Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Weighing in on Ferguson.

Much discussion has taken place re: the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Was it justified, racially motivated, warranted, an example of the obvious racial & socioeconomic divide that's eroding our society? Was it a life & death reaction to a series of dire events? Was it both or was it neither? Let's start with the obvious. When someone loses their life, it is a tragedy that transcends race, gender, age and religion. Regardless of the investigative outcomes that life will not be replaced and that is about as unfortunate as it gets.... that is, unless we take / learn nothing from it. Here are the top five things I've learned (so far) from the tragic Ferguson incident, not meant in any way shape or form to trivialize the unfortunate events.
  1. Each time incidents like this happen, society takes ten BIG steps backward. In life, the second the blame game begins is the same second the learning stops. Blaming only assures situations will more than likely be repeated.
  2. We rush to judge people & events. We're so impatient, we can't even wait for due process to run it's course before we formulate (and share) our opinions. We want it right but we want it right - right now.
  3. We're quick to play our cards when it suits us. The race, religion & gender cards. We seem to avoid the realities of life cards which state that sometimes terrible shit happens that has no bearing on ANY one of those things.
  4. We seldom put ourselves in other people's shoes. That would be difficult when whats easy is to wonder why everyone else doesn't think / act or react like us. Why didn't he/she just...
  5. More than less, the reaction to these instances, merely serves to reinforce the very stereotypes we seek to eliminate. Rioting, looting and... shooting at police as a solution?
The only positive that can come from this tragic incident, and incidences like it is a better understanding and clearer management of 1-5 above. Until then, history is very likely to continue repeating itself.

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