Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Injustice and Riots - A Nerdy White Guys Perspective

If you didn't already guess, I'm a white guy.  Maybe in some ways, I am overly white, or cliche white.  I really don't mind if someone says that and I joke about it myself sometimes.  It's easy to do.  But it's never been so easy or natural for me to joke about other races, because I respect other people, until they give me a reason not to respect them.  I work with white people, and Spanish people, and "black people" (I wouldn't call them "African American", because I really hate that label, and I don't think they're from Africa, any more than I'm from Germany or Ireland).  Each of them have their own traits and personality.  If I have a problem with someone, it has NOTHING to do with their heritage or their job, and in my mind, it never will.  If you're a jerk, you could be from anywhere and have any job.

Maybe some will say I look at the world through "nerd colored glasses", and I'm too optimistic at times.  Because unfortunately, the real world can be a frustrating place sometimes.  That's why I focus on nerdy things.  I prefer imagination and creativity over the harsh reality of disgusting things that I have no control over.

I don't think I'm delusional and I never just stick my head in the sand.  In fact, sometimes maybe I am too aware of what's happening.  I often research in depth from different sources so I can try to understand the truth. Especially when it seems we live in a world of misinformation and outright hatred.

But will any of my research help resolve anything?  Maybe not, and it causes me more pain seeing how people handle things, knowing in my heart, they're only making things worse.

Back in 1992, while going to school to study audio recording, I spent time as a security guard (stop laughing!).  Most of the time, all I had to do was stay awake.  It wasn't an overly complicated position, and I could study for school while staying vigilant over whatever it was I was supposed to be watching.

It was great... until Rodney King.

A black man pulled over by police, and they all beat the crap out of him while someone recorded it.  Common sense says this was wrong and the cops should have been locked up for abuse of power on an unarmed man.

But after a long court case, nothing happened to the police.... And many people in LA rioted.

I lived in Florida, but you can imagine how I felt, looking like a cop.  And maybe you can also understand, why I quit that job two weeks later.

Now here we are twenty years later.  Michael Brown, a black man, unarmed, was shot dead by police.  Just writing those words make my stomach turn, because after a Grand Jury examined the case, nothing will happen to the cop who fired the gun.  
But equally frustrating, many people in Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting took place, decide to riot over this decision.

I read many posts from others on social media that said "This is crazy!".  I think the proper word is STUPID!!
So taunting police, smashing windows, burning down businesses, and flipping cars is your solution???  None of these businesses or cars or people had anything to do with this shooting!  Now you look like a child throwing a tantrum.  This makes you no better than the idiots with a badge abusing their power. 

Everyone needs to realize, there are a LOT of good people in the world.  Some of them are cops.  Some are white.  Some are black.  Some are Muslim.  The list goes on and on.

Maybe some of these businesses are on your side!  Maybe they agree with you!  Maybe some cops are on your side!  Nobody can say ALL cops are evil.

So what is the solution?  
I wish I knew.  But violence and blind hatred will never work in your favor.  I'm realistic to know the idea of "one man can make a difference" isn't so easy in 2014.  But I still try.  And all I can do is write.  I couldn't be more removed from this situation unless I was actually a space alien.  Maybe nobody involved in this situation will ever read my words.  But I made the effort intelligently and responsibly.  So if everyone makes an effort, maybe we can all make some change for the better?

At the risk of making this a nerdy post, (always go with your strengths), there are people that grew up watching Star Trek from the 1960's that were inspired to create a lot of the technology we use today.  And maybe their inspiration was innocent curiosity, but can't we also be inspired to create new laws and a better society through things that frustrate us? 

Stop thinking about revenge and start acting smart and maybe we can prevent this type of stupidity from repeating itself in another twenty years.  The world can be a beautiful place, with a lot of good people who want to help.  But burning it to the ground because you're angry, is never the solution.

One important thing to notice...
Millions of people care about what happened to Michael Brown, when nobody heard of him before this shooting. That alone makes a very powerful statement.


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