(ANTIMEDIA) United States — “This country was built on an idea that we don’t agree on everything; that we are a tolerant, free nation that encourages debate, free-thinking, believing, or not, in what you choose,” host Jimmy Fallon said of the Orlando mass shooting during the Tonight Show on Monday.
Fallon’s beautifully understated monologue casts off the blanket of vitriolic division that uncomfortably settled into every conceivable angle of discussion following the slaughter of 50 people at Pulse nightclub on Sunday.
“I, as a new father, am thinking, ‘What do I tell my kids? What do I tell them about this? What can we learn from this? What if my kids are gay? What do I tell them?’
“Maybe there’s a lesson from all this,” he implored. “A lesson in tolerance.”
Though Jimmy Fallon couldn’t be more on point, divisive arguments and equally contentious possible alleviations for the issues of hate and terrorism seemed — within hours of the attack — to tear the flimsy remaining patches of our varied cultural patchwork beyond repair.
But his solution is markedly simple:
“We need to support each other’s differences and worry less about our own opinions — get back to debate, and away from believing or supporting the idea that if someone doesn’t live the way you want them to live, you just buy a gun and kill them. Bomb them up. That is not OK.
“We need to get back to being brave enough to accept that we have different opinions, and that’s OK; because that’s what America is built on … the idea that we can stand up and speak our minds and live our lives and not be punished for that — or mocked on the Internet, or killed by someone you don’t know.”
Indeed, the landscape dramatically shifted — likely following 9/11 — and has been pockmarked by rhetorics of fear, paranoia, and division, all bolstered by the perpetually hungry war machine and its burgeoning police state. Though Fallon’s emotional plea certainly oversimplifies in broad strokes the inextricable roots of our division, the message resonates with a back-to-basics approach rustic enough to accomplish a semblance of unity.
“This was just one bad guy here,” Fallon reminds us. “Forty-nine good people and one bad guy — and there will always be more good than evil. When I think of Orlando, I think of nothing but fun and joy and families … if anyone can do it, you can.
“Keep loving each other, keep respecting each other, and keep on dancing.”
Maybe it’s time we do just that.
This article (Jimmy Fallon’s Must See Message to America in Wake of Orlando Shooting) by Claire Bernish originally appeared on theAntiMedia.org and is licensed Creative Commons.