no more tears to cry, no more surprise, no more shock to exhibit.

But the circle of direct impact is widening. The rhetoric of politicians has seeded this fetid pool of dishonor. Mass media is a double-edged sword, whether it’s Fox News or CNN – people listen to what is put in front of them, and they believe. They believe what they see on the internet, they believe what their heroes tell them. That’s not new. What’s new is the total abdication of leadership. And in the absence of leadership, people will contrive their own. That can’t go on, unless we concede civil society and contract to live in a world that resembles Lord of the Flies.

He who dies with the most toys doesn’t win, however. He who dies with the most toys is still dead. And we will die, most of us without any toys, or anything to show for it if we don’t change this paradigm. There will have been no purpose for the suffering, which is simply absurd. Why bother? If we are not going to learn anything, why the hell are we doing any of this at all? Let’s pull the plug now if we’re not willing to see the experiment through.

Things on this Earth are not here solely for my amusement. This I know…because there are way too many things outside my control. The real test of my fortitude, and value is how well I can control my self, how well I can live in harmony with the rest of the world and still manifest happiness, joy, value. There have been many times in my life when I couldn’t control anything about myself, but…I’m not in that place any longer, not that person any more. If I can’t move from point A to point B, I feel like I’m wasting my time. If I’m wasting my time, I figure I can be doing something else and not put up with THIS boring murder a day crap. I’ve had fun before, and this is NOT it. Feeling like I’ve wasted my time is NOT it. I need to make this count, y’all. I don’t like me when I’m bored.

I want to be sharp!

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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