This past week has clearly shown that we are dealing with biases in our society that are deeply rooted and cannot be ignored. Yet, when we state (by actions or words) that one part of society is more important than an another, we set ourselves up for failure – as we’ve just seen in a city that I consider home.
There’s a naiveté on the part of many activists that their actions – although well-meant – can set things right. Too often there are un-intended consequences which create a hothouse for the dis-enfranchised or bigots (of ALL colors). On the other side, there’s a feeling that lawlessness needs to be answered with aggressive tactics.
I for one, would like to see the powers that be representing both the “establishment” and the “disenfranchised” to walk in each other’s shoes, not just mouth platitudes. There are real reasons why a minority might feel the way they do about the police, or why a police officer feels that no one appreciates the work they do – and the threats they deal with on a daily basis.
I’ve experienced both sides personally, as well as through the eyes of friends and family. When one realizes that there are two sides to each story – and remains open to the idea that their perceptions could be incorrect – then we have the opportunity to improve our social well-being. If one just wants to have a quick fix through legislation, or anarchy, the path becomes impossible.
The discussions we are presently having across the US and are hearing on a daily basis cannot be discounted. It’s a dialogue of inclusion which has been slowly moving forward through my lifetime and needs to be continued, because ALL lives matter.