Last week was a particularly bloody one in these here United States, even for a nation that sees its citizens slaughter each other on a regular basis. Five Americans and twenty-seven were wounded in shootings across the nation, but one of the final incidents truly stands out for its shocking nihilism. House candidate Chris Rabb, a Democrat running for Pennsylvania’s 200th district, was canvassing in Philadelphia around 3:30 pm on Sunday and met local supporter Alex Cherry. The twenty-one year old enthusiastically promised his support and spoke with the candidate about working the polls.
As Rabb turned and walked away with another volunteer, a man walked up to Cherry and brazenly shot him three times in the head at point-blank range – in broad daylight. Rabb and his aide sought refuge in a store while the detectives arrived; the man was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:43. The gunman escaped on foot and is still at large.
The symbolism of a young, excited, politically interested young person being murdered in broad daylight by a silent killer who escapes back to the shadows cannot be ignored. Any of the comprehensive reforms that the people of America demand of their Congress – be it guns, immigration, campaign finance, transportation & infrastructure, voting rights, carbon emissions – are brought on to the floor of the House and shot dead with a casual and uncaring smirk from the Republican Party. The hopes and dreams, the needs and struggles of the American people are being ignored by a political establishment that bows to the wealthy while we lie bleeding on the ground, crushed by student debt, poverty wages, institutionalized discrimination, income inequality, and voter suppression while the oligarchs feed off the carcass of the middle class like the jackals they are.
Four hours later, a red SUV pulled up in a nearby neighborhood and shot 18-year-old Elijah Frazier in the back and another 17-year-old boy in retaliation for the murder of Cherry. Just another day in the land of the free.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.