Matthew McConaughey Goes HomeRoundup
tags: mass shootings, school shootings, Gun Violence
John Fea is Executive Editor of CURRENT and the author of The Way of Improvement Leads Home blog.
I have never been a Matthew McConaughey fan. His Lincoln MKZ commercials are annoying. There is something about his southern drawl that irritates me every time I hear it. (Sorry, I am from New Jersey.) I don’t think I have ever made it through one of his movies, although my spouse tells me some of them are pretty good.
But today I am a Matthew McConaughey fan.
On Tuesday, McConaughey went to the White House to talk about his hometown: Uvalde, Texas. The actor and his family recently went back to Uvalde to visit with the families and community members suffering in the wake of one of the worst school shootings in American history.
If Wikipedia is correct, McConaughey spent the first eleven years of his life in this small community. His mother was a kindergarten teacher and his father ran an oil pipe business. During his speech in the White House press room he said that Uvalde was the place where he learned to “revere the power of a gun.” Now, over forty years later, he was back in town to engage in an act of solidarity with residents enduring indescribable pain after nineteen children and two teachers were killed in Robb Elementary School.
I don’t know if McConaughey still knows anyone who lives in Uvalde, but that doesn’t matter. He got in his truck and drove to this town because its people and institutions played an important role in shaping his character. As a favorite son, he is part of Uvalde’s story. But Uvalde is also a part of his story. The men and women who have inhabited this community across the generations are, in some small way, his people. He and Uvalde share a common bond sustained by the neighborhoods and institutions of this particular piece of earth in southwest Texas.