With respect to Socrates, my unexamined life is not worth living. The front room is the face we show everyone but we hide our true self in the back room.
Here it is. This is where we are. While yet another American city burns.
“Stop committing crimes and there will be no problems.”
“Stop protecting police who routinely use unnecessary force on black people.”
We need to be less bombastic in our statements and more Socratic in our questions.
“It’s interesting you bring up a perfectly unfounded solution to the problem. After all, if black people do indeed stop committing crimes will all their problems go away or just yours? Is the real problem not a black problem but a white problem with blacks? And these crimes of which you speak, are they crimes served equally to whites and blacks or is there not evidential reality that blacks are continually arrested more for the same crimes? And why is unnecessary force used? Some may argue that they are a present and imminent threat at the time force is used while others may argue that police are using the rules to justify their own interpretation of those rules, and in both cases, might a re-examination of these rules be in order?”
Presently, there is anger on both sides. Anger can be healthy as a non-violent statement or in a respectful discussion. A statement expresses a singular or collective thought but a discussion is when at least two people speak. Both methods are attempts at communication. We need to talk to each other more, hear each other’s stories more, and empathize with each other more.
You know why?
Everyone in this country wants the same things. We all want to have a job we can be proud of that will compensate us equal to our abilities. We want to be safe. We want our family to be safe. We want to enjoy all the things this country has to offer, including a decent education. We want to be respected by others.
So there it is. The lines drawn in the sand. Us against them. For those choosing to whitewash this simple empathic reality, here is the truth so painful it breaks my heart:
If we do not believe that everyone in this country deserves these things then we are truly lost.