Monday, April 27, 2015

What Did You Think Would Happen? Sharpton, Jackson, and Entitlement

Unbelievable. I'm sitting here watching the news and Baltimore looks like a scene from a movie....and it's not a good one.  So here, finally, is my open letter to Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and anyone else that thinks they are 'leaders' in the black community.  This is for all of you that want to disgrace the name of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr and act as if you have the same ideals. What I am seeing is pathetic and disgraceful. If this isn't the End of Days, I don't know what is.

So, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton - where are you? I would like to think you are standing in your offices or homes, wringing your hands, wondering how to bring this situation under control. I'd like to think you are in contact with the Mayor of Baltimore asking what you can do to help. I'd like to think you want to come to Baltimore and, with bullhorns and the voice of authority and leadership, appeal to the greater senses of the neighborhoods to stop these travesties. I'd like to think all these things, but somehow I cannot escape the image of you both sitting at home, your neckties loose and sleeves rolled up, drinking a nice scotch with some of your cronies with feet propped up as you watch Baltimore burn. I envision you holding the glass and pointing at the television, saying things like, "Damn, look at the arm on that kid throwing that rock 30 yards at that cop," as you smile at the unrest and destruction. Seriously, that is the image I have of you both. Why is that the idea running through my mind?  Simple - neither of you ever shows up for anything bordering on true civil unrest unless it is a call to arms for what you perceive as blacks being slighted.

Black lives matter? I absolutely agree, HOWEVER.....what makes a black life worth more than ANY other life? Before you tell me that police officers have killed blacks and you don't feel that justice was served (think Ferguson, Freddie Gray, fill-in-the-blank), let me just reiterate one thing that MIGHT just have avoided these situations - When a police officer tells you to stop, you stop. You obey them. I know that sounds like I am oversimplifying things, but that's the case. It really is that simple. Oh, I know you will now say that, especially with Freddie Gray, the cops were dirty or racist or just wanted to kill him. I grant you that there are some bad cops. I'll also say it's a small percentage and, like anything else, this will always be the case. So let's work to weed them out and eliminate them from the police force. Tell me how you are any different than the dirty cops when 15 other officers, in an attempt to restore order, are injured by rioters. Tell me how burning a CVS pharmacy or looting a 7-11 helps the cause. Better yet, when the fire department shows up to extinguish the fire, tell me how you are helping anything in your neighborhoods when someone blatantly walks up and cuts the fire hose....on national television!

Let's be clear - this is a riot, not a protest. Martin Luther King and his followers held protests and marches. They peacefully moved their agenda forward - WITH SUCCESS! If you don't believe me, let's pull out the history books for a lesson, shall we? Blacks couldn't use public restrooms or drink from the same fountains as whites. Blacks did not have the same opportunities as whites in the workforce. And lastly, and most importantly - there's a black man as outré President! What more can we do to show you that civil rights have advanced??

Ah, but that's not it at all, is it? None of this is because people don't think black lives matter or civil rights need to be advanced, is it? There's a different reason for all of this, yet no one wants to discuss it. In the name of civil rights or because blacks were once enslaved, there is a deep underlying sense of.....entitlement. There's a sense of being owed something. It's because, dare I say it, you really do want a hand-out rather than hand-up. It's because someone, somewhere, mistakenly used the word 'entitlements' when it came to providing help. No one is 'entitled' to anything, period, in life. Yet here we are watching looters walking into drug stores and a mall, taking whatever they choose, and simply walking out. Tell me how this shows me that black lives matter. This shows that blacks are thieves, common criminals, and thugs. Let me say, too, that before that labels me a 'racist', I have yet to see one white person walking out with their arms filled with property that is not theirs. You don't want me to generalize? Then how about you change the behavior by getting involved and making this stop. No, it's not your job....though neither was inciting them to behave this way.

I am so utterly disgusted right now that my thoughts...all of them in this post....are scattered and seemingly random. All I can think is that, in your efforts to advance civil rights, you have set the movement BACK many years. What makes me say that? Well, for starters, I can envision the authorities preparing to do what they should have earlier - turning the fire hoses on the rioters and doing whatever is needed to disrupt them. Remember those days? Almost 50 years ago, actually, and what I think might be effective tonight. Sadly, though, the crowds are probably better armed than the police and firemen.....and, as we've seen far too often, not afraid to use their weapons AGAINST the police. The officers today, in an effort to ensure the don't further fan the flames of protest, didn't even assert themselves when under attack and aggression as these thugs were stoning them. The police officers retreated. This, more than anything, makes me fear for our collective safety. If the police are more concerned with perception, then what purpose do they serve? If they cannot perform their duties for fear of your riots, then what will we do to preserve order? Right. There will be no order.

I don't know what to say. This is a random post and I cannot even articulate my thoughts. I'm appalled, shocked, concerned.......and disgusted. I'm pissed off. Sharpton & Jackson, here's my request to you - Go earn our collective respect and get your asses out there. Make this madness stop. You want to be a 'leader', then go lead. Right now you are both a bunch of self-righteous cowards and I, just another concerned citizen, am calling you out. 

Now, I'm going back to the news. There is a black Vietnam veteran speaking some sense. "These kids should be at home, studying. I'm not black, I'm American." Finally, a voice of reason. So, let's see how bad this gets.....and make sure these thugs get what they deserve. An until someone goes out there and does something to help restore order, don't you DARE say one thing about black lives matter or the cops are wrong. You want justice? work for peace.

Until next time..................