Another very long dry spell with no posts! The reason is simply that I now have two kids instead of one. With one kid you’re still afforded a modicum of free time, yet with two, the concept of 100% individual free time no longer exists.
Today I read an article in the New Yorker regarding the nomination of Samantha Power. As usual when seeking public office she had to disavow things she had said in the past which would hurt her chances of getting nominated. This really struck a chord with me as a fine example of how we really cannot express our true thoughts and opinions in public space, especially in a world where everything is increasingly being recorded. The pressure to conform, to self filter and to keep quiet has become great even for those not seeking public office.
As for me, I created this blog to be able to express my own opinions and thoughts without reservation. Perhaps another reason I haven’t posted in a long while is that I too am self filtering, afraid to jump into the pool and create waves. Perhaps it is because I’m getting older and cautiousness is a side effect of getting older.
Fortunately, I do have a principle to help me find my way back and that is to always be true to myself and my own ideas, no matter what other people think. Those that retract their ideas, or modify them in a way to be more acceptable to the masses do so because they want something, there is something to be gained by changing their views. As for me, I have nothing to gain and there is nothing I want except to express my views. It may seem absurd to some but one of my main role models is Don Quixote. He may seem crazy to everyone else but he is not afraid to live a life the way he believes to be best and express his own views. When we boil it all down he just wants to make the world a better place and I think in such a decadent culture that we have now we could use a little Don Quixote.
Therefore, I too have decided to do something a little risky and that is to comment on Ferguson and the overall uproar regarding what appears to be a race issue. I also plan to be very brief. After all, I just want to record my own thoughts, there is no sense in trying to convince anyone as opinions in this are pretty much set in stone.
My personal opinion is that if a cop tells you to do something you do it. You don’t shout, fight back, run or do anything else, you do what the cop says. When you don’t do what the cop says you’re inviting trouble.
In both cases that currently have the country in an uproar the victim did not do what the police told them to do and bad things happened.
Yes, they did not deserve to die and there certainly could have been better ways of handling the situations. However, if a person with a gun tells me to do something chances are I probably won’t be fighting back unless the situation was dire. Cops are human beings and although highly trained may react in slightly different ways, especially when under pressure. And cops are under pressure a LOT since they have to constantly deal with the scum of society.
What is also not being discussed is the extremely high crime rate of African American males. It just follows that the cops are going to interact with African Americans and thus the probably of bad incidents occurring is therefore higher. To put this in glaring perspective, when was the last time there was an uproar about a cop shooting an Asian and then all the Asians rioted? There wasn’t.
But being someone who really tries to understand the other side I really try to understand the anger and to be honest, I’m not able to understand it since I’m not African American. So I asked my longtime friend from childhood who is both African American and a cop.
His response, unsurprisingly was that there must be personal responsibility. When a cop tells you to do something you do it.
Being my usual liberal self I argued that due to the injustices of the past the African American community has certain problems that other racial groups do not face. I quoted a highly respected black professor (forget name, university) who said that the struggles continue because black people really have only been regarded as “people” in the USA since the late 1960s. When they were slaves they were not people at all, then after slavery an inferior people, then with MLK finally became full people. Yet since there have only been 40-50 years of being “full people” there is a lot of catching up to do and problems.
Well, my buddy didn’t buy it. He asked me “What color and I.” I responded “Is this a trick question?” He then went back to personal responsibility. If people are not held accountable for their actions then society will not function. In this case, do not fight the cops because without the cops many, many neighborhoods all across the nation would turn into war zones and anyone who denies this is dreaming.
And as for personal responsibility, when we are angry at the system the worst response is to burn down and attack our own neighborhoods. That response only makes things worse as businesses, jobs and upstanding people will want to move away. Peaceful protests have been shown to work but what am I seeing on the news in Berkeley and Oakland? I’m seeing thugs attacking people and looting.
Personal responsibility – get some.