shot and killed almost a week ago in Tucson, Arizona, when she eagerly went to meet Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Christina had just been elected to her school's student council.
A writer of fiction couldn't come up with as much tragic irony as that which surrounded Christina's brief life. She was born on September 11, 2001 and she died on just as violent a day as the one in which she came into this troubled world.
(One of the greatest ironies, of course, is that gun sales in Arizona rose dramatically after the shooting because subsequent gun control laws were feared. While family members mourned the loss of their little girl, people in that very community were running out to buy more weapons, thanks to an antiquated interpretation of the constitution that gives them and every mentally unstable American the right to bear arms.)
Between Christina's birth and death, exists a timeline of trends that could foreshadow disaster. After September 11th, the fundamental rifts between American political parties deepened and quickly grew toxic, platforms for incendiary rhetoric became commonplace as media grew less objective and more partisan, wars were started abroad to supposedly protect the homeland, while morally and financially draining it, the rich grew richer and the middle class became poor and the backlash toward foreigners in a country of immigrants, showed a very hateful, xenophobic side of Americans, particularly in Arizona.
Obama's speech in Arizona was very moving and eloquently called for unity, but conservatives and liberals despise each other so much right now, I wonder if much of what Obama said can be heard?
And Sarah Palin, yet again, managed to upstage the president's speech by putting together a presidential-like video of her own and spewing further divisive and anti-Semitic language at a time when Americans should be pondering why the USA is protecting "freedom" all over the world but it can't protect an innocent nine year-old child in her own hometown? And it can't protect mentally ill people from hurting themselves or their fellow citizens?
Neither "Islamic terrorists" nor illegal immigrants killed that little girl, a mentally disturbed American-born man with a gun did. Universal healthcare, which Giffords supports, (oddly, she also supports gun possesion) would cover treatment for more mentally ill people. Mandatory health insurance is supposedly "unconstitutional" and un-American. Allowing an insane person to buy a gun, however, isn't?
I'm at a loss. I really don't understand.
I wonder, is it because I've been here in Europe too long? Is it easier, from here, to see the USA's stubborn isolation in its handling of healthcare, gun control and human rights issues compared to other wealthy democracies?
"I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it," Barack Obama said yesterday about Christina Green. I want that, too but a democracy that allows for a dangerous mix of violence and social inequity will never live up to the expectations that Christina Green surely had.
May she rest in peace.