In the last week we have seen that things can get ugly, fast.
I stayed pretty quiet in an effort to not fill the feed of the people I care about with my mundane things while those with voices that need to be heard get drowned out because of everything else we see and consume.
I didn’t want to say anything because my experience and my voice are not in the thick of it. #BlackoutTuesday was explained for it’s purpose and then confused by people who really didn’t understand the point.
It was intended to make those with the voices that need to be heard, to be highlighted.
If you were scrolling through and you had a bunch of black squares and then there was one person with information about #blacklivesmatter you would be able to notice it rather than just mindlessly scrolling through while you look at what your friends were doing. (This link is to the main research page for you to educate yourself with the best resources for your area and the like.)
I didn’t plan on saying anything. I don’t have that same experience. I understand ostracization and all that goes along with that. I know what it’s like to be outside looking in. I know what people are thinking because as I wasn’t invited I spent a lot of time watching and wishing that I was in the party.
Some of it was my fault, some of it wasn’t. I don’t think violence is the answer but at the same time, your attention needs to be engaged. We have spent the last two months trying to worry ourselves into eating and doing and being.
Then we are finally allowed back outside and the world does look like a different place than we were used to, and boy does it not look like the sunshine and rainbows that we were selling ourselves while we waited inside.It looks like a thunderstorm, a hurricane, and it is only beginning.I read a comment on the internet somewhere off of Pinterest that stated:
‘We are in the middle of a social studies chapter.’
What is that chapter going to say?
We saw the end of the world and we set it on fire just to burn it faster?
Or we put out the biggest injustices we saw as we saw them and we made it work.
America has the opportunity to be great. Not great again. It hasn’t quite reached that in any point in our history and saying otherwise would be lying.
But it cannot be built on anyone’s back. That has been the problem from the beginning. Building it on someone’s back means that they will forever have to take the brunt of things. And what happens when they crumble because they cannot hold anymore.
No one is Atlas, intended to hold the weight of the world on his back.
Foundations are meant to be sure and safe and sturdy and last the test of time. There are building in Europe that still have sure foundations, hundreds of years in the making. They were built a lot slower than we do today, where we plant houses when it rains*.
So where do we start?
At the middle actually.
It sounds a little strange until you remember that you cannot go back, you can only go forward. And that we have already started this history. We can only make sure that we are not following in the same path that gives us a result that we do not like to get something different than what we have now.
It wouldn’t work.
We have to start where we are, look at what we have and make the most of what resources we have and then put them to work. We have to remember the officers that make our lives safe because there are some messed up people, we need to remember that the officers who are the problem, are slipping through cracks in the screening, hiring, and retention process.
They are the 1% of problems.
I worked in a call center. They told us that 1% of people that use the service will call with a problem. There are going to be the people that call and call and call never taking the initiative to fix the problem on their own.
You could tell when someone was that way because you saw their call history and could see just how many times they have called in the last year.
Sure, you’d have the abnormal ones that this was their first call, and they were terrified it was going to be an ordeal. Usually those were the calls that involved ‘it can’t be done on the website’ because it required us to verify via voice that the changes were being made. It was also on average a 2.5 minute call depending on how long your email was.
These protests and riots are the same. There are thousands protesting. There are few that are rioting.
The protests are a visual that something has to change.
Police officers are not above the law they are enforcing. There are reasons for speed limits (even if I think that the speed limit should be 70 on a three lane highway**).
So annoy your political leaders, leave messages everyday, call them and tell them that you are a voter and you will see them gone if they don’t fix this. Don’t threaten, that doesn’t really fix anything but remember who keeps their promises to watch out for their constituents and who let’s a party line decide what is best for their people.
This is our social studies chapter, let’s write it instead of letting it all burn,
*They always seemed to appear after it had been raining for several days, they went from things on the ground to fully framed houses and we noticed them as they went up when I was a kid.
**Granted road conditions are such that the lower speed limit has a reason. Even if I think I could get places faster by going faster.