I don’t understand today’s Social Justice Movement

Let me start by saying, I will not respond, reply, acknowledge hateful comments. You will be deleted and blocked.

The death of George Floyd sparked angry protests and riots all over our country in late May. It’s now late September and they haven’t stopped.

They’ve been fueled by other conflicts and shootings between cops and suspected criminals, suspected criminals who happen to be black.

DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE? I didn’t called George Floyds death murder, I called the protests protests and riots riots. I correctly pointed out that all the news stories about so-called police brutality involved cops and suspected criminals.

Many have called for defunding the police to diminish the incidents of conflict between the men and women in blue and criminal detainees. Many cities like Seattle, and Minneapolis have city councils that have already voted to eliminate the police or significantly cut their budgets; obviously having carefully studied the matter and examined the consequences of such an unprecedented move.

You see what I did there? I sarcastically suggested that these city councils had a rush to judgement on the defunding question. Because clearly there was no study or legitimate debate on the subject.

I believe racism exists. It’s real. And its unquestionably bad and deserves to be dealt with harshly every time it rears its ugly head, on an individual basis.

But, you may ask, what knowledge and experience do I have as a white guy in American, raised in the white suburbs outside Seattle to comment on race and racism. I’d like to address that two ways.

First, it doesn’t matter that I’m white and it doesn’t matter the ethnicity of anyone else who wants to comment on this subject. We are all humans. And I’m guessing those reading this are all Americans, which is to say United States citizens or legal residents. We’ve all been scared by the leftist screaming crowd that we aren’t entitled to talk about race or racism unless you are black and unless you completely agree with the Black Lives Matter agenda as it currently stands. As a result many scared people who don’t agree with BLM are intimidated into keeping their mouths shut. So we lose voices in this important conversation. And when you are told that your opinion doesn’t matter because of your race or ethnicity, isn’t that racism too? We’re allowed to speak our peace because we’re the ones assumed to all be racist and practitioners of a systemic racism problem in our country. Since we’re the problem, supposedly, you might want to listen.

Second, I have as much knowledge and experience on this subject as any white suburban, middle class, public school educated baby boomer alive. I suppose others could surpass my expertise under these qualifications. But they would be few and their experiences are not my own.

In 1985 I started living with a black woman. We were subsequently married and had three child, all of whom are and identify as black. I was completely embedded in my ex-wife’s black family for the whole time we were married. After 30 years we were divorced in 2015. I have since happily married another woman. She is Mexican.

SO HERE IS THE BIG QUESTION: Having lived with a woman of minority status for 35 years, and having raised three black kids to adulthood and being thoroughly active in their lives you would think I would have a story or two or twenty of all the incidents of racial discrimination, hatred, and bigotry that I or someone in my family experienced. Given how this is supposedly a racist culture with systemic racism in every corner of our nation there is no way I could escape the vile acts of a racist or the road blocks imposed.

The fact is I don’t have one story. I don’t have a single anecdote. I can’t even share with you any single incident in which my kids or either of my wives expressed to me the sense of having been targeted by racist activity. Quite simply, it never happened. I’m not a small man nor am I a shy one. Were any loved one of mine hurt by racism I would be fighting somebody.

Oh, there was one time where I suffered tremendously from an act of racial discrimination. It occurred in about 1990 when I was about 26 years old when I was passed over for a very lucrative, high paying job with the Washington State Department of Transportation due to their affirmative action policies. I was told by the Director that after three interviews I was the highest scoring applicant, but that I wouldn’t get the job because a black man and a woman were each awarded points for their race and sex that I wasn’t entitled to, and those points were enough to give each a higher score than me.

This is why I struggle with today’s Social Justice argument. Seemingly everyone has drank the Kool-Aid. All walks of life, businesses, entertainers, athletes…they are all on board with the belief that our country is inherently systemically racist.

All we have to do is look at the incident that prompted these riots and protests to understand my internal conflict. Like absolutely everyone (seemingly) I saw the video of the death of George Floyd and I was outraged. It looked like Floyd was murdered. But, I only saw the video of him already on the ground with the police officer keeping him there with his knee on the back of Mr. Floyd’s neck. Since that initial video and reaction more video has come out and more news. Quite simply the police did not murder George Floyd. The medical examiner says there was no evidence of asphyxiation. At worst the cops should be convicted of failing to provide him needed medical attention.

Here is what we know: Floyd resisted arrest for something like 10-15 minutes. He was acting very strange. Toxicology tests revealed that he had four different illegal drugs in his system including cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and a lethal dose of fentanyl. He was complaining that he couldn’t breath long before he was pinned to the ground. And respiratory distress is a symptom of fentanyl overdose.

And Dear God! Why is nobody reporting that this man was huge! He was 6-foot, 6-inches tall and clearly physically strong. Couldn’t that have played a part? You think the police may have been physically intimidated? You think they might have needed to use considerable force to subdue this man? And when you are high, acting strange and fighting with police while resisting arrest what does skin color have to do with any of this?

I know incidents of racial discrimination occur. I would never stand for it personally or where it affected my loved ones who happen to be minorities. But it’s long past time that we realize that a lot of people make an awful lot of money by jumping up and down and screaming racism wherever they see conflict. It’s also long past time that we stop blaming society for the bad decisions of single individuals. It’s also long past time that we recognize that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. If you commit crimes, at some point you are going to meet police officers. And if you resist arrest with those police officers you may end up dead. Police are humans too. They have a right to self-defense. And your criminal butt who puts the cops lives in danger will suffer the consequences for doing so.

Lastly, this is not the final word on this matter. Evidence I haven’t and you haven’t seen will still come forward in the George Floyd case. And if there is a trial a verdict will determine guilt or innocence of the four cops charged. God help us if they are acquitted, as I’m sure some of them will be. It’ll be another occasion for protesting/rioting. And just like the current riots, it won’t accomplish a damn thing.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome…to a point.

 

 

 

Black or Blue, Lives Matter

cops

This morning I heard a news pundit on CNN commenting on the horrible attacks on police in Dallas and the police shooting of a driver in Minnesota during which he referred to the “African American/Hispanic” community. He said it as if they are one and the same. This got me thinking. They are not the same. We are a nation divided by numerous cultures. And these cultures are increasingly at each other’s throats.

News of yesterday’s shooting of police in Dallas, Texas left me feeling pretty numb this morning as I prepared for a work day. Five brave men were killed and seven others were shot apparently by a 25 year old black man who claimed to be acting alone because he was upset at white people. Before being killed by police trying to apprehend him, he said he wanted to kill white people, especially cops.

This young man lived in a Dallas suburb and had served six years in the Army Reserves. Sadly there is little doubt he was influenced by the hateful, and ignorant comments made in recent years by many including our President, the Democratic Presidential nominee and the organization Black Lives Matter. They’ve all given voice to the myth that there is a systematic (as Obama has said) or systemic (as Clinton has said) racist problem among America’s police forces.

My unique persepctive: I’m a 50+ year old white man. Thirty-two years ago I met and later married a black woman. We were married 28 years and lived together over 30. I have three kids, 2 are adults, all of whom identify as black. After my divorce I was fortunate to meet and get into a relationship with a beautiful Mexican woman who came to the U.S. at age 13 and became a legal citizen in her 20s. For most of the past year we’ve seen each other 5-6 days per week.

The black community in the very liberal Seattle area where I live is distinct and separate from the white community and certainly from the Hispanic community. Generally speaking they live lives much different, with much different views, different interests, different celebrities, and different heroes than the nearly all-white suburban Seattle community in which I grew up.

It’s no different in the Hispanic community. Though my Mexican-American girlfriend was smart and professionally accomplished and had lived in both Seattle and San Diego, California for her entire adult life her knowledge of most pop or celebrity or sports personalities, events or history that I and many others take for granted was close to zero. And the same was true of many of her Hispanic friends from work and church. Hispanic people, at least in the Seattle-Tacoma area, associate with and live amongst themselves having little interaction with whites, or black either.

I’m confident were I to embed myself as thoroughly in the Asian or Gay communities I would be writing the same thing about them.

These different and diverse communities are not talking to one another. At best they’re talking at each other. At worst, they’re yelling at each other.

The Black Lives Matter movement was established on a lie that continues to be perpetrated and continues to harden the hearts of African-Americans across the country. If you’re black and you’re raised to believe that police are racist and that they WILL shoot you; of course you’re going to defend yourself and shoot back, or fight, or resist arrest. The same is true of Hispanics. Black Lives Matter, Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton and much of the news media nationwide fed the beast that said Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri was an innocent and sweet little teenager who was gunned down by a cop for no good reason while Brown had his hands raised, essentially giving himself up. It’s a myth, but a widely believed myth.

Here are the facts: Little to no evidence exists that Brown had his hands raised and was humbly subjugating himself to a police officer. Witnesses who initially made such claims, recanted them when interviewed by police. There is clear evidence that Brown robbed a convenience store just prior to his confrontation with police. He assaulted the store clerk. He assaulted the police officer and tried to take his gun. And upon withdrawing from an initial scuffle charged the police officer before being shot. And Michael Brown was 6-foot 5-inches tall and weighed 289 pounds. Not a little guy.

While not to the same extent these myths or exaggerations have also been forwarded in numerous other police shootings and in the Travon Martin case. It’s a narrative that has infected the black community, the separate and at times isolated black community. It’s also permeated the Hispanic community. How many people think Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump hates Mexicans because he called them all rapists and drug dealers? He never said that. NEVER. But you believe he did because its been so reported on social media and even some mainstream media. What Trump said was a reference to illegal immigrants NOT all Mexicans or Hispanics. And he didn’t say all of them were rapists and drug dealers. He actually and accurately said, “Many of them are nice people” in the sort-of off the cuff manner that has endeared him with many and caused rancor with his opponents (It should be pointed out that these opponents wouldn’t support Trump if he had a halo above his head and angel’s wings on his back).

While the United States remains approximately 63% white that number has been decreasing for decades and is not likely to reverse course. Nor is it likely to reverse course that these divided communities will come together when we continue to elect leaders who repeatedly and strategically divide us with their rhetoric and activities.

I love the differences in the people and communities in which I have been in indoctrinated. And I love that I have almost always been eagerly welcomed in those communities. But when you’re the only white guy or gringo in the room, as has been my case many, many, many times over the past 30+ years you notice. And so do they.

What has always worked for me is to be curious and interested in the people with whom I’m around. And when difference come up I’m not afraid to talk about them. I think its helped me many times over the years.

We’re all Americans. We’re not “us” and “them”. Having separate racial, or cultural communities is fine. But lets not act like one is better than the other…as the whites, the black, the hispanics and I suppose others have done too often in recent years. Cops are NOT trying to kill black people. Those bad ones who make mistakes should justly be punished. But treat each case individually and please, please, please reject the demigods who claim systemic or systematic racism that simply doesn’t exist. Read the meaning of the words if you don’t know what it means…Hillary.

In the infamous words of another bad guy who was portrayed as a victim, “Can’t we all just get along”?

Your thoughts are welcome. Thanks for visiting.

 

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