– America The Violent-1969 – NBC Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Perhaps not as bad as it is now, but violence seems to be just as integral a part of American society as the automobile. The question has always been ‘why?’ and the hand-wringing and breast-beating comes with clock-like regularity.
Our violent nature has been part of our culture from the beginning, it is always talked about, is it always laced with a ‘something-must-be-done’ attitude, and it is quickly forgotten when the victims are buried, the reporters have gone home and the crime-scenes are wiped clean.
Every time an event happens, two sets of comments come flying forth – “We have to do something about this” and “Oh, let’s not make it a political issue, let’s grieve now and we’ll deal with it later”.
And nothing ever happens.
There is no later, there is only now. And now is the time to deal with it, to deal with the violence, deal with the hate, deal with the raging Mental Illness in this country and come up with tangible, plausible, workable solutions. This cannot be put off another hour or day – it has to be dealt with, discussed and brought out in the open now. Or it’s all a lot of talk – and our violent nature continues and will stay the same and the killings will go on.
And as a way of reminding you that this conversation has been rife with fits and starts for a VERY LONG time, here is a reminder that the topic was the same in 1969 as it is now.
And this time it has to be different.
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