There's a reason I don't follow the news. It isn't just that I can't take the constant barrage of bad news, it's that I can't take the fact that no one, ever, seems to give a shit.
Or, when they do, everyone else makes such a show of not giving a shit about them giving a shit that they're effectively silenced no matter what they do or how dedicated they are (see: Occupy Wall Street.)
I have known people who are able to weather the twin forces of pervasive evil and pervasive apathy that cause the news to spiral me into depression, inaction, and curling up into a ball. I have known activists. I have known people who are instigators, organizers, and agitators, one in particular comes to mind.
I don't know how they do it. I don't know how they can manage to keep on going when they work so hard and so long and yet constantly be reminded that it never, ever stops.
Sometimes, though, the news breaks in on me even though I keep it out. I am in and of the world, after all, I can hardly avoid the whole of it.
And so, via Fred Clark, I learned about the terrorist attack that happened in Charleston last night.
In some ways the worst part isn't what happened. That, in itself, is terrible and horrifying. How could nine people being killed in an act of terrorism not be the worst part?
Because it won't stop at nine. It will happen again, and again, and again. It won't stop. It never stops.
It never stops because when a white person strikes out against black people, say by walking into a church with important ties to the entire history of the black community in the area and shooting a bunch of people, we, as a culture, don't give a shit.
This kind of terrorism is the kind that we, as a culture, are ok with. We don't even call it terrorism. We deny it a name and in so doing act like there isn't a problem, and because we refuse to recognize that there is a problem we don't look for solutions. Because we don't look for solutions we don't find them, and if they are found for us we don't implement them.
And because we don't solve the problem that we refuse to acknowledge, it will happen again, and again, and again. Ad infinitum.
And that's the worst part. What's worse than nine people being murdered in an act of terrorism? The fact that it will not, under any plausible circumstances, stop at nine.
It never, ever, stops.
And that's why I don't follow the news.
I don't know what it is that allows some people to perpetually fight a battle they know they can't win while immersing themselves in news that reminds them that we have made so much less progress than most people pretend we have, but whatever it is, I don't have it.