Thursday, April 30, 2015
RACISM, RIOTS, & GENERAL FOOLISHNESS
With Baltimore just an hours drive away, I figured it was time to finally react to the unrest we seem to have lately. The underlying problem to all this turmoil is be based on the worst of all human traits – racism.
I've said for years, if I could have just one wish, it would be to eliminate all forms of racism across the globe. In my eyes, there is nothing more ignorant than hating someone purely based on appearance. Not only isn't it accurate, it limits the positives that could be gained by knowing more about this person and their life.
America became America by embracing many people from many lands. We took hard-working folks from all over the planet, stirred them all up, and became the place many folks wanted to live. If you had a dream to be successful, America was where it was possible. Did we have problems? Of course, but who wouldn't? Combining so many cultures was bound to create some challenges, but one would think by now that we would learn to appreciate the differences and have them all worked out.
Here in 2015, which I am sure most of us think as “modern times”, we can still act like cavemen. It isn't limited to our borders either, unfortunately. All over the world, we see events happening to people who have committed no crime except be born of a color or culture that another, more-powerful group dislikes. We have genocide going on daily, whether we see it firsthand or not, and as a human being, I am embarrassed by it all.
Embarrassed that my brothers and sisters in Nigeria can't seem to put the guns down and work together towards a peaceful, loving paradise their land COULD be.
Embarrassed that thousands of people every year flee their homeland, in fear of their family's safety, trying to start anew in a strange country and with little to offer but the sweat from their hard work. Not only do they lose their possessions, they lose their history and possibly their long held culture. So sad...
Embarrassed that my brothers and sisters in Pakistan can't appreciate the benefits of human rights, and kill those who try and spread the hope towards a better future for their country and it's people.
Embarrassed by my brothers and sisters that are members of the Islamic State, who destroy their own history in the name of religious cleansing. They kill those that do not believe as they do and somehow are able to get more and more followers. How terrible must things be when THAT is the best option???
Embarrassed by the people who still cling to the misguided idea that the professional world is the “white” world. Money, last I checked, was still green, doesn't care who is holding it, and spends the same for everyone.
Embarrassed by my brothers and sisters in law-enforcement who don't see the people in neighborhoods they patrol as human beings and treat them with the civility and dignity everyone deserves. If by now, they haven't seen this issue blow up right in front of them, can they be retrained or are they just not qualified?
Embarrassed by my brothers and sisters disrespecting the memory of Freddie Gray by leaving a legacy of destruction and chaos instead of actually making a difference in the city he lived and breathed. Setting a car on fire, stealing, and generally acting a fool does nothing to open up the minds of those who are blind to the struggles of those living there.
Embarrassed by my brothers and sisters in charge of anyone who violates the trust of the public to protect and serve. I'm thinking not only of law-enforcement, but also those that sit up on Capital Hill, ignoring the cries of their constituents for a better, safer, AND more respected life.
People do NOT feel safer than 30 years ago.
People trust the Law less than 30 years ago.
People are less hopeful than they were 30 years ago.
What we have been doing HAS NOT BEEN WORKING!!!
It's time for a change....
We need to re-examine what both sides can do to make this awful relationship, better. It wouldn't be that hard....
If you are involved with twitter or any social media, those 140-character opinions seem to reflect a one-sided view of any issue. Should those that LOOK guilty, be labelled as guilty without being charged? Of course not. We all know this yet we act like we have all the facts. Having so much public opinion will, in fact, shape our view no matter what we do. If the view is wrong though, it has a traumatic effect on everyone and can ignite a war that we all lose.
I've always thought I'd outlive the foolishness of racism. It was a constant head-scratcher as to why more people didn't what is clearly the truth..... that we are all related, all family, all connected, maybe not by blood but in every other meaningful way. I have to admit, seeing the widespread demonstrations and hearing all sides talking, I may have to amend my original expectation.
We are not smart enough to overcome this issue at this time.
It requires common sense, compassion, and understanding. It also requires respect, patience, and a desire to make the world – or even a small part of the world – a better place. It also requires effort.....
Unfortunately, that may be a deal breaker.
The apathy from government and it's citizens are the reason we are in this situation to begin with. We let obvious issues fester until they blow up in outrage, then we wonder why this all happened. To actually admit there is a REAL problem would mean that leadership in the last 50 years has failed. If we admit the leadership has failed, then we can blame no one but us, the voting public. If we would have been more involved, those in charge that enabled these problems to continue would be outed and replaced.
Obviously, this racial tension is not imagined. As my brothers and sisters must still deal with many of the things folks fought long and hard to overcome, it made me think of Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream” speech and ponder just what is better since that day in 1963.
to be continued.....