Is violence In America the result of the death within us?
It’s so hard to watch the riots in Baltimore knowing the long term devastation it will have on communities that are already hurting. It was heartbreaking to watch riots like these in 2014 in Ferguson as well. The life lost… this time.…Freddie Gray, is the reason many CLAIM to be rioting. I feel it is instead the death like feelings inside of the hearts of so many people who believe they have nothing left that is the real cause of the destruction. If you were a kid who didn’t even believe they’d live to see 25 how much would you care? Does that justify it, NO, but sadly it does explain it for many.
The question I ask today is “will my own black son die before he is killed or expires of natural death?” Will he make it to the age I believe he should in my mind? Let’s not get it twisted, when I speak of my son, I speak of ALL SONS! I even speak of the non-black sons who are also filled with drug addictions that are fueled by drugs being made in or brought to our country through our borders lined with agents supposed to stop it. I ask these questions on behalf of all of the sons who will be sitting in a movie theater when a masked gun man comes in to take out innocent people. I also ask these questions for all of those innocent people who may be at a charity run and become victims of a bomb for no reason that makes sense to any of us. Will they too die on the inside before they are killed? Will we all die internally before we are killed? Will we walk around in a hopeless, helpless state feeling we have no other alternative than to just burn things down the hell down because we don’t care…can’t afford to care anymore? Will we get so sick and tired of being sick and tired that we become desensitized to the impact of murders, rapes, drug addiction, broken homes and poverty? At what point will we just not give a damn about anything and walk around like corpses on the earth? For all the good it does, on the flip side we are even losing some of our kids to technology because excessive texting/gaming/social media etc. teaches them not to feel anything or be afraid to show their keyboard courage which turns into anger, no matter who it hurts.
Unfortunately though, for many people of color that is the reality we see long before some others do. There are groups of people filled with no hope because no matter how much they try to get out from under the oppression of poverty, covert discrimination, low expectations and limited opportunities…they simply can’t. For every step they take forward they are somehow pushed 12 steps backward. For every book they are supposed read, they go to a school that makes them share textbooks they will never have an opportunity to even take home for the day. For every black male cute kid with the big smile, there is someone who looks at what is happening in Baltimore and says “see how they are, see they are animals, see they don’t care so why should we” and so on no matter how smart or clean cut other black boys like my son (and most) are.
I must tell you in no way do I condone rioting and destroying things or people for that matter. I will admit though, I do sympathize with them in ways some can’t imagine as my heart breaks looking at what is happening. The truth is, we all should care. We need to care about how that loss of hope, or walking shells of people dead inside that many have become is bow affecting you, me and everything that we are. It affects how we sleep at night, increases in our taxes and reductions in income as well as so much more whether we want to accept it or not. It affects the human condition and our ability to FEEL compassion, empathy and sympathize with anything we don’t understand. It affects productivity and increases the gap between the haves and have nots.
As for those whose response is still , “I don’t care, that’s not my problem” I offer these thoughts. Well then, fine……don’t give a damn about any person of color…..don’t give a damn about any person in poverty….don’t give a damn about anyone who doesn’t look like you, talk like you or live like you. Feel free to agree with those who say things like “let them kill themselves.” By the way, calling them thugs doesn’t matter because they don’t care about your opinion – instead they want to be heard. Saying they are animals doesn’t fix anything – in fact it compounds the problem. Turning off the television will not repair the issues.
Know this today, unfortunately, we can rest assured when WE, the ones who claim to know better don’t care, the emptiness people feel who commit such violent acts as in the case of these riots will continue to spread like a venomous plague. It will invade the space of those who don’t operate that way until we are all dead inside because we won’t care either. If that sounds like a bad movie to you, turn on your television right now because that bad movie is becoming our reality.
It’s time to wake up America. Racism is a humanity problem. Sexism is a humanity problem. Oppression is a humanity problem. Poverty is a humanity problem. Extreme stress is a concern of the American culture. In the end, however, not caring about you, me or anyone else is all of our problem! We all must step up and step out to help our young people get the “WHY” behind what does matter and “HOW” to fix this issue they live with. No matter what other messages you get out of this writing, I implore everyone…..find a child in a hopeless situation and show them what hope looks like.