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Americas Addiction to Anger
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Writer's Note: I am posting some older articles I feel remain relevant as I decommission a personal website Google refuses to index.
I’ve debated now for days on whether to even attempt to say anything about what will now be forever known as “Fergusen.”
It’s occurred to me for quite some time, and now more than ever, that many Americans are addicted to a readily available drug called anger. Whenever the media (and sadly sometimes elected officials) stirs up controversy especially when it involves someone from the black community a number of people roll up their sleeves, strap a band around their arm and inject themselves with pure black tar anger.
There is psychology behind this. Ask any counselor. Sometimes people like being angry whether they are in a frame of mind to admit it, and they find ways to justify that anger. It’s very easy to get and it costs nothing, at least out of pocket, in the short term.
That was going to be the subject of my writing about Americans burning down their own neighborhood because of their rapturous need for anger. OK, many of those rioting in Ferguson and marching around the country probably could care less about Thomas Brown or Darren Wilson and just found a way to get away with looting and beating up others. (Ask the driver in Portland, OR who got smashed in the face by a veiled-face protestor.) Seriously, if you’re the leader of ISIS or AL Queda would you really bother with the time and money involved in destroying the United States when given enough time the United States will destroy itself?
Once the grand jury’s decision was announced and Americans started in on burning down America it was interesting to see all the differing opinions emerge. I found two that really stood out.
The first article I read was Framing Ferguson: If Black Lives Don’t Matter, No One’s Life Matters from patheos.com. The article by a professor (read that: Ph.D) from Multnomah University, a “Christian” college, is what initially made me rethink my foray into tackling Ferguson. Who the hell am I and if a college professor with a doctorate degree could write such drivel then I better stay far, far away.
Since writing is in many respects considered art, and art is in the eye of the beholder, I’ll refrain from commenting on the actual writing quality of this article. As far as the content? Sadly, it’s this type of liberal white condescension that drives some people to keep apologizing for the plight of the Black community. Probably because apologizing is their drug of choice. It makes them feel better and rather enlightened. Just count the number of times “African American” is used. Geez, OK we get it. You want everyone to know you refer to the black community as the politically correct “African American.” If I am to believe KABC radio host Larry Elder, an “African American,” despite what the media tells you, most blacks prefer “Black American.”
The author of the article further sinks his own credibility by quoting Spike Lee, who once said he shoots daggers at interracial couples with his eyes when he sees them. Just how well off is the Spike Lee Joint anyway? He’s done pretty good for himself. Probably because he worked hard. Sadly he doesn’t talk about his success and how hard work got him there, rather he lets his addiction to anger drive his life.
The Ph.D professor then toes the line of the racist legislation called affirmative action. He says “My understanding of Ferguson is that the police demographics at the time of the Michael Brown shooting did not reflect well the demographics of the community.” Well, my understanding of the police demographics are such that the Ferguson P.D. does not get very many blacks applying to the police force and those who do get hired move on quickly to higher paying jobs at bigger cities looking to fill minority quotas. Guess what, black police officers are in high demand, but if you’re not getting the applicants, what’s a police department to do?
So much for that judging based on the content of the character and not skin color thing a very wise man once said. By the way, where are the folks marching about the hundreds of black Americans killed yearly in Chicago. Nobody seems to care. Well, some people do. Check this out. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn is the first I’ve seen to address publicly some seemingly uncomfortable facts:
Who shows more love to the black community, the white Edward Flynn or two members of the black community who somehow go by Reverend but I’ve never actually heard them talk about following Jesus, or whatever God they revere.
The political party Mr. Ph.D no doubt blindly supports each and every election is also the same one that started the war on poverty 60 years ago. You’d think a man with a doctorate who professes at a Christian college would be alarmed by the rate of fatherless homes (70 percent!) in the black community – a stat whose ascension can be linked directly back to when the government stepped in to play the role of father. I believe the addiction to anger can also be directly attributed to the number of fatherless children running amuck – an immorality that crosses all racial ethnicities.
It wasn’t until I read something by Benjamin Watson that I decided to write a compare and contrast article rather than my own personal opinion piece though clearly I’ve offered some. Perhaps you’ve read it. Watson majored in Finance and as far as I know he doesn’t own a doctorate degree in anything. Rather he catches a football for a living. Watson is a tight end for the New Orleans Saints.
Watson’s “Ferguson” opinion piece is brilliant, well written and ultimately answers the question and gives the solution to what ails all of us. I’d never heard of Benjamin Watson before today. But you can bet I’ll be rooting for him on Sunday.
You’ll notice I didn’t post the Ph.D article within the body of this one. But I will post Mr. Watson’s which originally appeared on his Facebook page:
I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.
I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.
I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.
I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.
I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.
I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.
I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.
I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.
I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.
I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.
I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.
I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.
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