When will we get along? When will the hate on either side of the aisle stop? When will we recognize injustice and do the right thing? I normally don’t get this worn down emotionally. I think I’m actually pretty mentally tough most of the time. But at times where the stupidity, narrow-mindedness, and flat out hate in the world overwhelms me, I have to speak up.
It’s like the wool has been pulled off my eyes and I can see. Sure, I still recognize that CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and all the others will push an agenda on either side of the political spectrum. And if they are doing anything other than reporting the truth through journalism, they should be seriously ashamed of themselves. But before today, I either wouldn’t allow myself to see, or couldn’t see, certain things thanks to the media’s spin. Because of the spin, and the actions of some, I judged all. Because of the actions of some hateful, racist people hijacking Black Lives Matter, as well as looters and rioters ruining what are supposed to be peaceful protests, I couldn’t truly understand the meaning and reasoning behind them. My strong distaste for those up to no good didn’t allow me to see what genuinely good people are trying to accomplish.
Is there crime against all races in this country? Absolutely. Crime is crime. Hate is hate. Wrong is wrong. Period. Nobody gets a free pass. But before George Floyd died, I was so numb to the frequent shootings and deaths in this country against everyone, that I became numb to it and didn’t pay attention. I’d see something like another school shooting, or a crooked cop murdering an innocent person, and I would tune out. “Oh great. Another one. Depressing.” Click. The media had become so saturated with awful things, that I turned it off and turned away. I couldn’t handle it mentally day in, and day out.
That all changed when George Floyd was murdered last Monday. Yes, I watched the video. Yes, I saw a man murdered before my eyes in a slow, agonizing way. I saw the officer pinning him down do absolutely NOTHING but press harder into his neck when bystanders pleaded with him to get off of George. And I saw the expressionless look on that bastard’s face, too.
You ever watch a sad ending to a movie and hope it turns out different? That’s what the video was like for me. I knew George was going to die, but I was in enough shock where as I was watching it, I was like, “No. No way. There’s no way this could really happen. Right? They have to put him in the back of the police cruiser like a normal person.” Unfortunately we all know what happened…
After that, the two thoughts that went through my mind were:
- If only they would’ve let him up, he would still be alive. He was cuffed. How could he hurt anyone? If he really WAS that dangerous, have the other officers hold him down like a normal human being until the ambulance arrived: Facedown, cuffed, and with room to breathe.
- The cop who knelt on his neck just made the jobs of all decent and good cops that much harder.
After that, I checked into Facebook and saw that the vast majority of my friends were as upset as I was. For as sad as it is, I am actually glad there was an absolute firestorm on social media after George Floyd’s murder. Things like this need exposed. Crooked, evil people need exposed, shamed, fired, and jailed when they commit heinous crimes like that. I still hope the other three former cops involved in George Floyd’s murder are arrested and brought to justice. Every day they aren’t in custody is another day of protests. As it should be.
Where I don’t agree with the reaction to George Floyd’s murder, is with the looters and rioters. I completely understand and agree with peacefully protesting. As a proud American Patriot, I completely agree with my fellow Americans in their right to protest peacefully. Even if I may not always agree with the manner in which they exercise that right.
However, once peacefully protesting turns violent and destructive, I turn my back on it. It still shocks and pisses me off that some are condoning or championing rioting. To them I say: What is the aim? What goal or purpose does destroying communities or businesses serve? There is no purpose to it. And to the looters looking to just steal things like big screen TVs, game systems and other items? Shame on you! You are accomplishing absolutely nothing, and are a disgrace to the memory of George Floyd, our country, and to your family! Some people just flat out suck. You’re firmly in that group.
To get away from all the stress and anger that this thing has caused, I have only tuned into Fox and CNN to see if there are any updates. I don’t stick around once Don Lemon or Sean Hannity push their agendas. An average Joe like this guy can only take so much preaching by pompous windbags until he’s had enough…
We all need to do something constructive in our lives to battle the evil we’ve faced as a nation this last week. I know I’ve personally reached out on Facebook to friends of mine in the black community who are hurting, and I’ve begun reading a book titled The Big Sea by Langston Hughes, a famous black writer and poet. I am a white man, and I will never understand what black people go through when things like the murder of George Floyd happen. But I want to try my best to put myself in their shoes.
People fear, hate and ridicule things and people they do not understand. In a mirror way, people can be taught to love or at least understand things or people different from them, if they are exposed to them or their points of view. This is what I aim to do by reading Langston Hughes’ book, and others like it.
We are all guilty of not being loving enough and compassionate enough. And Jesus Himself even said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?” It’s easy to love and stand with those who have a view of the world that is like ours. There is nothing that needs to be done when we love those who are like us. No hard work or personal growth is involved. But Jesus holds us all to a higher standard. He pushes us. He wants us to go one step further. If we can do the hard work of loving and understanding those who are on the polar opposite end of the spectrum from how we think fundamentally, we become more like the people Jesus created us to be.
I challenge you all to do something constructive. Talk to your black friends and listen to them when they tell you how all of this has affected them. Donate to George Floyd’s family. Read books like The Big Sea. Or ask yourself: What are some of my core beliefs about the black community? What truth is there to them, and what might be getting in the way of me seeing the truth and being more compassionate? For it is only by asking ourselves the uncomfortable questions, challenging ourselves in uncomfortable ways, and opening our minds and hearts that we grow as people. And if enough of us do these things, it’ll be how we change society so much, that it gets to the point where it’ll be like Jesus says in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done. On Earth as it is in Heaven.”
Take care, be kind to each other, and stay safe everyone. God bless you all!