Pain, Protest, and Opportunity – Lockdown Day 82

***Due to bad storms, we have been without power since 12:30 PM Wednesday. Sorry for the delay in posting.***

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence helps the tormentor, never the tormented.” ~ Elie Wiesel

Last week, I wrote about civilization and how America needs to revisit the meaning of community and social responsibility.

This week has seen what happens when the social contract is broken with a particular group of people again and again and again for generations. When a group of people is consistently seen as less, as expendable, as not worthy of belonging to that social contract, we end up right here. With an officer of the law coldly and deliberately murdering a black man in broad daylight, in front of many witnesses, being videotaped…and not caring. He and the 3 officers that were his accomplices  were so assured they would suffer no consequences that they didn’t mind having an audience.

America is broken. For African-Americans, it has been broken for hundreds of years—and the massive protests we have seen in the wake of this latest brazen murder are the result.

I’m not talking about the looting. By most accounts, the looting is separate, instigated by people who would take advantage of the legitimate grief and rage and fear of Americans and twist it for their own agenda. Let it not distract us from the central issue.

The real protests, the peaceful protests, are filled with people who have had enough. Enough of the injustice. Enough of the inequality. Enough of the brutality. Enough of the hate. Enough of the death.

They are filled with people grieving the needless deaths of African-Americans, but also the death of the ideals we Americans profess to believe in—equality under the law, that all men are created equal, and the inalienable right to LIFE.

History shows that African-Americans have never really lived in that America. For them, it has been a litany of broken promises. The growing prevalence of cell phones and social media is shining the light on racism like never before. It is bringing its horror and ugliness into our living rooms, much as TV did the Vietnam War, and the results are similar. With the truth right in front of us, more and more people—of every skin color—are saying, “Enough!”


The coronavius stopped the world and gave us a chance to contemplate what sort of “normal” we want to return to. I don’t want a normal where people have no health care. A normal where people live paycheck to paycheck. A normal where the lives of African-Americans are thrown away with such casual disdain.

Racism has been a cancer in America for too long. The convulsions we are experiencing are necessary to birth something better. Painful as this is, this moment is an opportunity. An opportunity to begin fixing a wrong too long unattended.

Let’s not waste this opportunity.

Let’s get it right this time.

I see you. I hear you. I stand with you.

Speak Your Mind


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