*Disclaimer: Please read at your own discretion. Preferably with an open mind 😉
I’ll admit I was less then happy when the only thing that would flawlessly flow from my fingertips was the entry “Rock Bottom”. Now, I’m starting to see why – because it truly is the case for so many people right now, both locally and abroad. I’m a believer that the night is always darkest just before the dawn and that sometimes thing have to crumble in order to be rebuilt, to see it for the greater good and trust where it’s taking us. But that can be a tough one to hold onto as things seem to be progress. It’s hard not to take a look around and wonder what in the f*ck is happening to this world?! It’s hard to overcome the fear of what’s next and what does it mean?! I think of it on a smaller scale with things happening around me, but it’s much larger then that and I think we’re all aware of that. Humanity as a whole is facing some shit right meow – shit that can’t be denied – shit that needs to be talked about, released and straight up dealt with!
However, I’m struggling with the way it’s being dealt with. In case we haven’t noticed – this blame game isn’t getting us anywhere. Whether it’s blaming our parents for a horseshit upbringing, another person for abuse inflicted upon us, the poor for our national debt problem, drugs/alcohol/addictive substances, Monsanto for poisioning us with GMO’s, Trump for his hate and discrimination, ISIS for killing thousands of innocent people, my sisters friends mother brother to a cousin for who the hell knows what – it seems to boil down to blame in some form! It comes down to pointing the finger in every direction except our own – and I’m more then guilty of this as I blame my addiction on sugar for the reason I’ve gained so much weight! ha
I’m not by any means trying to undermine what is happening around us, or the lives that have been directly affected by any of the above. This is real shit on every single level – and I’m grateful every day those aren’t my family members or friends that are directly affected by this violence. But, I feel that I need to attempt to try and put a different spin on what is happening. Hands down the most common mistake we all make, I’m just as guilty as anyone, is forgetting to stop and attempt to see things in a different light – from a different vantage point.
I’ve seen multiple posts, but have not, nor have any desire to watch the videos on who is claiming what or which side, I do not have any desire to watch someone gasp for air after he’s been shot, despite the reasoning behind it. I especially don’t have any desire considering there’s a little girl in the back seat, who’s life has been forever changed. So, I’m not going off of facts here and I’m not siding with one over another, I’m simply viewing this from some of the few opinions/responses I actually read. So, here are some questions I have that I’m just going to throw out there.
Have you ever drank under age? Have you ever smoked weed? Have you ever done an illegal substance or drug? Have you ever not worn your seat belt? Have you ever driven with any amount of alcohol in your system that could’ve very well been above the legal limit? Have you ever urinated in public? Have you ever rolled through a stop sign?
If you have done any of these, then you too, have broken the law – and I’m willing to bet you’ve done it on more then one occasion. What is the difference between you and someone that has their name put in the paper or face on TV? They got caught and you didn’t. Period.
Have you ever had sex before you were married? Disrespected an elder? Used the Lord’s name in vein? Called another human being a name? Have you ever cheated – in any form, on homework, an exam or your significant other? Have you ever threatened someone’s life or dreamt about it? Despite how big or small – from your parents to your children – no matter how you choose to justify it, have you ever told a lie?
If you have ever done any of these, then you too, have been immoral – at least to the eyes of many, especially according to religious beliefs. What is the difference between you and “them”?
My point here is this (and this is something that I’ve learned within the past year about myself as well) that despite the caliber of bullet, what makes one less deadly then another? The amount that is fired, correct? It takes more rounds of a 22 to do the same damage of a 12 gauge. So, while some have larger weapons, inflicting pain on others in more obvious ways, there are even more people that do it in their daily lives, on a smaller scale. You see, that’s what we do – we all have the ammunition but we fire it differently. Most fire more frequently but because it’s of a less caliber, we can justify it. Why? Because we didn’t get caught, what – because we didn’t kill anyone, or I wasn’t that drunk! It was only 5 mph over the limit. It was just a white lie. I can bring that up because she did this to me in 2nd grade! Oh good, I’ll keep that card in my back pocket for next time he effs up. These are the subconscious things that we think – I know that, because I’ve thought them! I’ll openly admit that! Did I know at the time I thought them, no, probably not, because I self justified it – I felt I was entitled to it – I mean, besides – eff them, they’re crazy anyways, of course my reasoning is right!
Have you ever put your life on the line – day in and day out? Have you ever feared walking out the door, never knowing if you’re going to come home to your children? Have you ever had to put on a uniform that made you a target to many? Have you ever had to put on a badge that causes more hate and avoidance, where people openly hate you, calling you a “pig” – taking slurs the same as many different other races do? Do you know what it’s like to love and fear your job all at once – every single day? Do you know what it’s like to be proud to protect your community, but knowing you’re possibly putting your life on the line to protect complete strangers? Do you know what it’s like to have to uphold a certain criteria to do your job, even though you’re fearful of what is happening out there? Have you ever had to show up to a door step to inform parents their child was just killed? Have you ever had to arrest someone and see how that changes their life, good, bad or otherwise? Do you know what it’s like to have to act and react in a split second – never knowing what that reaction may lead too?
I don’t – and I don’t think a majority of you reading do. And that also is unfair to judge! I have never, nor do I ever want too have to make a split second decision to pull the trigger out of fear, only to find out I may not have had the right to do so and cost someone their life. And I don’t care what color of a person that is, that decision is a heavy burden to carry, “right”, “wrong” or otherwise. I also can’t imagine being the spouse or parent of someone in uniform either, especially in these large cities that deal with a large amount of violence, living in fear every single day, wondering if they’re going to walk back through that door to your children. I am however, thankful there are people that are willing to do that for us! I mean one is hated for the color of their skin, another for the uniform they wear?
Have you ever slammed on your brakes the minute you realized the car you’re about to approach is a cop, even though you knew you weren’t speeding? Have you ever either felt the need to smile and be especially nice to someone in uniform? Or, feel your blood pressure rise being in the same room, even though you know you aren’t the suspect, but feel as if they’re looking at you with suspicion?
Have you ever crossed paths with someone from a different ethnesicity and hugged your purse tighter? Have you ever seen a black man with their pants down with their ass half hanging out assuming they must be a drug dealer? Have you ever thought because they were wearing a veil or hijab they must be a terrorist? Have you ever encountered someone of another color begging for food or scrounging for change and thought ‘typical, on welfare, I’m pry paying for that’.
If any of these thoughts or reactions pertain to you, then that’s stereotyping and racism. The problem is, noone realizes they even do it because it’s something that’s been engrained in us from a child on, whether at home, school, media, friends etc. So although it’s clearly not something we’re aware of on a conscious level, it’s something a majority of us do! And these are a majority of the comments I see and hear and have heard for a long time! All these one liners we’ve deemed as acceptable to throw out there towards certain groups, from police to another religion to another color, to white trash!
Question #5 –
Have you ever done something stupid, ridiculous or foolish? Can you imagine being put under a microscope for it? Can you imagine that one idiotic move costing you your life, whether dead or behind bars? Imagine if every horseshit decision you ever made was held against you, plastered on every news station and thrown back in your face?
I for one have made plenty of mistakes, I’ve passed on the right side of the road, I’ve drank too much and put the keys in the ignition, I’ve drank under age, I’ve had sex before I was married, I’ve called other people inappropriate names, I’ve done alot of things that I’m far from proud of. I’ve had many of them held over my head and I’ve held many over others as well. There are many of these I’m not proud of, and some I am, because I learned something from them. It didn’t cost me my life, I wasn’t forever shamed and abandoned for them, I’m aware of them and attempting to correct them. So, again – do a small tally of your personal ‘stupidity’ and remember, part of this whole human experience is learning, not hating and bashing and further separating. The definition of perfection depends on the eyes of the one defining it, and it varies by a large scale depending!
WHY do we have to side with one or the other?! I mean really, for all the people complaining about I-35 being backed up because of protests, are you doing anything to help or defuse the situation besides sitting behind a screen complaining about it and blasting your opinion all over? That’s another thing we’re taught well to do – hide behind a screen – our children know this even better then we even do, it’s how they’ve been taught to communicate and fight! I mean, at the end of the day – this is a true and legit problem on so many levels, but I just can’t grasp why people think that by constantly screaming and yelling and posting and name calling (even though we’d tell our kids to not do that) that we’re solving anything?! And whether or not you feel that this particular family deserved it over the next or because of their horseshit parenting skills they had it coming. Or the fact that because they didn’t have a job they were worthless to ‘us’ anyways, gives you the right to justify it, then I guess do whatever you need too to sleep at night. As for anyone still reading this – allow me to put a slight twist on this a little more. To someone (a child – because remember, we were all children at some point, that never asked for the circumstances that we were put into) that grew up in a home with parents as meth addicts and homeless, the fact that the only drug they do is smoke pot, even if it’s around their children, they feel that they’ve improved their life. For those that grew up in physically abusive homes, watching their parents fight to no end, beating each other or their kids – the fact that those kids came out of that home only having alcohol issues, but never touching their own kids, is an improvement from the environment in which they knew. For those that went through the system, being tossed from home to home growing up, never feeling as if they were truly wanted, accepted or loved, the fact that they can hold a part time job is more stability then they’ve ever known. Do you know what the difference between a majority of us (white folk, privileged folk, wealth folk, the middle class, whatever title you want to give us) is alot of us had someone to help us. We had a support system on SOME level, whether it was family, friends, a teacher, a coach, a minister – they had someone, even if for a brief time. Someone that showed them just a little tiny bit of compassion that sparked their fire. This is something that many of us take for granted and something that not alot of people, even people close to you, truly know. That is a privilege.
Is racism a problem in this country? Yes
Is police brutality a problem in this country? Yessum
Do we need law enforcement to keep us safe since we can’t all just get over ourselves and get along? Yip
Do we need law enforcement next time we or our loved one is in an accident, injured or has a health emergency? Yup
Is law enforcement often disrespected and also stereotyped? Yippers
Do we need more slander against one or the other? Nope
Do we need to feel as though we have to choose a side in order to feel like someone? As if a FB post is going to save the whole damn world and erase what is actually happening and been happening? Nada
I’m not claiming to have the answers to these many messes, I’m really not. I’ve just been trying to think of a way to not join the debate, but attempt to help put things into perspective again, for people to just take a deep breath and remember something more then black or white, in uniform or out, upper class or poverty – at the end of the day – we’re all something to someone, we’re all human, we all have emotions and most are damaged on account of things you can’t even imagine enduring, standing on both sides of the line. So, maybe instead of non-stop judgement and finger pointing we just set aside the fact that yes, there are people, of every race and profession that can ruin it for the mass, for the most part, they’re doing their best, even if it isn’t your best, according to your standards. I’ll be the first to admit this is can be extremely hard to put into play and remember on a daily basis! But, maybe if we just attempt to become more aware of our actions that we put out there and how much they actually align with what we say and preach, we could baby step our way a little closer to peace and calmness. Maybe if we just attempted to focus on one tiny little thing we all may have in common, instead of pointing out the differences so quickly, we’d have more productive conversation. And maybe if those words do get said, like we all tend to do in the moment, we attempt to make them right where we can, while we can.
I’d just like to leave you with this – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Maybe, just maybe – we can all put down our weapons, whether gripping a loaded weapon, pounding the keys on a keyboard or pointing a finger – and just try something outside of what we’ve always done, which is fight. That’s what we resort too every single time – we feel like we have to have our guard up, armor on – ready to fight. Maybe trying the opposite, just for shits and giggles, might be of more benefit. Just maybe.…
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