An oft-quoted saying from Shakespeare says, ‘it is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are knaves.’ The phrase is so powerful because it calls us all back to the one thing over which we all have control; our own thoughts and actions. And it minimizes those things – the stars, the government, radical Islamic ideology, for instance – over which we have no control.
During the month of May, over sixty (60) people died at the hands of guns in Chicago alone; 50 people died in one brazen attack in Orlando. Why is one tragedy being barely mentioned while the other gets wall to wall media coverage? We have an Orlando almost every month in Chicago. That is truly the worst tragedy in U.S. History, and it is a tragedy that repeats itself on a regular basis. While the attack in Orlando has been billed the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9-11, it really beggars the distinction as to what terrorism really is.
We hope that in the wake of this unspeakable calamity we can tap into our feelings of empathy for our fellows, and forget the labels – gun violence, terrorism, Islamic extremism - for a moment. Let’s step back from the stargazing and challenge the knaves within our own hearts.