Once in the early 90’s I caught a taxi from LaGuardia into New York City. The taxi driver was from Ethiopia, Bangladesh or some another country whose refugees were flooding the city and taking jobs as drivers. Prominent in the news was another random violent attack. At that time “drive-by killings” was a relatively new coinage. Since then we have suffered Columbine, Virginia Tech, the most memorable among numerous such random killings. The driver said that what was preferable about living in a war zone was that you understood the rules of war. You knew what to expect. I’ve pondered his words often since then, especially with the recent killing of women in the gym in Pittsburgh. Living in a country besieged by random violence carries with it a different kind of anxiety than living in a war zone. And because there is no apparent reason for the violence it is more difficult to make sense of it, to put it in an historical or familial context.
Posted by Joy Harjo at 8:20 AM