Seventy-two hours of horror: America in the crosshairs or at a crossroad?

During 72 hours last week, America showed its most hateful and vile side. In a grocery store in Jeffersontown, Ky. A synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa. And a dozen other U.S. cities too numerous to name where 14 pipe bombs intended for so-called left-leaning, liberals were mailed but thankfully didn’t go off.

Although those bombs didn’t go off, gun fire ended 14 people’s lives. The Lady in the Harbor surely must have shuddered. Today, instead of being in a church or synagogue, the families of those victims are planning funerals or preparing to sit Shiva. All because Gregory Bush, Robert Bower and Cesar Sayoc Jr. felt their hateful thoughts and words were no longer enough. Their First Amendment rights no longer satisfied them. So they made a bloody mockery of their Second Amendment Rights, emboldened by radical rhetoric on fringe social media.

As a result, Bush, a white man, gunned down two black people — a man and woman — who were doing the most mundane of tasks: grocery shopping. Similarly, Bower, another white man, gunned down 11 people who were exercising their most American of rights — practicing their faith in a Jewish synagogue. And Sayoc, another white man, wreaked havoc nationwide with his cache of bombs.

Meanwhile what does our president have to say about the matter? His advice? Arm places of worship with security guards and “Bring the death penalty into vogue.” What’s wrong with us? US as in the U.S.

We’re on the precipice of major changes — demographically, socially, politically and otherwise. We can’t seem to or don’t want to rationally figure out how to face these changes and, more importantly, address them and embrace them.

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Instead, we continue to finger-point, blame and deny.

When are we going to realize how close we are to losing what the U.S. stands for?

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Tammy Joyner is an Atlanta freelance journalist who writes about the workplace, social justice, current events, pop culture, genealogy and business news.

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