Blood On Our Hands

nypd loddIt wasn’t long before a few of the crazy ones took instruction from the hate being spewed by the ignorant. While there are others, in just this weekend, three police officers (two NYPD, one in Florida who ironically, was originally NYPD) have been executed for just being police officers.  Not because of their viewpoints.  Not because they posed a threat to anyone. Not even in an act of desperation.  Just gunned down by cowards without any expectation.  I discussed this a week or so ago when I said hate is being “fanned by zealots who exercise their First Amendment rights, not caring about the outcome”. My question isn’t obviously going to be answered, but I’m curious, at what point do we begin to see that hate speech should be considered as evil as the act?

When those who agitate are influential enough to cause the unbalanced to take matters into their own hands, our society has a serious problem. I suggest that your right to speak freely comes with a responsibility; for when people take you up on that suggestion, they do so most often because those leaders made it “okay” to do so.  These same individuals, on the left and the right, often have the luxury of being able to make their statements from the anonymity of the internet, or the distance of a television station, or behind a phalanx of security.  They do so without any regard for those in the streets whose lives are put in danger by their suggestions.  Furthermore, the lack of outrage from these same people are tantamount to endorsement.  And all of it, really, is in the name of extremism.

The overly idealistic believe that their rantings are innocent while nodding at the real problem.  There are a great number of individuals in our world who fail to have any rational connection with society, and have no issues with loading up a rental truck with ANFO, or walking into a VA center with a loaded gun.  There are psychopaths in whom a great deal of invective from unfiltered talking heads have stirred up their inner demons long enough to take arms against the innocent.  And the real danger isn’t even in those actions, but in the realization that those who hate for reasons they don’t even fully understand, because they only choose to hear what they choose to hear, have made it acceptable to other generations coming up who will perpetuate those beliefs.  Where were the parents of those rioters and looters in Ferguson?  I would bet a number of them were right there with their kids, validating that kind of irrational behavior.  Where are the leaders now, with dead cops who have no connection at all to those controversial cases, victims simply because of their chosen profession?  Silent.

The truly guilty continue to walk free when the irresponsible can light the fuse, and be far enough away when the explosion occurs, both metaphorically, and in some cases, literally.  If you continue to assume that making generalizations of others is okay because as a class or race you feel generally victimized yourself, well, you are a hypocrite.  You have sunk to the lowest common denominator because it “sounds good”. Calling for the blood of others these days, with the internet at your disposal, is just inciting a modern day lynching.  We as a society shouldn’t tolerate it from anyone, in any walk of life.

We as human beings have the ability to empathize and understand.  While I am a white male and can’t possibly know what it is to be black, any more than I can know what it is like to be female, or Asian, or anything else, I can at least agree that there are valid concerns, be understanding of those concerns, and try to work together to solve them.  Avoiding these discussions, or dismissing them as invalid is not going to improve our condition.  However, just as you have concerns, I have concerns, and mine are no less valid than yours.  What we can do is agree that while we may not see eye to eye on our beliefs, we can at least value each other as humans, and be respectful while we try to move forward.

Those who continue to push their personal agenda though, without regard for understanding what hell they happen to unleash by doing so, to me, are as guilty as those taking action.  We don’t have to listen to them, but they certainly shouldn’t have a forum to speak their hate either.  We need to shut them down.  Shout them out. Ignore them. Regardless of how strongly you feel, it is time for us as a human race to push this hate aside and look at what it is doing to our world.  If you believe in better, we need your help.

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