Angels

No more political screeds. No more finger pointing. No more endless screaming into the abyss. There is a sickness spreading across our society - it has no name, and it has no face. It is in all of us, and unless each one of us faces it within ourselves, it threatens to destroy us.

Late Sunday night on October 1, 2017, another diseased individual emptied endless rounds of ammunition into a crowd, ultimately responsible for the deaths of nearly 60 people, and the injury of another 500. He left behind no manifesto, no explanation, and we still have no clear motive - the one thing we do seem to know is that he was likely planning this scenario for over a year.

In the aftermath, we have returned to business as usual, placing blame, spinning facts, and accusing each other of complicity. Many of these reactions are justified, and perhaps even partially true. It is all too easy to succumb to the fear of the Other, whatever and whoever that Other may be - however, it is much more difficult to acknowledge that we are all the Other to someone, and we are all complicit in the fear and hatred that is rapidly consuming us.

White men have been behind the vast majority of recorded mass killings, but it cannot be ignored that they are killing themselves at a far greater rate. Women have been marginalized and victimized by political backlash, but 53% of white female voters specifically requested this framework. Native Americans are being forced off their land once again, while their leaders form coalitions to support the economic policies of the oppressors. Another young black man will most likely die tomorrow, but it may be at the hands of the police, or a casualty of random crime. Another immigrant is most likely being accused of theft at this very moment, while he works the shit job that none of the rest of us actually want, but many of them are here because of a fractured dream of financial promise and upward mobility.

I don't pretend to know the answers, and I don't know that I can engage with the dialogue any longer. I do know that I have been just as much to blame as anyone, and I know that I don't want to be part of the problem any longer - however, I don't think espousing my opinions will help. Unless we can all set aside our beliefs for a moment, reach through the screen and recognize each other as fragile and beautiful, I don't know that we can be saved.

Late Monday night, after my daughter was tucked safely in bed, I cried bitter and ugly tears. Then I tried to pick myself up from the living room rug in the only way I know how. I offer a record of this event in the hopes that it may provide comfort or inspiration to someone else, and to honor the memory of those who died for our sins. The songs are free to download, but should anyone choose to donate, all money will be sent directly to the National Compassion Fund, an organization dedicated to providing 100% of proceeds directly to victims of violent crime. I also offer a promise to myself, and to all my friends and neighbors, that from this moment forward I will be donating any and all digital sales from my music to similar non-political organizations.

I am no better than you, but I want to be better than I am. I hope you will join me.

All my love,

Allen