Mass Hysteria Manifesto

“Mass Hysteria Manifesto”
-Michael David Anderson-

You,
with gunmetal in your hand
and a GoPro strapped to your chest,
thinking you’re tough shit,
thinking you’re oppressed,
thinking you’ll show the world,
deluded by misguided ideals,
determined to make your mark:

You disgust me.

How dare you take a life?
How dare you take a knife
and slash it with strife?
All you’re doing
is perpetuating senseless violence.
All you’re doing
is adding fuel to a fire.
All you’re doing
is serving as another link
in this endless chain.

The bullets were cheap.
The lives were not.
The blood you spilled
is worth more than your
twenty-three page manifesto,
which serves as your
last will and testament.
That blood is worth more
than every breath you ever took
in your worthless life.

Your life could have been worth more
than this senseless violence.
You are yet another name
that I will forget by hour’s end.
I will remember your victim’s names.
I will commit their faces to memory.
Yours I will condemn to the fog
of the memory graveyard
at the back of my mind,
in shadow.

That death is all you deserve,
not the one you delivered upon yourself
with one misplaced bullet.

Your so-called manifesto
was a rant, undeserving
of our attention.
You praised others of your ilk
and blamed your actions
on persecution,
on race,
on homophobia.
You are responsible for your own actions.
You are responsible for your own outcome.

Why do you,
like so many others,
contribute to this growing
mass hysteria manifesto?
Why do you,
like so many others,
take lives for attention,
for fame,
for nothing at all?

Race is no reason,
racism a filthy excuse.
Why does race have to be
the reason a dumb boy
unleashed a fatal volley
in a church
earlier this year?
Why should it matter
he was white
and they were black?
Why should it matter
you were black
and they were white?
Why should it matter
you were gay
and they were straight?
It shouldn’t.
We’re humans.
There is no division of race.
There are only shades
to one race: humanity.
Where is yours?
Where is your humanity?
Did you shed it
like reptilian skin?
Did you leave it behind –

a horrible reminder
of the violence you committed
and now refuse to answer for,
in death?

I hope you wallow in the misery you’ve caused.

I will not remember your name.
No one will after today.

Only those that perpetuate
your mass hysteria manifesto,
like all those that came before,
will.

Why won’t you all write
an epilogue of peace?
There are better stories to tell.

Copyright © August 26, 2015 by Michael David Anderson
In memory of Alison Parker and Adam Ward,
and all those we have lost to this perpetual cycle of senseless violence.

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