What Do You Think?
There are many things we simply don’t get. We accept our political, ethnic and religious differences. Social alienation, mistrust of government and the reality of terrorism both domestic and foreign are unfortunate signs of the time. And while the world has always known demagogues, dictators and bullies, today’s reprobates operate with neither restraint nor shame.
Political candidates not only lie, but do so in a manner calculated to exploit divisions, fear and resentment. They mock the disabled, advocate religious test for public office, push immigration policies that favor one religious group over another, recommend religious registries and endorse the surveillance of certain houses of worship. Can you hear us Mr. Trump?
Worse are those who listen to these scoundrels, who in the name of religion and under the guise of freedom and non-political correctness, walk into a church or abortion clinic and shoot everyone in sight.
We understand the moral outrage, the determination to right egregious historical wrongs, committed by the state and directed against a targeted minority. We also accept that crime is often a matter of convenience. Intra-group mayhem is therefore a common phenomena; affecting more than just African Americans.
So we understand why groups like “BYO 100”, “We Charge Genocide”, “Fearless”, “Leading by the Youth”, “Assata’s Daughters” and “Black Lives Matter Chicago”, assembled to protest the shooting of Laquan McDonald by white Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke. We sympathize with their chant “they think it’s a game they think it’s a joke” and understand their determination that this injustice not go unchecked.” See www.rollingout.com/2015/11/25/chicago-youth-groups-lead-demonstration-laquan-mcdonald.
What we don’t understand is why the same groups did not similarly react to the execution of 9 year old Tyshawn Lee by a black street gang. What we cannot fathom is why there were no parallel chants of “this is no game, this is no joke” regarding the 300 Chicagoans that have been slain this year alone, many of whom were blacks, killed by other blacks. What we have difficulty accepting is why these particular injustices remain unchecked.
Maybe it’s because a picture is worth a thousand words. The McDonald shooting was recorded while the Lee murder was not. Thus, we can only imagine the horrible details of Tyshawn’s execution. Or maybe the truth is even worse.
We are equally troubled by the Fourth Estate. Donald Trump is lying when he says he saw news footage of thousands of New Jersey Muslims cheering 9/11. No such footage exists. He is also lying when he argues that he did not intentional mock the disabled reporter who challenged him on this lie. He furthered lied when he re-tweeted untruths about racial homicides.
And the individual who murdered three people and injured scores of others in the Colorado office of Planned Parenthood is a white, domestic terrorist. He may or may not suffer a mental illness but he was definitely religiously and politically motivated. Equally as important, said religion was not Islam. It was instead Christianity. Why is it so difficult for the media to say so?
We therefore pose three questions for your consideration.
Question # 1: Are we as a collective in tune with reality? Are we limited to perceiving only that small shard of reality that conforms to our particular ideology; that comforts us? Or have we reached the point of a post-truth America, where the facts simply don’t matter?
Question # 2: Do we as individuals, groups and/or a nation have the courage to demand the best of ourselves? Do we possess the intestinal fortitude to when necessary clean house?
Being in favor of the 2nd Amendment and against abortion provides no license to kill abortion providers with an AK 47. And while race is undoubtedly a factor in the Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald and similar incidents, it may not be the controlling factor. Nor is it the sole consideration. Character, conduct, values, culture, training, education and economics are equally significant. The same applies to other hot button cultural issues like domestic violence, immigration, crime and gun control.
As to the media, it certainly has an obligation to be fair and professional. But its greater purpose is to shine the disinfectant of sunlight on those in positions of authority. Only then can the citizenry speak truth to power. The constant whining about the “liberal bias of the mainstream media” is nothing more than “working the refs”. The timidity of the media in this regard, its tendency to wilt in the face of criticism and its reluctance to call a spade a spade is a betrayal of its constitutional responsibility that ill serves the nation.
Question # 3: Are we willing to broaden our appeal beyond our own interest and embrace all of humanity? We are all the same, our invidious differences notwithstanding, a single patch in a much larger quilt; a more grand mosaic.
In conclusion, “They Came For” is a provocative poem written by Pastor Martin Niemoller. It deals with the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazi’s rise to power and speaks to the universal themes of persecution, guilt and responsibility. www.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_. The poem reads:
“First they came for the Jew and I did not speak because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communist and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionist and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
We are at a seminal point in our history; a position that demands new questions and different answers. We therefore invite your response to any of the above referenced questions. We promise to publish the best replies in future Blackacre blogs.
Leo Barron Hicks, Founder and CEO
Blackacre Policy Forum