Some People Are So Confused

OMG. There’s been so much going on in the news and in life that I hardly know where to begin.

Today I read that Raven-Symone said she is “from every continent in Africa except one, and from every continent in Europe except one.”

Now, that’s just sad. So so sad. This type of ignorance just can’t be stomached.

Unfortunately, she’s been saying quite a lot of stupid things recently. The only thing she has said that I agree with is when she said she’s not African-American, she’s Black. I’ve always thought African-American was a rather mindless misnomer at best, and I refuse to use it, just as most Black people I know from the Caribbean refuse to use it. We’re not African. I’ve never set foot in Africa. How the hell am I African-American? I know my ancestors are from there, and like dear confused Raven, I also have ancestors from Europe, but I don’t call myself European-American. I get that people want to maintain and even deepen their ties to the Motherland and all that, but really, do it intelligently. Then again, I think the terms Black and White are also somewhat stupid…as my kids have said, it should be Pink and Brown. Kind of like a Pottery Barn baby girl nursery. #sochic

Continuing on the confused front, this past week a depressed German airline co-pilot rammed the plane he was manning right into a fucking mountain. It goes without saying that everyone died. The minute I heard about the accident, and a few days before the black box was recovered, I had a feeling that one of the pilots was involved. I don’t know why. Maybe it was because the aviation folks said that they had had no distress calls or any indication that something was wrong. I don’t know. I just thought, you know, someone did this shit on purpose. Turns out that the pilot was suffering from depression and although he had been cleared to fly, the folks at Lufthansa had not been made aware of his condition nor the fact that he had a shitload of sick notes saying he wasn’t fit to work on various days…including the day of the crash.

He also told his ex-girlfriend that one day, everyone would know his name. Given that he said that while feeling upset/depressed/angry about realizing that his depression would prevent him from reaching captain status – and I’m not sure if that was truth or assumption on his part – that should have set off some warning bells. When people are pissed and promise that one day, EVERYONE will know who they are, they don’t usually mean that they’re planning to somehow contribute to the good of mankind. I’m not blaming the ex by any stretch of the imagination. As a matter of fact, as a depressive myself I feel really bad for him and his family. He was obviously really plagued by some serious demons, and now his family has to deal with the aftermath. Of course, I can say that I wish he had just taken himself out and not killed 149 other people in the process…that’s just awful. That’s rage right there. Serious serious rage. But it doesn’t detract from my sadness for him. Of course I am sad for the people he killed. But unlike many others, I feel sad for him too. Not that I empathize, now. I have never once felt the desire to just go out in a blaze of glory, taking a whole slew of innocent people along for my hellacious ride. Thank God I don’t even want to go out quietly now. But I understand some of the pain and sorrow that he must have felt and it just makes me sad to think that anyone could be in THAT much pain and carrying THAT much anger, and that they feel the need to exact such revenge on what they perceive as a cruel and cold world.

There’s a great deal of discussion now on what needs to be done to safeguard airline passengers from danger when it comes from within the cockpit, and although it’s a relatively rare occurrence, I think it’s a discussion worth having. Clearly some changes need to be made. When you are in a plane 38,000 feet up in the air and ONE person has the lives of so many others in their hands – well, that’s a problem. The US already has a rule that there must be 2 people in the cockpit. I’m not sure how helpful that is when the captain or co-pilot leaves and is replaced by a perhaps tiny flight attendant, but it’s an acknowledgment that that much power cannot be in one person’s hands. Maybe that other person needs to be a federal marshal. I don’t know, I don’t have the answers. But something needs to give, because when that ONE person decides at 38,000 feet high that he/she is done with the world – well, you’re not getting out of that scenario alive.

It’s too late for that pilot but…I hope that other depressed people will not be inspired to wreak that kind of havoc but rather to seek help. No one should live with that kind of pain and anger, and no innocent people, whether it’s 1 or 101, should die because of someone else’s internal angst.

Seek help if you need it. Heed warning signs. As the saying about unmanned packages in public goes, if you see something, say something: if you feel someone is being “weird,” speak to them, offer help, and if you think other people could be hurt, let someone know. It’s a lot to ask, of course, and we can’t all walk around on high alert all the time. We have to relax, and live, and laugh, and be able to close our eyes and enjoy the breeze. If all of us could do that more often…the world would be such a happier and safer place.

 

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