I have written about all sorts of protests in the past.
- NROP: Beijing boyg.
- NROP: We march for everything.
- NROP: The only way to fight racism…
- CW: My way or protest
Just to name a few, in case you felt like checking them out.
So, what prompted me to write yet another one of these posts?
Yet another protest.
When I first read about the shooting in Minnesota and the protest that followed, I knew I had to write about it. However, since I already had a fully written NROP for last Monday, I decided to keep this draft for the following week. The quote above was written by me in that initial draft, a week ago. Some might think that I am some sort of a prophet, because this weekend, Chicago joined in, after the release of a video of a local police-involved shooting. Some might say that, since it was a different shooting, it does not count. Fine. How about the protest in New York, then? Even Maxine Waters (California’s U.S. Representative) joined in and suggested that people stay on the streets for as long as it took.
“I just observe the past and draw conclusions,” I wrote. I wonder why those who protest do not do the same. They are said to march for what they believe in. (“Said to” because the reality can be a bit muddled.) Kudos to them! Me not joining them does not mean that I am against their agenda. But, wait… What IS their agenda?
Is it to stop Blacks from being shot by the Police?
Or is it to stop cops from being able to kill/ use guns?
Or is it maybe to stop people from dying?
Am I ignorant or are these protesters not the best at communicating their mission and vision statement? You see, depending on what the answer is, there are different solutions that should be implemented in order to actually move things in the right direction.
When we struggle with issues in our personal life, we allow ourselves to whine and wallow in self-pity only for a little bit of time, before being told to suck it up and move on. Sometimes it is appropriate to just leave the past behind and walk into the future, but other times, a solution is needed in order to move forward. You cannot move on without defining the root of the problem and then coming up with a plan on how to fix it/ avoid it in the future. The same is true for bigger issues. So, let us try and tackle the above problems here together.
- I am sorry to say that, but, for the time being, people are going to continue on dying. It is not my favorite thing, either. Trust me, I have lost enough people in my life to hate death. Unfortunately, currently, we can only make peace with this and try to live our lives to the fullest before our time comes.
- If we disallow cops from using lethal force (like in one of the demilitarized zones in Minneapolis), we will find ourselves among a wild crowd and a lot of chaos. No, humans are not to be trusted. They will not do what is right 100% of the time. More often than not, they will choose something that serves them, rather than what is good for others. What does that mean? It means that we need someone to police us. Kids have parents to keep them in check. Adults have police (and the law, etc.) If we try to remove guns, we risk disarming the good guys and giving an advantage to the bad guys. The black market will always exist. Even more so when something is banned and forbidden. Plus, keep in mind that there are plenty of other things that can be used to harm others.
- Finally, if we are trying to keep Black people from being shot by the police, we should ask ourselves why that is. Is that the only race that dies from cops? No? Well, then, why do we not protest when a Latino or a white man gets killed? How is THAT fair?
I do not deny the fact that educating everyone is a good idea. However, I believe that the way we are going about it is extremely backwards. During one of my recent lectures, I heard that if someone says they do not see color they are: a) lying (well, I guess that is true, but it is a figure of speech!) and b) hurtful because they deny the other person’s experience. What? We are said to treat everyone equally but then we also need to recognize everyone’s diversity. Alright… Do you see how complicated that can get?
Would it not be simpler to just treat people as people? Yes, we are all different. Of course! You and I grew up in different households. We were shaped by different generations. Naturally, we all have different points of view based on that.
Yes, I see color (because I am not color blind) but it is a lens that I do not use to look at a picture of you. It is not like you had a choice when selecting your skin color. It does not define you, unless you want it to. What I do judge you on is based on your actions.
Whenever I hear about those protests, I alternate between rolling my eyes and getting angry because I know that this will not lead to a working solution. Time is being wasted, property is being damaged, and people are getting injured. For what? We are numbed to protests. The goal is muddy.
I have said it before and I will say it again – treat people as people. Fighting for a specific group will only deepen the inequity and hate.
P.S. Maxine Waters and her fellow protesters demand justice (i.e. guilty verdict for Chauvin). Since when has the crowd become the judge, jury, and executioner? It reminds me of Biblical times when it was up to the crowd to pick who was going to go free and who was going to be crucified. Thoughts?
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