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Posts Tagged ‘black lives matter’

If you are an owner or proponent of guns, please read this blog.  I have a question for you, but it’s not till the end.  We now return you to your regular scheduled program.

This is not a blog about race, but race is going to come up, and come up quickly.  I was talking with a friend about Black Lives Matter, the recent acts of violence of police against black people, and various people that have gone on air to share their opinions about the matter.  For example, our own, David A Clarke Jr.’s “controversial” comments on CNN.  I place the word controversial in quotes, because I didn’t think what he said was all that controversial.  I disagreed with the tone of his words, but I couldn’t disagree with the facts of his statements.  However, yeah, what he said was true, but irrelevant (roll credits).  I introduce to you one of my biggest pet peeves regarding arguments/discussions about serious topics:  Person A makes a point with Comment Z, and Person B counters their point by tying Topic X and makes a claim that it is connected and refutes Person A’s comment Z, even though they are no connected at all.  Confused?  Let me help.

A police officer kills a black man.  In the court of public opinion (which is where we are right now and it should not be forgotten that the court of public opinion is not in fact the court of law) the killing of the man was unjustified.  The cry of outrage is “Why is the system against black people?”  In other words, black lives matter too.  The white person’s response might be, “How dare you!  How dare you say that the police are racists!  If you are so mad, why aren’t you mad at the fact that more black people are killed by black people?  Huh?  What about that?”  Mic drop, and they walk away victorious.  Really?  Really?  Yeah, it’s true, more black people are killed by black people than by white people, but it’s irrelevant to this discussion.  Now before you get all mad, let me explain.

I’m against domestic violence.  There, I said it.  Husbands should never beat their wives.  But don’t you realize that there is more violence between single people than married people?  Oh, and by the way, sometimes the wife beats the husband.  What about that?

I’m against child abuse.  Wow, I’m really going out on a limb in this blog.  But the fact is, kids are more likely to be hit by other kids than their parents.  Why aren’t we outraged by that?  Why are we spending so much time on stopping child abuse?

They’re not the same.  I hope you see that.  But let’s pretend for the sake of argument that you are unable to distinguish the differences in the various topics.  Then why can’t you be mad at all of it?  Be outraged by white on black violence AND black on black violence.  But you know the real reason Person B is trying to counter your argument?  It simple.  They want to win.  They want to win the argument, and more importantly, not change a damn thing about how they live their life.  “Guess what angry black man, I win, and I don’t have to change a damn thing about who I am, how I think, or how I act.  How do you like them apples?”

Recently I read a posted article on Facebook where a man with a gun foiled an armed robbery of a restaurant.  It came with a snide comment by the poster (which I don’t remember what it was exactly), but I interpreted it as, “See, this is why everyone should be allowed to own guns.” (mic drop)  Really?  This one example is why Americans should keep their guns?  This is similar to my original pet peeve, or at least in the same family.  This is, “Let me give you one true event to prove my point” guy.  I don’t care who you are, you have used this one at some point in your life.  Whether you are uplifting the one black person in your life that agrees with your points (people do this with Charles Barkley ALL the time).  Guess what Mr. “Famous black person said something I agree with that proves my point” guy?  Mr. Barkley does not speak for me.  Or, you see a one time event, and say, “See, I told you it was true.”

Someone in my life never wears a seatbelt.  His argument is, people don’t know what they are talking about.  As kids, no one cared about seatbelts.  You see, they don’t know what they are talking about.  Opinions keep changing.  You see, it’s all the same.  We don’t use facts to inform our decisions, we use facts to confirm our decisions.  (I may be tooting my own horn, but I like that previous sentence.  I like it so much, I’m going to write it again.  Toot toot!)

We don’t use facts to inform our decisions, we use facts to confirm our decisions.  So, as I continue to blog from my very high horse and attempt to make the world just a little bit better.  I challenge my readers.  Don’t attempt to be discussion stoppers.  The examples above, in my opinion stop discussion.  If you care about making yourself better, and you are the only one you truly have control over, try to stay in the conversation and think, in what ways could I make this situation better?  Which leads me to the quasi end of my blog.  I want to ask a question.  And it is a question to all gun owners and proponents of guns.

Imagine a scenario by which a new strict gun control law was created, and you lost your right to own a gun as a result.  Because of this new law, America gun violence is reduced by 50% or more for the rest of time.  Would you support this law?

If you don’t understand what this question has to do with this blog, than I’m sad.  You missed the point of the blog.  I’ll do better next time.


I usually go in a different direction for this section, but this time I’m going to stay on topic.  Many of us want our police to be “above the law”.  They have jobs that most of us could not do.  They deserve our respect for what they do.  They are getting their hands dirty on a regular basis, where we are keeping our hands clean within the safe walls of our home that they protect.  I am both scared and super happy of the existence of the police force.  You may not get that, but it is true.  But the reality is, our police can’t be above the law.  They are human and will make mistakes.  When mistakes are made, things should be corrected.  I don’t want to be in a society that has a special group dressed in black that handles all of our dirty work for us and is given carte blanche as long as they get the job done.  It is a reflection of who we are, who we want to be as a society.  So, I will leave you with one of the greatest movie scenes of all time and amazingly relevant to this discussion.

From the Movie:  A Few Good Men (1992)

Judge Randolph: *Consider yourself in Contempt!*

Kaffee: *Colonel Jessep, did you order the Code Red?*

Judge Randolph: You *don’t* have to answer that question!

Col. Jessep: I’ll answer the question!

[to Kaffee]

Col. Jessep: You want answers?

Kaffee: I think I’m entitled to.

Col. Jessep: *You want answers?*

Kaffee: *I want the truth!*

Col. Jessep: *You can’t handle the truth!*

[pauses]

Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

 

Colonel Jessup went to jail.

Thanks for reading.

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It is the year 2016 and we still can’t talk race in a productive way.

Hi!  I’m Brett, and this is my new blog.  I used to have a more random blog, and trust me, this blog will be plenty random at times, but I have decided to discuss a little more about serious issues in this blog.  I hope it to be civil, thought provoking, and maybe, just maybe, an avenue to make a few lives better.

I welcome all opinions, as long as they are written with intelligence and forethought.  No offensive language please.  I am sure I will get some bad posts, but I will do my best to ignore the ignorable.

And here we go …

If you are reading this blog, you might fall into two camps:  1.  I’m not racist and I’m sick of all this talk about race.  Let’s just move on.  2.  I’m not racist and I’m sick of all the racist people in the world.  We can’t move on till we deal with all the racists.  Or maybe there is a third category.  3.  Am I racist?  I want to move on, but I feel like I shouldn’t.  Those people seem really mad.  Maybe it is me, but how can that be?  I don’t FEEL racist.

I believe one of the biggest issues with race relations is our inability to discuss race relations.  I believe ‘white privilege’ exists, but some of you hear that term and get defensive and you want to yell, “I’m not racist!”  I mention the organization, “Black Lives Matter” and some of you get defensive, “NOW those guys are racists!”  It is starting to feel like sports.  “My team is better than your team!”  Go blacks!  Go Whites” Go “I don’t see color, I just want everyone to win!” – Don’t be that guy.  But seriously, how do we discuss a serious topic such as “race relations” without admitting that there is a nugget of truth to everyone’s side.  There is no winning team, as long as we insist on dividing by teams.

We need to get to a point where the loss of life, the unnecessary loss of life bothers us all.  But we can’t do that until we realize that there are biases in ALL of us.  Here is the part of this blog that none of you may like:  When we become defensive, we are doing so because we are defending that part of ourselves.

You become defensive when you think about Black Lives Matter?  Maybe it’s because a piece of you doesn’t value black lives as much as others?

But blacks are killed by blacks more than they are killed by whites.  True, but are you outraged by this, or just trying to defend your position?  If so, see above.

But famous black person said that the people of Black Lives Matter are racist and don’t care about the lives of the police officers and the media is race mongering and blowing this up all out of proportion.  I would argue both, true and false, but again, what is your point?

A non-race example:  It’s not the guys fault that she was so drunk.  I could blog all day about this statement alone.  It is a tough thing to face the thoughts that enter our heads with different situations of life.  Only if we could talk about our thoughts in a safe and enlightening environment.  Oh, but we cant, because …

this is how the conversation ends.  I’m right and you’re wrong.  Do you even care about why I feel the way I do?  Or is it more important to allow you the comfort of “knowing” that you aren’t racist and there is an explanation for all this that completely disregards my and others’ feelings about the situation?  I am asking you to consider both sides.  And if you don’t have information on the other side, than please ask someone, preferably a friend and not a stranger (that would be weird).  If you don’t have a friend of a different race (If you live in Wisconsin, I’ll give you a pass, not many here), maybe consider, just maybe, your ability to understand the plight of others is compromised.  And, you might have some biases.  Scratch that, you DO have biases.  You don’t understand, because you don’t understand.

Many bad things have happened over the last couple of weeks.  Many bad things.  Are we going to continue to say, “Go Team!” or does every side have value?  Murder is wrong, I believe that.  But what drives a person to feel as if killing another human being is their best and only option?  Ohhh, I want to talk about that, because until we answer that question, this will be a problem that our kids, and their kids, and their kids will be dealing with, possibly until the end of time.

Talk, share, and communicate.  You just might find that the other team should win a little too.


Insert Bad Transition Here …

I Pokémon hunt.  I’m not ashamed to admit it.  But every time I go to our local Pokestop I see people that don’t quite look each other in the eyes.  It’s like we’re all looking at porn.  We know what each other is doing, but we don’t want to acknowledge that we know what each other is doing.  “Nothing to see here folks.”

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