Feed on

Michael Brown (a black man), and Eric Garner (also a black man) were killed during their arrests or attempted arrests.  I proceed with the assumption that you, the reader, are aware of the controversy surrounding these two events and the racial ire it has provoked in the national discussion.  I begin by saying that I very strongly oppose the excessive use of force in arrests or any interaction between law officers and the public.  At no time should any officer cause unnecessary harm or suffering to a person.

By the same token, I (a person that most would label a “conservative”), abhor the notion of a “police state” or government that feels empowered to use unjustified and unnecessary force. Yet I am a military veteran and have a number of friends and associations in law enforcement for whom I hold deep respect on a personal level as well as for the fact that they stand between me and the dangerous criminal element of our society.

My objective today is not to argue which “side” is right or wrong.  I have not been a police officer and can only imagine the aggravation they must experience dealing with some people who are extremely rude, uncooperative or insulting.  However, I have been a volunteer official to referee basketball games in the community, and that trying experience gives me a very small glimpse into how I might feel if I were an officer charged with the duty to enforce the “rules” of law.

But what about minorities (we’ll focus just on blacks here today), who are sometimes profiled by police or other others in our society? What about the stereotypes and prejudice they feel is cast upon them, regardless of the extent of how warranted it may be?  I have been profiled and prejudged as a person of a minority faith and treated with rudeness and contempt. It was painful.  My point is that I am empathetic to both “sides” in this scenario. I can genuinely relate to the frustration by law enforcement as well as by blacks.

I want a law-abiding citizenry and responsible law enforcement to work together in a cooperative effort to maintain the peace and reestablish it when it is disrupted. What has been happening in the national discussion and notably within mainstream media has been counter productive to that aim. It has been anything but sensitive to the ideal of establishing peace and finding solutions to this problem in a cooperative effort.  Too often the media has been provocative and acted with inflammatory self-interest (generally speaking). Perhaps inflaming the situation makes good news and may even help with promoting political agendas.

Let’s not kid ourselves.  The mainstream media is largely very supportive of liberal/Democrat agenda.  Some political operatives even become hosts on TV programs like Mr. George Stephanopoulos on ABC TV’s “Good Morning America” news program as a “Journalist.” He was also a U.S. Democratic Party political adviser, notably in the Clinton Administration. The lines between Journalist and Political Operative is very blurry nowadays. I have always seen the free press protection in the U.S. Constitution as being an informal check and balance system between the government and the people.  I have concluded that the media should be a watchdog for the people –all the people, not just one class or party.  I have concluded that they fail to consistently use that protection afforded them by our constitution in a responsible manner.  Inciting acrimony between the police and blacks appears suspicious at best. At the same time politicians and celebrity community leaders outside of government have seemed to be in collusion with liberal politicians and the mainstream media.

NFL player Benjamin Watson posted a personal response to the situation on social media which went viral.  I could identify with Watson and apparently many can.  It isn’t about power and political opportunity. It should be about healing and helping each other come to some conclusions as to how to SOLVE this problem and others like it. Instead, it appears too often many of these political operatives in the media, the government and community are amping up the rhetoric or fueling the fire. Dividing us isn’t the solution!  A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about our nation in that context but in very general in general terms.  Divide and Conquer was an article that suggests we need to realize that we are in the middle of a feud of sorts between parties seeking power. I contest that will benefit if we step back and approach it from a non-political or non-partisan perspective. This current controversy is just one more example in a string of many that illustrate just how easily we as people are manipulated and divided.  In this one, we are being divided by race. Who gains in these situations. Find the answer to that and you find the problem.

It is my genuine hope that somehow we can alert enough people to the reality that we CAN work together but we need to step back and change our perspective.  We cannot continue to let these smooth operators manipulate us in this way.  We need to lock arms and start looking at them!  They are as much, or more a part of the problem than police officers and uncooperative citizens.  We have to do it or this nation will not endure.  “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” (Abraham Lincoln, see full text).

The Reverend Doctor, Martin Luther King Jr. said, ““Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.”

Tim Lebbon makes this profound statement, “Hate misleads, fear distorts and love blinds.” Does blind party loyalty or “love” blind us?  Does our fear, “distort” our perspectives?  We surely can agree that hate misleads us.

I like what Musician Eden Ahbez said on the subject about as much as any, “Some white people hate black people, and some white people love black people, some black people hate white people, and some black people love white people. So you see it’s not an issue of black and white, it’s an issue of Lovers and Haters.”

Well, that is profound!  May God bless us.  May we have the ability to turn to Him and forgive, to heal, to love.  Only when we do that can we “heal” as a nation.  We must or we as a nation will die. And America is too young to die!

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