Everyone is angry.
I’m sure that you have noticed.
We are all angrier than usual these days.
Everyone is talking.
No one is listening.
Eyes glaze over.
The volume increases.
The cacophony fades like static into the background
as we scream
desperately seeking to be heard.
no one is listening.
It’s almost like we’re living in some alternate reality
created by Springer
with Mamma Grizzlies and gun crazy Hee Haws.
Self centered righteous indignation
leads to anger.
Anger breeds more anger.
No one is immune.
Sometimes I can’t identify the source of my anger.
That makes me uncomfortable because,
if I can’t determine the cause, I risk taking it out on the innocent.
And that is just not right.
So I withdraw
from social interaction
just so I don’t inadvertently unleash my aggression on some poor unsuspecting soul.
Fresh air helps.
The political climate does not help.
is blown out of proportion.
is a scandal.
is an emergency.
How are we to identify real crises when everything demands our immediate attention?
News is no longer balanced.
Facts are twisted.
No one reads past the headlines.
Everyone has an opinion based often, on assumptions.
Never mind discourse.
Never mind trying to understand
another point of view,
another person’s experience
Never mind accepting
another person’s existence.
There’s little common courtesy.
It’s my way or the highway.
If your opinion differs, then you are the enemy.
And every day we get more angry.
Clear you mind.
Turn off the TV.
Put the phone away.
Power down the electronics.
it’s too late.
Four decades and Marvin Gaye’s classic is as relevant today, if not more so, as it was on it’s release in 1971.
What happened to the Hippies, the “Peace and Love” generation that was supposed to save the world? Oh, right. Hippies became Yuppies.
I’ll never forget that night. The air was electric with excitement! We had done it. We had achieved something that I never, in my lifetime, thought was achievable. The one image that sticks in my mind is the close up of Jesse Jackson with tears in his eyes. It was what Oprah would have called my “Aha Moment”. It was an instant when suddenly everything clicked into place and I got it. I understood the idea of representation. Here were people who had worked all their lives just to have a seat at the table. Their moment had come. There was a feeling that things were about to change, that everything was possible. We were dancing in the streets!
How could I have been so naive?
If anything, things got worse. I might have guessed that the first black president of the United States would face some difficulty but never in my life did I expect such a deluge of hateful, un-American, bullshit! From Donald Trump’s “Show me your birth certificate” to Mitch McConnell’s famous, “Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.” to Eric Cantor’s government shutdown, no president in the history of these United States has had to put up with the level of disrespect and outright condemnation as this one has.
But this post isn’t about politics. …well, maybe not.
You don’t know how many times I’ve sat down to write something about race in America. It’s been on my mind for a very long time. But what can I, a middle aged white male, add to the conversation that hasn’t already be said by people more intelligent and better qualified than me?
When Michael Brown was shot and killed I couldn’t believe it. Another one!? It seems every time I turn on the news I see a story of a black male being killed at the hands of a police officer or, as in Trayvon Martin’s case, a representative of a neighborhood watch organization. — Seriously, why is George Zimmerman still walking the streets? Every town watch I have ever been part of forbade us from carrying guns. AND… He was told not to follow Trayvon! — What the hell, man? When the shoplifting video came out I thought, so what? Even if Michael Brown was the shoplifter in the leaked surveillance video, he did not deserve to be shot and killed. At worse, Michael made the mistake of struggling with the officer, but that is NOT reason to shoot him to death!
Of course people are angry. I’m angry! But at least I have the luxury, the privilege if you will, to turn off the news and go about my boring life.
And don’t you dare whine to me about “Well… not ALL white people“! I hate that sentence. It’s a lie! Each and every one of us is to blame. We’ve so surrounded ourselves with like minded people that we’ve forgotten that this racist bullshit still runs rampant throughout our community.
So how do we prevent this from continuing?
First, shut up and listen. And while you’re listening, try not to take everything personally. Us white folks need to remember that it’s not always about us. Just because someone is telling you their truth doesn’t mean they are tearing you down. Unless someone is addressing you directly, they aren’t necessarily blaming you. So brush the chip off your shoulder.
Next, When talking with family and friends, don’t be afraid to stand up for what’s right. When someone says or does something offensive, tell them. Otherwise, how else are they gonna know what they’re doing is wrong?
If you still feel helpless, check out 12 Things White People Can Do Now Because Ferguson by Janee Woods
Personally, I don’t understand why people find it so difficult to treat others the way they wish to be treated. It’s such a simple concept.
There is an ongoing battle in my neighborhood between residents and teenagers in parked cars blaring loud music. Not once, in the years that I’ve been living here, has any of us pulled a gun on one. single. teenager.
To be sure, blaring your music at top volume, with the bass up so high it shakes my house, is inconsiderate at best. It shows a lack of respect for your neighborhood. It shows the world that you’re the worst kind of ass who’s probably trying to overcompensate for some major insecurities. But it’s not reason enough for me, or anyone for that matter, to take a life.
Most of the time, as with Mr Davis and his pals, it’s just teenagers being teenagers. They haven’t had enough life experience to understand that the people who live in these houses have to get up in the morning to go to jobs they hate, jobs that don’t pay very much, so that they can pay an outrageous amount of rent. They don’t need to listen to some punk kid showing off his bad taste in music. Oh… Don’t think you have bad taste in music? Just wait until you’re an old head like me and some snot nosed kid blasts your house with whatever passes for music at that point.
But I’m in a residential neighborhood where there’s a certain expectation of a reasonable noise level. Something just above a whisper would be nice, but probably unrealistic. Mr Dunn was at a gas station where there is no such expectation.
He was at a friggin gas station convenience store, for crying out loud! It is reasonable to expect that there will be lots of noise! Hell, it’s almost guaranteed!
I wasn’t on that jury so there’s no way of knowing what the hell was going on during deliberations. But there’s one fact that I just can’t get past. After shooting ten rounds into an SUV full of teenagers, Dunn left the gas station and drove 40 miles away to a bed and breakfast in St. Augustine, where he “walked his dog, ordered a pizza, and drank rum and cola.”
A normal human being would have called for an ambulance.
But then, a normal human being wouldn’t have fired a gun into an SUV full of teenagers over loud music.
What an ass****!