Monday, December 22, 2014

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

One of the things Mom said was “two wrongs don’t make a right.”  In working with children, inevitably there is a “he said/she said” saga that goes something like this…..”She hit me first.” Which is immediately met with, “UH-UH! He spit on me!” While the rhetoric and actions may differ with subtlety, the idea is the same.  One action doesn’t justify the other, no matter who acted first.  I would further add to the wisdom of my mother that there are ALWAYS, at the very least, two sides to every story.  Those who witness a quarrel of any magnitude will see it through their particular lens, including the angle at which they stand;  each individual lens is highly affected by their current--and most especially their past--environment.

Like many, I have witnessed from a distance the growing tension in our country.  I have demonstrated peacefully in my youth with government actions I disagreed with.  Peaceful demonstrations do not include looting, destruction of property or threatening behavior.  Further escalating these actions are those who “stir the pot” such as Al Sharpton and Eric Holder.  When there is a rush to announce action or a verdict before all facts are known, mistakes are inevitable. Big mistakes.  Limited even further by my own lens, I am probably foolish to attempt even one facet of the discussions.  Nonetheless, I am my mother’s daughter and I will rush in where angels fear to trod.

1)      Yes, there are definitely corrupt and evil law enforcement officers but they are rare.  Attempting to make all peace officers into “bad guys” is tantamount to saying that you can’t fly on a plane because there have been plane crashes. 

2)      Crimes are committed every day and often by those who have a previous criminal record.  Human nature is such that if I take one cookie without any repercussions, I can possibly trash the kitchen without anyone stopping me. I will make no assumptions about the cookies or the color of the hand in the jar.

3)      There are bad people. There are good people. There are angry and bitter people who have allowed their souls to be consumed by that negativity like a cancer.  There are positive and adjusted people who refuse to allow the past to ruin the future. My Dad believed that you find what you’re looking for (if people at your church are hateful, maybe you should start by taking a long look in the mirror rather than jumping churches. Again.) You make your own choices and chose the color of your lens as an adult.

4)      Slavery was a horrendous and unspeakable evil.  It still is.  There is still prejudice in our country, by too many folks of ALL colors. Period.

5)      There are some people who believe themselves competent leaders but in reality are only successful in creating a new crisis to use as their soapbox. 

You simply cannot say Michael Brown was innocent when eye witnesses and a camera verify his behavior.  When protestors change from carrying signs to chanting death, it begins to sound more like a conspiracy and they lose much of their credibility.   It is little wonder to me that two police officers were murdered by yet another person who has a criminal record.  Where are those who decried the actions in Ferguson? Those who whipped the crowd into a frenzy last week, actually demanding dead cops? And like so many, I wonder….if there were to be a crime against Al Sharpton or Mayor de Blasio, who the heck are they going to call if not the very police that they have demonized?

Just maybe it’s time to get new glasses.  Change the lenses, even at the cost of letting go of the pretty carrying case for the glasses or the tint that is too dark.  Or maybe, just maybe, some of us need to wear glasses to see the current situation accurately.  

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