Friday, July 8, 2016

Whose Fault is it, Anyway?

One of the things you learn very quickly when you're thrust into a leadership position (if you're going to be successful, anyway) is that blame fixing and fault finding are wastes of time and energy, and ultimately are destructive.  For too long, however, our culture in general and our leaders - governmental, cultural, ideological - have focused on exactly this.

In a business environment, when you think someone is "at fault" for something, you can discipline them.  In a voluntary endeavor, you can confront them.  But what do you do when the environment is just life?  What if you think that "whites" or "cops" are targeting black men for assassination (more or less)?  What if you think that "blacks" are "thugs" or "Muslims" are vile monsters?  Especially when your frame of reference makes you see the government's non-reaction to most incidents as condoning violence, whether implicitly or explicitly?

If you really, really believe - deep in your bones - that the whole of society and the government is against you, what options do you have? 

You can surrender, certainly.  You can go about your life afraid at every moment that "they" are going to do something to you.  The problem with this option is it breeds cowardice and starts stratifying castes and classes.  We fought a war about that sort of thing about 240 years ago.

You can bury your head in the sand.  You can pretend that you believe other than you do.  In some cases, this may even be the optimal choice.  Certainly it isn't true that "cops" are "targeting black men."  In the vast majority of cases, there's not even questionable behavior.  In those cases where the behavior is questionable, quite frequently full knowledge of the circumstances makes it clear that the behavior was defensible, even if not fully justified.  So we're left with a minority of cases which are sensational and therefore repeated over and over.  Similarly, it certainly isn't true that "Muslims" are terrorists.  Mohammedanism most certainly is an evil death cult (read the book), but the vast majority of Mohammedans in this country are simply here because we're more free than they would be in the lands of their ancestors.  It certainly isn't true that "blacks" are "thugs."  Again, while some indeed are, the vast majority are not.

The problem with that choice, however, is two-fold.  First, it is very difficult to deprogram oneself.  Asking people to do it is asking them to give up part of their identity, and many are simply unwilling to do so.  Second, it can make it so that you are slower to react when there really is a systemic problem.  The unwillingness of many to acknowledge that Mohammedanism - as written - is an evil death cult makes it harder to support those who are not into the evil death cultishness and to oppose those who love blowing up the infidel.

Or, finally, you can oppose the injustice you perceive.  This can be either the best, most moral choice, or the worst, most monstrous.  It is very hard, before the fact and subjectively, to determine which any given act of opposition may be.

I do not know the motives of the murderer last night in Dallas.  I understand he told police that he wanted to kill police, and specifically white police.  One presumes this is because of recent events where two black men have been killed by police.  One case appears (though I don't know the details, so I can make no judgement) to have been a horrible event wherein an innocent man was killed.  One case is already becoming more "nuanced" as we find out more about the history of the victim and the immediate events leading up to his shooting.  Nevertheless, they feed into the balkanization of our nation.  Those who wish to see all blacks as thugs can do so.  Those who wish to see all cops - especially white cops - as racists hunting black men can do so.

This must stop.  It will stop.  What cannot continue, won't.

The problem with it stopping is that it can only stop one of two ways.

The better way is for it to stop because our leaders - governmental, cultural, ideological - stop feeding it and start opposing it.  If he hasn't already (if he has, I haven't seen it) Wayne LaPierre needs to get in front of cameras TODAY and say how horrible the shooting of Philando Castile appears.  No condemnation is necessary, simply the acknowledgement that - based on facts as currently known - this looks like a "bad shoot" and that all citizens should be secure in their second amendment rights.  Similarly, Al Sharpton needs to get in front of cameras TODAY and say how horrific the murders of 5 Dallas police officers last night were - especially if they were based on race.  Again, he does not need to indict everyone in the #BLM movement, simply acknowledge the evil of last night.  The head of CAIR needs to get in front of cameras TODAY and explain how the Islamic community rejects acts of violence and will turn its back on terrorists.

This would help healing begin.  People would be able to back down from this cliff.

The other way, the way I think more likely, is horrific.  There are over 300 million residents in the United States of America.  According to this source, as of 2015, at least 41% of households (2 out of every five) owned guns that the government knows about.  It is safe to assume, when illegal or unregistered (for whatever reason) weapons are taken into account, half the nation is armed.  There are more guns in private circulation in the United States than there are people.

If we do not back off the cliff, if we don't start seeing each other simply as humans and Americans, then the other way for this balkanization to stop is a literal civil war.  The War Between the States was not a civil war (civil war is one where one or more factions are vying for control of a government, the War Between the States was one where one group of states wanted to be out from under the control of the central government).  It was also relatively "clean" (one Northern General's March to the Sea and resulting war crimes notwithstanding).  Civilian populations (exception noted) were generally considered off limits.  Prisoners were generally treated with respect and relative care.

What will come next, if we don't stop it, will be a civil war and it will not be clean.  The only populations will be civilian populations.  Simply being a non-combatant will not grant you safety from being targeted.  Blood will quite literally run in the streets.  This great nation that (I hope) we all love will tear itself apart, and the light and freedom she represents will be extinguished, possibly never to return.

I'm not a child.  I know that Al Sharpton and I will likely never see eye to eye on most issues.  I know that Mohammedanism (world wide) will not reject terrorism overnight.  I know that police are not going to cease making mistakes - some of them quite horrible - just because we "want it real hard."

I also know that if we don't start trying to fix this now, my children will not know the relative peace and freedom that I have known.  I know that if we don't find some way to realize that we are all human, Created Equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, we're going to lose everything we hold dear.

Pray for America.  Pray for reconciliation.  And then act to achieve it.

No comments:

Post a Comment