Wednesday, July 13, 2016

We can’t even decide what exactly it is we’re angry about these days

There are those people in our society who are all angered and upset about the fact that several police officers in Dallas, Texas, were killed by an angered sniper – one who apparently was military trained in the ways of killing people efficiently.

Equating all three incidents is not a common sentiment, which is what makes this suburban Homewood church's viewpoint unique. Photograph by Gregory Tejeda
But I suspect they’re less angered about the actual deaths of those five officers (and shootings of several other people who happened to be nearby at the time of the incident last week), than they are in the fact that all of America isn’t united in outrage with them at the thought that someone would think that police ARE the problem.

FOR THERE ARE others amongst us who think the outrage of last week were a pair of incidents in Baton Rouge, La., and Minneapolis, Minn., in which video snippets showed people being shot to death BY the police.

Killer cops who have to be reigned in before they wreck more havoc upon us all – a thought that those people inclined to think of all cops as the mythical Officer Friendly want to believe is absolutely absurd. If not downright subversive!

The point being we have a major schism in our society. We can’t even agree what the problem is we face. Which means many of us are determined to think of at least one of these three incidents as being something in which someone got what they deserved.

This certainly isn’t the mood of the nation as it was in the weeks following Sept. 11, 2001 when the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in suburban D.C., created a mood of so-called unity.

EVERYBODY THOUGHT WE were all on the “same side.” Even though that, too, was a myth.

For what I recall was that the ideological right wing of our nation – the ones who were always eager to think of those Ay-rabs as some sort of degenerate force on our planet – were using those events of 15 years ago to claim they were right.

Others who didn’t comprehend what was taking place were scared into submission; into thinking that they had to just “shut up!” and go along with what was being spewed by the ideologically-minded.

Nothing like that is even close to occurring in this instance.

THOSE AMONGST US whose distrust of law enforcement has been intensified by recent incidents occurring across the nation (the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald in Chicago is far from unique) are not going to be intimidated into just “shutting up!” and accepting current police conduct as the status quo.

Protests have arisen in cities across the nation, including several demonstrations that occurred this weekend in and around the Taste of Chicago event in Grant Park.

Not that there were any outbursts of violence in Chicago as a result. In fact, people I know who were in the downtown area during the weekend said all the noise from more celebratory events and their accompanying crowds made it easy to ignore the presence of protesters at all.

But I’m also sure that those people inclined to want to think that protesting of any sort is a subversive activity (yes, they do exist, and they usually proclaim themselves to be the biggest patriots of all within our society) notice the activity and use it to be themselves all the more worked up about these radicals out to undermine our nation. Those who approve of the off-duty Minneapolis P.D. types who walked off the job when Minnesota Lynx players (that's women's professional basketball) expressed their support for the protest movement.

WE HAVE A split amongst us, and I’m not quite sure how it will all play out before it ends. I have no doubt our presidential election cycle will be the ultimate viewpoint of which way it leans.

For Republican Donald Trump is going out of his way to proclaim himself the candidate of choice for those people who want to view their cops as heroic and want to think “subversion!’ whenever they see the “Black Lives Matter” phrase. While Democrat Hillary Clinton has tried showing some sympathy for those individuals – only to be dumped on by Trump who claims she’s showing just how reckless and irresponsible she is by taking the wrong side.

Except that poll after poll shows a majority of the nation siding with her, even though Trump remains convinced his outspoken backers will turn out in force on Election Day to give him a political victory.

Which could make this a key issue in determining whether we move forward in our society, or backward in thinking our police exist to protect only certain segments among us.


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