Tuesday, April 28, 2015
There seems to be unrest wherever I go. First I have the restlessness of my own heart, dying to spend 8-9 hours a day sweating out creativity. Then, I have my current work environment which has fallen into a state of chaos. Today my dear work friend threatened to quit and I've heard at least three employees mutter curses under their breath. It's not even 11am yet. Then we have the unrest of the world. All eyes are on Baltimore. Facebook feeds are inundated with opinionated posts. Some plead compassion for our fellow man. Some are blatant and racist. Some are just asking for prayers. Some are threatening to unfriend those who think differently.
As I browsed through Twitter last night with the #BaltimoreRiots trending, I began to think wow...this is just going to keep happening, isnt it? Every time a black kid or man or person, really...gets killed by the law...people are going to protest. I'm not saying that is right or wrong. Everyone has the right to an opinion. These events stir up some very intense emotions in people. The word "injustice" is usually thrown about. But this is going to keep happening and people are going to keep being upset and the media is going to keep shining a spotlight on these events because if it bleeds it leads.
Sure, riots in a major city are worth covering. That is "news." But the public outcry is why was all the media attention focused on looters and burning cars when 10,000 marched through the streets peacefully? These riots are going to lose their credibility. These riots are going to turn into one big reality TV show. It will get old. Not the protests, but the riots. 10 more black men will be killed before, during, after police custody and people will #blacklivesmatter and riot. Collective America will sigh and go "oh great, look the looters are stealing toilet paper again."
I wish the media would interview the store owners and employees. I'd be willing to bet a lot of them are immigrants who have to fight with insurance companies to repair the damage that "invincible angry people" caused. Would it matter? Would the rioters take pity on a man who spent his life's savings purchasing a 7-11 store to support his family? Who knows. Perhaps the rioters can't see past their own anger.
I think rioters feel a sense of invincibility when they throw a chair into a glass window and cause thousands of dollars of damage they will not be accountable for. It feels good to destroy things. Stealing feels like justice, maybe? Sometimes I wonder if half of the looters and rioters even know what or who they are mad at. They claim to be mad at police and "the system," but who are they REALLY mad at? I mean really, no one is looking at the rioters thinking "wow, we must change the way our law enforcement reacts to situations because these people are burning down beauty parlors." Nope. The rioters are being condemned. The peaceful protesters are being ignored. And everyone is on standby waiting for the next law enforcement/civilian tragedy. Any loss of life is a tragedy, whether that person was a criminal or not. Just as injuring the very people that took an oath to protect you is a tragedy.
I know many people will look at this and say, "you're white. you wouldn't understand." The reality is, no one asked for "white privilege." I did not ask to be born white. I did not grow up using my whiteness to get ahead. If society propelled me forward because of my whiteness, that is not my fault. Just as no one asks to be born a black male. No one asks to be profiled upon walking in a nice store. No one asks to be feared just because you're wearing a hooded sweatshirt and walking home after dark.
America, land of the free and home of the racist. We're rewinding, not moving forward and I haven't the slightest idea what to do about it. Everyone has such strong feelings, convictions and opinions that reason can not blanket society. Too much anger, too much hatred.
Until next time....
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