Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wake Up America! Its not the "Cops" or the "Criminals".......its us.

With latest grand jury ruling that a New York Police Officer will not be prosecuted for the death of a man he placed in a choke hold, we can expect a new wave of protests and social media wars between the pro-cop vs anti-cop crowds.

We can expect officers across the country to face the backlash of something they played no part in but will certainly deal with the hostility that arises from the public outrage.  That's the word right?  "Outrage."  Isn't that what we are good at in America?  We are good at "outrage."  People are "outraged" at the cops, they are "outraged" at "thugs" we are "outraged" at politicians...pick your topic and we are outraged.

The problem with all this is in the midst of our blame game, we always blame the wrong people.  The American public was "outraged" when George Zimmerman was found innocent by a jury, they were "outraged" when a grand jury ruled in favor of Officer Darren Wilson of Ferguson PD, and they are again "outraged" that a grand jury has now ruled not to charge NYP Officer Daniel Pantaleo with homicide.  Anyone notice a common word in there?  How about "jury."  Well what does a jury consist of America?  That's right, they consist of us.  Regular people.  Unfortunately, the people who are going to make the most noise about these issues, the ones who are going to block traffic, lay in the streets and change their profile pictures are also the ones who work the hardest at getting out of jury duty.  We want to blame the "system" but then we forget the "system" is composed of us!  The system isn't the problem....sadly America....WE are the problem because WE are the "system."  

We are good at "outrage" but do something that actually makes a difference?  Not so much.  Jury duty is normally viewed as an inconvenience to most of us but juries are responsible for some of the most important decisions in America.  But that's the real issue isn't it? Convenience?  It's easy to change my profile picture, its easy to yell at a cop or dismiss a kid as a thug, its easy to take an hour and lay in the street for awhile, and most of all, its easy to complain!

Don't like what the cops do?  Then fill out the application of one of the most important jobs in America, a job that doesn't just deal with bad guys, but a job responsible for knowing where the line is when it comes to protecting our civil liberties in this nation.  But that's scary, I don't want to be a cop...that's inconvenient.

Don't like those "punk street thugs?"  How about you get involved in your community and mentor a kid?  Well wait a minute, that's a long term commitment, I don't have time for that.

Don't like the way juries have been ruling?  How bout not trying to get out of jury duty next time around?

Don't like the way our government is run?  How about actually showing up to vote in November?

Don't like women having abortions?  How bout you adopt a kid or figure out a way to help a pregnant mom who's considering the idea?

But all that's too hard....its easier just to do nothing and then blame someone and complain.  Cops, criminals, and juries all have one thing in common...they are composed of us.

So, next time you feel compelled to complain instead of act, go stand in front of a mirror and complain all you want......and then go lay in your driveway and block all the traffic you want.  
 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Real Enemy of Peace in America

Imagine a large family composed of a number of children, all of different genders, ages, and ethnicities. Imagine this family had the capacity to love each other deeply, that they embraced their similarities and appreciated their differences.  And let's suppose, because they are a family, occasionally different family members might not always get along all the time, but in time they would work out their differences and forgive each other.  They are family after all.  But let's suppose during one of the fights between family members that one of the other family members recorded it and placed it on the internet as a joke.  And lets suppose that fight got a lot of attention, not just on the internet but even television, so much so that people offered the sibbling money for any other videos they might be able to share online of family members fighting due to the sheer entertainment value.  The worse the fight, the more people watch, the more money this family member would make.

 In that situation, this particular member of the family would have a financial incentive overriding the overall health of the family because of the great personal benefit from discord in the family. That personal benefit might cause this person to actually initiate strife within the family however they could so as to make more money. That person might say or do things to divide the family and even inject things that were not necessarily true, in order to be more inflammatory. But this person would also have a great incentive to be subtle in their actions so as not to be dismissed from the family and not be obvious as to their intentions.  This person would want to appear as being a caring and concerned member of the family so as to obtain the greatest impact.

As a result of this, the entire family would suffer greatly until they learned not to buy into the things that this particular member of the family was espousing. The family can not control the fact that there is a public demand for their disfunction, but they could come to learn that their dysfunction was harmful to them and that ultimately, the family bond is much more important than public entertainment. It would be only when the family learned to stop listening to this divisive member that they will begin to grow in harmony. At the same time, the family must remember that even though this member is to be heard with a skeptical ear, as a member of the family, this person must still be loved.

By the way, that family member's name is "Media."