Folks here in the United States woke up to the news that 50+ people are dead and 400+ have been taken to the hospital after a gunman in Las Vegas opened fire at a country music concert. This is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, eclipsing the Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016. Police expect the death toll to rise. According to the Washington Post, the gunman was identified as a 64-year-old white male named Stephen Paddock. He was found dead by officers on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino after the shooting. This horrific news comes on the heels of Hurricane Maria’s destruction of Puerto Rico, where officials have bungled the recovery and relief efforts in myriad ways. Instead of responding to those failures with action, the “president” of the United States has focused his latest round of thin-skinned Twitter attacks on the country, particularly San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz who spent the weekend combing through rubble looking for survivors while Trump played golf and called her lazy.
We usually post a roundtable on Mondays but we decided that this Monday we could really use the space to be together as a family and process some of our grief and anger as we continue empower each other to take action. Politically, this year has been just as overwhelming as we knew it would be when Trump was “elected.” We have faced down series after series of attacks on people of color, immigrants, trans people, gay people, poor people, people who rely on the Affordable Care Act, and on and on. It’s devastating enough to weather tragedies with a competent caring president in the White House; the fact that a narcissistic man-child completely without empathy occupies the Oval Office makes it even harder.
If you have resources, tips for how to help the victims of either of these tragedies, tools for activism, encouragement, or just pure white hot rage and despair, please share them in the comments. We love you all very much and we’re never going to stop fighting alongside you.