Saturday, June 17, 2017

Can’t we agree on anything?!?

We’re in an era of rabid political partisanship and one in which the proponents of the old-school way of thought are openly resisting any thought of change, no matter how progressive or fair-minded it might be.
Heroic? Or misguided?

So perhaps it shouldn’t be a shock that some people can find offense in anything, particularly things that once might have been considered sweet and innocent – but now are regarded as evidence of the callousness oft expressed in our society.

WHAT CAUGHT MY attention was reaction to a story by the website for Chicago that gave us a feature story about Chicago Police Department officers who put their own physical well-being at risk to save a dog.

Specifically, a pit bull that was stray and somehow got into Lake Michigan and was thrashing about in the water trying to avoid drowning to death.

The website reported that the two officers, one of whom is a recent graduate of the Police Academy. It seems the officer in question was paying attention during class, in that he used a maneuver learned at the academy to get into the water and pull the dog to shore.

As things turned out, one of those television news helicopters was flying overhead and got video from above for the incident. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was pleased to see such kindness to a dog – and DNAInfo reported that the department was sent a certificate, along with a box of vegan cookies.

NOW I’M SURE some people will feel compelled to joke that if the activist group really felt appreciative, they wouldn’t have sent the cookies – or anything vegan.
Compassionate? Or cold-hearted?

But one group seems to have taken offense to the whole incident – the activists associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. They’re the ones who in recent years have been going out of their way to show how law enforcement is focusing its ire on people of a certain melanin complexion.

They’re quick to trot out the lists of names of countless young black men who wound up dying or being beaten severely while at the hands of the police. So perhaps they’re not eager to see anything placing the police in a positive light.

Or perhaps it’s the idea that an animal received an act of kindness from police?
Self-defending? Or myopic?

IN ADDITION TO using Facebook and Twitter to promote such causes as the Chicago Dyke March (on June 24) and the right for free travel to Cuba (a protest on Friday at the federal building complex), the Black Lives Chicago group had a statement trashing the report, and PETA for feeling the need to praise police.

“F--- Black people huh PETA?,” the activists wrote on Twitter, while then naming a lengthy list of Rekia Boyd and other, now-deceased black people who suffered police abuse.

This is a confusing situation to contemplate, largely because I can comprehend why activists would be upset. Considering the tensions that have arisen between law enforcement and a certain segment of society, some sense of bitterness is understandable.

Although I also can hear in my mind all those people now eager to either defend PETA or criticize the Black Lives Matter movement.

SOME MAY WANT to claim they’re merely being compassionate to another living creature, while some may well believe that a dog’s life is worth more than that of a black person. Of course, many of them will want to believe they’re not being racist and are entitled to such thoughts.

Which really means they don’t want to be called out for their nonsense, and may well be a part of this Age of Trump we’re now in that they want to believe legitimizes their way of thinking.

That ultimately is the problem we face as a society – those who refuse to acknowledge the problem and want to think it is someone else’s hang-ups about life that are improper. Which often comes down to our own ignorance about public affairs.

I had a recent conversation over dinner with someone who passed along an anecdote about encountering some young people who had no clue what the Civil War was in the United States. If we’re really at a stage where we’ve forgotten, then it’s no wonder some of us are spewing stupidity when we contemplate race relations in our society these days.


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