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We Are #Ferguson

August 19, 2014

Ferguson

Photo: NBC news

 

People confuse me, they always have. I mean, I’m a People, and I confuse ME!

Sadly, human beings aren’t logic games with an answer key at the end.   And I don’t believe there is an “underneath it all basically good” version of us.  That would be contrary to a recurring theme in the depravity and self-centeredness of the mob contrasting with the kindness and nobility of the very, very few.

#Ferguson is not an example of racial inequality, if I dare to say that out loud, it is an example of society unraveling one heartbeat at a time.  Extricating ourselves from our status quo for the good and the bad.

It is GOOD, for those who have been voiceless are being given the mic, the bandwidth, and the pixels.  It is BAD for the faces represented fervently believe they have been disregarded and shoved into the proverbial corner for too many generations, and I agree with them.

We SHOULD work to resolve injustices within our own neighborhoods and speak out for those who have been downtrodden.

It is BAD that the only answer seems to be a corporate temper tantrum… It is GOOD that we are having that conversation now and #goingthere.

Where you see the screaming mobs who deserve tear gas and rubber bullets?  Maybe you side with law enforcement and see things from a very different perspective?  Maybe you are on the picket lines and stand resolute, tear streaming down your face…

What I see is different, I have my own eyeballs, you see…

I see the faces of young people, the fatherless and hungry denied affirmation and even by their own culture yet unable to see how they are being manipulated by the slime-balls who pretend to represent them.  Used as cannon fodder by both those who desire to control and silence, and those who view the accumulated pain, prejudice, and pent up resentment as a tool to further personal political careers and agendas.

Michael-Brown-Protest-Police

MAGE: ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, J.B. FORBES/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A young man died, too young. That is a tragedy.   A 28-year-old officer is in hiding, devastated by the events that unfolded less than 2 weeks ago. His career is over.  His life will never be the same.  I don’t know if he deserves jail time.  Frankly?  Neither do you.  All you have is Media Truth. The Real Truth still unfolding and lies buried somewhere underneath the bias, rage, and pent up frustration that has been allowed to run roughshod over a small community while pundits shake perfectly coiffed heads and keep us in a tizzy so their ratings stay high.

Blood thirsty cannibals feasting at the table of our society’s undoing.

Families have been ripped apart.  Small businesses are folding under the weight of looting, lost revenue, and damaged storefronts. Talk about shattered dreams.

Children watch and learn from the nightly broken glass and shouting.  And they are learning to fear and resent authority, to fear and resent their culture, to react first and let the facts sort themselves out later.

Like some sort of pre-emptive spanking, many of those punished and marginalized for the sins of generations past are paying for actions not even imagined or realized.  Or being foisted on us because our melanin lumps us into a category of bigotry to which we could not lay claim.  Think white African Americans and recent immigrants who had nothing to do with Jim Crow and MLK’s battle. (h/t Tina)

national guard ferguson 2

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

The National Guard has come into that town and we will watch, from comfortable couches playing armchair quarterback in the game of life, as martial law unfolds in front of us.

And we will do nothing but spout rhetoric and pretend we have answers.

Nothing, that is, but throw ice water around or watch endless videos on social media and eagerly press “Start Quiz” to find out which Disney Princess we are.

Complacently, we will Instagram the perfect sandwich, complaining about our first world issues: the waiter getting our order wrong or one more reason we need to lose weight.

Identity and self-worth have become the ideals and golden calves we raise to keep ourselves satiated and pacified, subdued and silent.

Maybe you truly believe the tire guy needs to be responsible for your failure to plan for the issue of a flat tire while you scream and spit sprays from your overfed middle-aged mouth before stomping off to climb in your car leaving us all poorer for your tantrum.

I suppose there are families in Iraq who would give anything for the silly little inconveniences we call hardship here.   It is certain that there are old and young hiding in their homes every night while the mobs march in Ferguson or the bombs fly in southern Israel, or white vans from Russian drive steadily through Ukraine offering “humanitarian aid” or…

Ferguson isn’t an anomaly.  It isn’t a talking point.  It isn’t political clout to be gained.

Ferguson is a generational, global conflict at our doorstep.  

Ferguson is western philosophy and humanity on display.

How we respond, how we react, how we judge those who are struggling for the opportunities to express individual value and existence.

Ferguson is about people who need Jesus reflected through the hands and feet of those who seek justice over control, compassion over personal safety, tangible mercy over the hard, coldness of logical rightness.

Ferguson is who we have become as a nation found in both the angry mob and the SWAT teams.  Petulant and domineering, we swing between both pendulums while doing very little to address any issue raised.

We are #Ferguson and what we become is entirely up to us.  Will we be like those who picket funerals and spew hate-filled rhetoric?  Or will we be those who seek to “bind up the broken-hearted”, following in footsteps made by the feet of The Master.