I. Can’t. Breathe.
Earlier this week, I posted a message on Facebook expressing my opinion that until solid evidence is available, people should quit pointing fingers and placing blame (especially relative to extremist groups,) as this was only broadening the divide.
A comment which followed—from a decorated veteran–was disturbing, and drove the point of the original post home:
“Not my place to produce evidence. That’s up to the feds. But there are agitators who are acting consistent with Antifa tactics. So maybe tts [sic] time for action… iWe [sic] don’t have to.Be 100% certain. Preponderance standard works for me… As for me it’s time to take Antifa down.”
He then lashed out at another poster whose values don’t align with his, calling her “stupid” and attacking her character. All requests that he not utilize my post for personal attacks were ignored. And as he likely expected, the person upon whom he attacked responded.
He addressed his next question to me: “So does this no personal attack thing just go one way?”
When I opted not to respond, he continued to push with a second comment: “You still owe me an answer.”
This was my response:
Let me be perfectly clear here: I do not “owe” you an answer. I do not owe you anything.
My post requested that we, both as individuals and collectively as a nation, quit pointing fingers and placing blame (often without proof). I requested that we come together instead of dividing each other apart.
Your response to that request was to point a finger and provoke someone whose values do not align with yours. You chose to support the divide.
In this post, as in in America, you get the respect you give.
What you gave was name calling and bullying. And the person whom you were attacking chose to respond accordingly.
THIS is what’s happening in America. For centuries, this nation has oppressed a segment of the population because their skin is a different color. They have been deemed subhuman and not worthy of respect. And many in this nation have also cast judgment upon those who have spoken up on behalf of others who feel like their voices are not heard.
The key difference between such efforts in the past and the voices we are hearing and the actions we are seeing today is that finally, the world isn’t just listening. The world is HEARING. The world is getting it and the world is speaking up on behalf of those who have been wronged for far too long.
Around the world, we are seeing peaceful demonstrations of people of all races and backgrounds coming together as one race—the human race—and saying that enough is enough. And for the first time, we are seeing widespread solidarity as law enforcement officials and Americans of all colors are standing together in unison, proclaiming the end to centuries of disgraceful treatment of human beings because their skintone is different than ours.
I do NOT in any way agree with or condone the looting and the fires. But even then, we are seeing videos and arrests of the agitators, and in many cases, those agitators who are inciting the riots and fueling the flames are WHITE.
Sadly, it appears that some people find this solidarity a threat. Some people believe that the show of unity diminishes the power of the oppressors.
And you know what? That’s exactly what is happening.
I find the people coming together for peaceful protests, and the solidarity of all of those standing together, quite beautiful.
So I will repeat what I said earlier: you get the respect you give.
My heart is filled with joy as I watch the long overdue evolution of the human race into one which respects all people, at least until such time as their individual behavior warrants otherwise.
And I can assure you, right now in America, the individuals whose behaviors do not deserve that respect are the ones whose actions demonstrate they feel superior.
Ironically, that air of superiority exposes them for the inferior and small minded people that they are.
No human being has the right to treat another human being in such a disgraceful manner.
For far too long, many Americans have sat on the sidelines, not wishing to speak up and make waves. They have feared that speaking up would lead to alienation, to being judged and poorly treated.
I fully anticipate backlash for this post, not only from you, but from many who share your values. But I also know that this backlash will in no way compare to that to which black AMERICANS have been subjected for centuries. It’s time we all take a long, hard look in the mirror and see who we truly are.
In the Declaration of Independence, our forefathers state that all men are created equal. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution declares that “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
We are living a lie.
In speaking up, I am not denouncing patriotism. I’m standing up in support of our Declaration of Independence and our United States Constitution, and I’m questioning the many who do not uphold these values.
I will close this extraordinarily lengthy diatribe with a simple quote from Robert F. Kennedy:
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” — Robert F Kennedy
Today, at long last, we are seeing the ripples of hope around this nation and beyond.