What will it take for you to rise? Perhaps, it's injustice or the delicate touch of a partner. I’m unaware of your mental state this Friday afternoon and the factors influencing your interpretation of my question.
But listen, there is more than one reason to rise today. This week another mass shooting occurred in Allen, Texas. We also witnessed protests in New York after a Black male died on a Subway train.
Let’s begin with Texas. Although the investigation is ongoing, evidence supports the gunman had ties to Neo-Nazi groups. A patch on his chest revealed letters that spelled affiliation with the “right wing death squad.”
Despite losing more lives to senseless violence, politicians continue to debate the need for tighter firearm laws. Reform advocates petitioned for universal background checks and licensing modifications. However, the Second Amendment Rights to Bear Arms and notions of freedom prevented an important step toward reducing the frequency of mass shootings.
Without firearms, hands, arms, and legs can also serve as lethal weapons.
Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old who struggled with mental illness, died after a physical altercation on a New York City train. Reports indicate he yelled at and threatened passengers. An ex-marine responded and put Neely in a chokehold for fifteen minutes until the police arrived.
Neely's autopsy declared his death a homicide. Police questioned and released the suspect into the street. Protestors took over the train tracks to encourage an indictment.
Video footage of the Texas mall shooting and the chokehold made it online. I didn't press play on the mall shooting footage; the threat of seeing children shot messed with me. As I read about Neely's death, a video of the fight automatically played in the feed.
Images of Eric Garner crossed my mind as I continued reading about the case after the video stopped.
Anger, frustration, and sadness are valid emotions that can motivate a rise. The act of rising can manifest through multiple channels. If you turn on your tv, you will see powerful examples of how videos convey information.
In the Articulate software suite, Rise, is an authoring tool. You can use Rise alongside videos, text, and images to design learning content to inform and inspire a movement.
If you live in Texas, perhaps the rise you need to pursue is contacting a congressperson and advocating for gun reform. New Yorkers stood up to injustice, and second-degree manslaughter charges came last night.
It's Friday, and we are blessed to rise with the sun. We've made it through another work week in an unpredictable world.
In addition to Texas and NY, a 24-year-old Chicago police officer died after getting shot; a woman died after being stabbed on an Arizona hiking trail.
You can be out shopping with your family, riding the train, arriving home from work, or exercising when a violent act can disrupt everything you know. It's essential to be grateful for life and use it to work towards a more just society.
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