Most of my blog posts are a stuttering, mental wreck of ideas and thoughts that crash together like a slow-motion train wreck that you just can’t stop watching for fear of missing something remotely useless. Today probably isn’t any better, but here goes — All Aboard!
After the murder of Martin Luther King Jr, riots broke out all over the country, mostly in large cities; in poor, mostly black, neighborhoods. One of these was in the section of Washington D.C. called Anacostia. It was 1968, and many buildings were burned and left charred. One year later, in August 1969, my parents rented an old farm house for cheap in Oxon Hills, Maryland, which was just a stone’s throw from Anacostia. I remember seeing the burned buildings and it took many years for the area to be rebuilt. It looked like a war zone and definitely made an impact on my developing elementary school brain.
Our house was flanked by 2 gas stations, set back from the road, and accessible only by a tiny driveway. For the most part, it was a quiet sanctuary away from the world up the street.
The school I attended for grades K – 5 was predominantly black and the school bus was full of black kids from one of the projects. Me, my sisters, and one other neighbor’s kids were the only children on that bus that were not from that project. Our bus stop was the local liquor store.
It’s the perfect opportunity for racism to work it’s way into a young man’s mind, but I work diligently, even today, to keep those thoughts from changing the core beliefs of who I am and how I treat others. I am better than all that.
But this post is not about me.
Riots happen because anger builds over time, then boils over. MLK pushed for peaceful protests because he knew that violence was not the method for true change. If you resort to violence, then the police and government will respond with more violence and trust me, THEY are much better at violence than you are. All of the rioting after MLK’s death was the exact OPPOSITE of what he wanted; but it’s tough to think logically when a “mob mentality” is running the show.
In 1976, when M. F. Weiner wrote an article in the journal Medical Economics entitled “Don’t Waste a Crisis — Your Patient’s or Your Own.” Weiner meant by this that a medical crisis can be used to improve aspects of personality, mental health, or lifestyle. It would appear that many people within any movement, as well as some people outside of any movement, use the beginning of this saying to further their own particular agenda. This has been shown before and once again appeared during the recent riots in Minneapolis.
I do hope that justice will be served in the murder of George Floyd, but I don’t think that the charges of 3rd degree murder match the crime committed. I also hope that the rioters will stop to see that their actions are not helping the situation; in fact, making it worse. And their anger will boil over again if/when the police officers involved are found innocent.
All this is what the government wants. They want you mad, they want you destroying other people’s business and lives, they want you lashing out like an animal backed into a corner. They want you doing the dirty work, to each other, because of each other; so THEY can swoop in and save the day.
Don’t give them what they want. Be strong, be sane, be aware, and above all else, be better than them.