On Ferguson: A Plea For Unity

On Ferguson: A Plea For Unity

I have personally refrained thus far from commenting on the Ferguson debacle going on this week. However, I have seen a million different viewpoints displayed on the Internet through various media outlets – and I didn’t even have to look too hard to find them (who could miss the clogging of social media with extreme opinions from both sides of the spectrum?).

Actually, I didn’t look at all because (sorry, not sorry) I don’t have an especially strong viewpoint on the case. I just don’t. I do, however, have a strong opinion on this:

How long will the public be “outraged” at this instance of societal injustice before everyone forgets about it? How long until the Mike Brown uproar becomes another ‘Trayvon Martin’ type of ballgame? You know, where everyone’s darn near ready to overthrow the government – until something else comes along that citizens deem to be a more pressing issue?

Don’t get me wrong, this case has been troubling to watch, and yes, #blacklivesmatter…. but so do other lives. ALL LIVES MATTER, regardless of race, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and any other arbitrary category with which we as human beings choose to label ourselves. Until we stop giving importance to any one group over others, then society will not move forward. I consider it to be hypocritical to work for justice for one group of people at the exclusion of others, and for this reason I refuse to join in any movement that places an undue level of significance on one category of people to the exclusion of others – even if that category might be my own (I’m just waiting for someone to take this quote out of context).

You know, the definition of “broken” (courtesy of a quick Google search) is this:

“having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order”

Society is not in one piece; and it is quite clearly not in working order. How does one contribute to the fracturing of a nation? By finding ways to divide its people. By pitting its people against one another. By stating that #BlackLivesMatter while disregarding unjustified murders of Caucasian Americans, Hispanics, and other sectors of the US. By attempting to paint victims as bad people that are somehow deserving of their fate, thus pissing off people on all sides of the issue.

Might I offer everyone this quote from a famous Abraham Lincoln speech:

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

For a president that led a war effort with the primary goal of preserving the Union, I think that he’d know a thing or two about the dangers of dividing people. If a fight is to be had in the United States (and indeed, one is well overdue), it needs two necessary components:

1. It must further the cause of ALL Americans, not just one group of people, and

2. It has to be sustained over a longer period of time than a couple of weeks

**Bonus tip: It needs to treat the root cause, not just the recurring symptoms**

To speak to the second tip, I generally do not take modern-day protests seriously because citizens get worked up over an issue – only to go back to their normal lives (about a few weeks later) of watching TV, absorbing themselves in useless pop culture, and hating politics because (insert invalid reason). Many of the movements are shallow, and the results of each “movement” reflect that.

That brings me, though, to my bonus tip. Perhaps this is the most important one of all. Even sustained action is useless if that action only treats surface-level issues. Yes, Mike Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, and people are understandably outraged. I see numerous detailed accounts of historic discrimination in America (Captain Obvious, I know). But to claim that the opposing side is the devil and your side is an angel is wrong on so many levels. There are no lambs here; neither are there lions. What I cannot wrap my head around is how people can be so self-important as to believe that they’ve done nothing wrong. Both sides made mistakes; both sides could have done things differently. To continue this mentality of divisiveness, though, is going to shatter what little that we have of a cohesive country.

These killings (that happen every day, by the way) are symptomatic of a much larger, more complex issue that is at play. As a people, we need to nail down the root cause (and no, just saying “racism” is a FAIL), and attack that. We have a contagious epidemic engulfing the United States: the epidemic of “population division”, and we need to work on curing it without delay.

Because unless we are working on justice for everyone, then the result will always be justice for none.

Talk soon,
Liberty <3

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