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Questions with No Answers: Thoughts on Michael Brown & Furguson & Me?

August 15, 2014 1 comment

I’m not really looking for posted answers to my questions.  I am just processing out loud.  For me it’s medicinal, because I get so agitated with these incidents, stories, reactions, and my lack of ability/opportunity to really do much about it, let alone talk about it with another with out at least one of us (usually both of us) getting angry.  AND that just with the ones who actually agree with me!!!

 All that to say, here are a sampling of the questions that run through my brain as I watch, read, and listen to the news and to comments by friends online and in real life.

I wish I knew for sure the answer to just one of them.

Michael-Brown-Protest-Police

Is this injustice because Michael Brown was shot  – or shot and unarmed-or that he is black and was shot – or that he was black and was shot by a white cop – or because he is the latest lightening rod of a really big and continual race/class issue in our country that in some ways, has little to do with Michael Brown/Ferguson?

Is this injustice because we react based on incomplete (and probably inaccurate) and premature news from media whose goal is often more about getting ratings and being ‘sensational’ than being accurate?

Is this injustice without racism?

Is this racist injustice?

Is this the same as incidents in American during/prior to civil rights movement or does it just ‘smell’ like it?

Where has Capt. Ron Johnson been and why can’t he be put in charge of more stuff?  Is he a real life superhero?

Is this injustice because we can’t talk about it without getting heated or because we can’t listen without hearing through our shaded lenses of preconceived notions (that often run along lines of race/politics/if you are related to a cop/etc…)?

If I was a cop in a rough neighborhood, and a 6’4” 290 dude (with type vibe of a dude who can blatantly steal and manhandle the store owner and in fact, unknown to me, just earlier did that) came at me, what would I do?   AND/OR If I was a guy in a neighborhood,  where I already don’t trust the police, and one of my boys, who was minding his own business crossing the street, just got shot, gangland style, by a cop right on the street, what would I do?

Is this a black thing?  A people of color thing?  An American thing? A mankind thing?

What  does a healthy honest word from a white guy sound like?  Is it needed?  Is it healthy?  Can it be heard?  Can it be helpful?

Are Rev. Jesse and Rev. Al helpful or obstacles?

If we all were the same race, would this stuff still happen?  If so, what would we blame it on?  What would divide us?

Do white guys get shot by white cops?  Do black guys get shot by black cops?  Is it possible that a cop can shoot a person of another race and it not be about race? How many people interact with cops without getting shot?  Is this type of thing regular?  Or does news coverage make it seem like it happens a lot, kind of like place crashes, shark attacks,  school shooting, etc… but in reality, it is an extremely small % of incidents when taken into the larger context?

Is racism so ugly, so real, and so prevalent that these types of things, which don’t happen as much to white people (though it does happen),  are literally every day experiences (not perceptions, but legit ‘yeah that just happened’ experiences)?  If so, what’s next?  If not, why is it perceived that it is?

What are the accumulated injustices of a community that simmer just below the surface, that drive people to riot when incidents like this happen?   Is any of that going to be addressed?  If justice happens in this specific incident, whatever that means, will it change any of the accumulated stuff?  Will it even address any of that?

What do riots actually accomplish for good/for bad?  Are most rioters taking advantage of the situation to do bad stuff or are they most people who are truly outraged and are simply expressing, explosively, their emotions or are some just caught up in the mob?

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Categories: Uncategorized

Coffee With Martin Luther King Jr.

January 20, 2014 Leave a comment

After reading some speeches/sermons by Martin Luther King Jr (and a lot of coffee) I’m, as usual, filled with inspiration and lots of questions.mlk 2

I think his insights to help poor (please don’t read lazy, free loader, stupid, etc…  I think we all know some rich and poor people that are lazy freeloader and we all know some rich and poor people who work their butts off) people to “leap the gap from backwardness to competence” are very powerful and wonder what he would have to offer in our country’s economic situation today.

If I could have a cup of coffee with him, I would love to hear his take on these questions.

1.  If we could somehow redistribute the world’s (or even just the USA’s) wealth in a fair and just manner, which would happen first:

  • Peace, justice, and the elimination of poverty
  • Money would end up in hands of previously wealthy and poor would be poor again
  • A new social economic class would be set up and a new people group would be poor
  • Something else better
  • Something even worse

2.  Is our democratic capitalist system in America just and fair to all people?

  • Is it really equal?
  • Do some have an easier way to prosperity simply based on race, gender, class, economic situation as opposed to simply “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps”?
  • Does our system have a way to help a person who doesn’t have a “bootstrap” to pull on?
  • Do we have laws and financial systems that are actually obstacles to some to pull themselves up?

3.   Why is government financial help for the “haves” (buyout, tax break, subsidized loans, education grants, $8K tax credit for first time homebuyers, social security, GI Bill) called and often viewed as something different that for the “have nots” (welfare, public assistance, food stamps, section 8 housing, WIC)?

4.  Can those who live under the poverty line move above it without the government’s help financially (assistance), programmatically (jobs), and legislatively (dealing with laws that are unfair)

5.  What are the pros and cons of democratic capitalism?  What are the pros and cons to democratic socialism?  Are there better options or hybrids of the two?

6. What are the key factors that contribute to poverty, specifically in such a rich country as the U.S.?  What are some of the solutions to help alleviate poverty relevant to each factor?

I might need two strong cups to understand his answers.

Would love to hear your thoughts, questions, and comments.

Categories: Uncategorized

Articles on Martin-Zimmerman tragedy

July 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized