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Don't take any of this as gospel. I'm not taking sides other than right and wrong, and I'm not here to be an influencer. I've had many thoughts the last couple of weeks, and that's all this is. I'm not preaching at all here, a lot of this is me working through my thoughts to myself and typing them out here...
I see a lot of memes and posts saying that if you're not outraged by what happened in Minneapolis, you're on the wrong side. I think it goes without saying that George Floyd's death was atrocious and disgusting. Why can't we just be decent with each other to begin with? I can't even wrap my head around why we were ever in this position or why this shit is still a thing. Why is hate still being taught? That includes jokes about white people too. You know the memes "Sounds about white", "White people be like…..". If we're going to do this, we need to go all in, but we all do.
Replying to "Black lives matter" by saying "All lives matter". Of course all lives matter, that goes without saying. Not all lives have been oppressed in this way for centuries though. "All lives matter" isn't an argument to be had. I'm embarrassed to say that I've just recently clued in, while watching from my own little world, to the sentiment of "Black lives matter". I'm terribly sorry that I didn't before, but rebutting by saying "All lives matters" is like going to someone's concert and continuously shouting, "I play music too!"
Just to state my own perspective on a very simplified scale.
I shake my head at people on social media who are arguing while agreeing. We agree that it's time for change, and what needs to change, but we argue behind keyboards about the semantics of how it's being done by the people who are in the thick of it.
I shake my head that it's our duty to make our voices heard, but we're only allowed to do it where the authorities say we can, and currently with curfews, the same authorities that are being protested. You just need to blindly comply? Last night, I watched peaceful protesters exercising their first amendment rights of free speech, peacefully, but there was a curfew so they were arrested one by one. What I've been watching is bullshit.
On the other hand, while I obviously agree with the peaceful protesting, I also support the more aggressive protesting towards government buildings as tempers boil over. At first I tried to understand and validate the damage to businesses. Where I am, I saw a business burn down at their own doing and they had a new building erected and named after the business owner. I've changed my perspective now and I'm appalled after seeing multiple videos of looters attacking shop owners. It's gone too far. I never felt ok with the violence towards other people and opportunistic stealing (looting) from people who are in the same class as the protesters and looters, but if we're going to say that looters represent the protesters, then all cops are bad cops. They're not. I've met more good people who are police than assholes with a badge. That's just my experience though. I've also seen more viral videos and from my observation, they're sheep when they're in a group.
There's one thing I've been saying for years; that I don't understand why police kill anyone when using live ammo. Those five or six rounds you fired into their torso could've gone into their legs. Although I don't know what it's like to be in either sides' position, police are apparently trained to drive and use their computers, so shouldn't they be able to keep it together under pressure also? If not, should they be in that position?
I won't write about politics because all I have are thoughts, opinions, and ideas, and it's too easy to lose sight of the topic in that rabbit hole. I recently got into a discussion with a local politician who started talking about what it's like to be a politician. We went from talking about people being involved and as I was speculating as to why they might not, the discussion into him saying how people elect a leader then try to tell them what to do. If they can do it better, they should run for office. I'm not saying he's wrong, but we got way off topic from speculating why people don't get involved. Nothing against him, but I see why they don't now. I understand the system as well as astrophysics. So I feel I should be able to rely on the people elected to lead us and listen to us, instead, there are too many that will tell us we're wrong without saying those words. I will say without a doubt, and so did a couple people on CNN, that not enough is being done within the system for this specific topic and I question if voting and peaceful protesting is enough anymore.
I'll never know what it's like, I was born on the easy side of ethnicity. I will say that watching authorities react to people boiling over is reminiscent of every time I've boiled over at someone who then turns around and plays the victim or punished me for acting appropriately to their jeering.
I've been singing this song in my head for a few days and wanted to learn it, but felt I needed to actually record my own cut after I watched a video from Dallas of a shop owner being beaten nearly to death (I researched and he's alive). It made us feel sick. Maybe it’s just me, but it's so easy to be polite and courteous. Even Gandhi apparently had his moments of anger, but they were just moments of human emotion. I prefer to endorse faith and understanding. Faith that my bad days are leading to a good day, and understanding by asking "Why?", and searching for the root of an issue.
As I posted this, I discovered that Burt Bacharach performed this song at The White House in 2014.
I'm not saying we should all just hug and be happy all the time, that's insane, but it shouldn't be this bad.