“The world is getting too small for both an Us and a Them. Us and Them have become codependent, intertwined, fixed to one another. We have no separate fates, but are bound together in one. And our fear of one another is the only thing capable of our undoing.” ~ Sam KillermanEmphasis mine
Several weeks ago, long before the murder of George Floyd, I wrote a blog post titled, “How Do You See People?” . . .
I spoke about looking beyond behavior, appearance, and race. I talked about facing fear based on differences. I touched on assumptions based on all of these things. I specifically talked about seeing others as “persons” not as a group, but as individuals.
George Floyd is not a martyr. He was an African-American man killed in a despicable manner by those sworn to serve and protect. He also had a criminal history. He is not the first . . . and the riots that have ensued have little to nothing to do with his death.
The protests, yes. The riots, no.
The protests, calmly supported by many races and ethnicities, around the world even, including police officers . . . these are a testament to the change that needs to occur.
Unfortunately, there are those who like to stir up divisiveness. They infiltrate the crowds of peaceful protests and stir the pot. Rioters take action that is condemned by the protestors, by the family of Mr. Floyd and others killed unjustly. Their actions are logistically designed and calculated to create fear while causing the uninformed, already fearful of protests, to place the blame for the riots, looting and destruction of property at the feet of the protestors.
It’s a vicious circle:
- Protestors gather peacefully
- Rioters infiltrate and start rioting
- Police, on standby for safety reasons, wearing tactical gear for protection (not against protestors, but against rioters) are forced to act against crowds containing not only rioters but also innocent protestors.
- The police, then, appear to be acting aggressively against the protestors.
- Anger is increased against the police and the rioters wander off leaving a swath of destruction in their wake.
I support the protests. I long for an end to racism and discrimination. But as long as we live and breathe, there will always be groups of people, somewhere, that believe they are better. Whether it be based on religion, or ethnic persuasion, or political bent, or eye color . . . whatever platform they select.
Cain vs Abel. Egyptians vs. Isralites. The Spanish Inquisition. Colonials vs. Redcoats. Confederate vs. Union. Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Crips vs. Bloods. Democrats vs. Republicans. Doctors vs. Nurses. Nurses vs. Paramedics. Socialists vs. Capitalists.
It has gone on since the beginning of time. We can bring awareness to the injustice and we can work together to bridge the gaps. But, unfortunately, we will never end it.