In the past I've watched news reports of the police shootings of black men and of the protests and riots that occurred afterwards. But now those are happening in my back yard — Charlotte.
The shooting occurred last week, with protests turning violent, then becoming peaceful. The National Guard has been brought in and curfews are in place. I've followed news stories and social media, hearing lies and truths, but I don't know which ones I can trust.
My concern isn't about the facts of the case, or the lies being told, or the videos being released, or about the drugs, guns, and police reaction. I'm concerned about the fear of the people and their search for answers.
A great philosopher once said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yes. That great philosopher was Yoda. Yoda also warned Luke, “But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.”
Think about that for a moment. Have you ever gotten so mad you couldn't think straight ("Step on the gas and merge you idiot!")? That's what Yoda is referring to, that place where you are consumed by anger and your brain stops thinking rationally.
Here's the thing (there always needs to be a thing) — Yoda points out that fear is the just the path to the dark side. Anger and hate are really just symptoms of the underlying problem. And it's not just fear. It's frustration at the lack of change in our country. It's the feeling of being powerless to stop these shootings from happening. It's the feeling of distrust in our government.
You know what else leads to anger and hate? Mario Kart. "Who threw that blue shell? Come on fess up! I will find you and I will shove a turtle right up your ass!!"
Anger is easy. Dealing with fear and the underlying emotions is not.
Violence is easy. Peaceful protests are not.
Protests are one of the most American things you can do — and a valuable tool to express ourselves — but they must remain peaceful. Once violence, looting, and vandalism starts, people STOP listening to you. People STOP supporting you. The government will not take you seriously unless you are peaceful (and unfortunately they may not do it then either).
For a protest … for a movement to be able to create change, it needs to express the true feelings of the people. Protest signs/slogans like, "We fear for our lives" or "Help us stop this violence" or "We no longer trust the police" help express the actual issue. They tell the government and onlookers their concerns and what they want. A movement must be able to communicate to our leaders.
Unfortunately most of what we get is, "Don't shoot us", "Fuck the police", "Black lives matter", and even "All lives matter". These are passive aggressive statements. These are not communicating concerns or needs.
As a matter of fact, people need to stop saying "All lives matter" when they really don't mean it.
Do homeless people matter? Are we really doing all we can for them? The government is making laws that prevent people from feeding the homeless in public areas (such as parks) and they pass laws to hide them away from the public eye. Does that sound like their lives matter?
The lower class. The poor. For those people in the middle or upper class, do you really care what happens to them? Do you resent that many of them need government assistance? Would you go our of your way to help them?
How about gay, trans, queer, non-binary, LGBTQ and sometimes Y people? Over the years I've listen to so much hate against these people. The government has passed laws against them in the name of "religious freedom". Do these lives matter?
And speaking of religion, many religions have anger and hate towards other religions. Do Muslim lives matter? Do Atheist lives matter?
Drug users and small time drug dealers (excluding pharmacists - they legally kill people with drugs). Society doesn't want to help them, they just want to lock them up. Lock them up in jail which is filled with violence, drugs, and rape. That doesn't sound like caring to me.
So you do care about all of those people? Great!
But what about pedophiles, serial killers, republicans, democrats, and people who talk during movies? I see an immense amount of hate directed towards these groups of people all the time, including wanting to put these people to death.
I'm not saying I disagree, but STOP SAYING ALL LIVES MATTER WHEN CLEARLY THEY DO NOT.
People protest because they need something. It's not a want. It's a need. Some people need justice (although they don't know what that means). Some people need the shooter executed (even though that won't solve the overall problem).
But everyone needs answers.
Unfortunately there are no clear answers in this life.
And that's what truly scares us. Terrifies us to the core.
"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
That, my friends, is our circle of life.
You can find all links referred to in the show (well, some of them) on my twitter feed @regisjack.
"People turn to anger because it's easier than facing their actual feelings" - The Distracted Philosopher
Visit The Distracted Philosopher dot COM for this episode, other episodes, blogs, and other stuff.
This is episode s09e35(355) for Monday, September 26, 2016 and clocked in at 21 minutes, 23 seconds