Perception or Reality?
Two wrongs make a riot…
Prejudice and bias are part of the human condition. Perceptions vary based upon belief and experience. What does not vary are specific, objective events and actions. I may feel it is hot today and you may feel it’s cold but neither of those perceptions has any effect on the fact that it rained this afternoon. The “rain” is objective reality while our feelings of hot and cold are the perception of that reality.
To connect this to current events, see Ferguson, MO.
The tragic events, compounded daily with further violence, illustrate the attempts to affect objective reality with subjective (opinion-based assertion, not facts) perception. No matter how we (you, I, they…) feel (perceive) about the shooting of Michael Brown (and the subsequent rioting) the reality is this: Michael Brown (who was black) is dead due to the bullets from the gun fired by a white police officer. This description requires no opinion. However, the cause of the officer’s actions are as yet unknown. What Michael Brown was doing just before he was shot is not conclusively known either.
What has occurred in the aftermath, the violence and rioting, has been based upon preconceived ideas, prejudicial beliefs and subjectivity. A vulgar tantrum meant to displace law and order. Reality has been replaced with a perception of reality. This perception is meant to justify the lawless actions of the mob while condemning the (as yet unknown) actions of the police. Rather convenient for a mob, wouldn’t you say? If only the police would shoot a black kid in every town, we could all get new TVs…
For argument’s sake, let’s say that the worst case scenario proves true: a police officer sworn to protect the citizens of Ferguson, instead, shot and killed Michael Brown because he was black. That would be a terrible, gut-wrenching circumstance that would compel the justice system to impose the maximum penalty under the law. However, I have some follow-up questions:
-Should the citizens then be allowed to burn the town, break shop windows and steal private property?
-Has the racism of the entire justice system, police officer hierarchy and caucasian populace finally been exposed?
-Have young black males been exonerated from taking any responsibility for how they conduct themselves in society?
Answer to all: HELL NO!
No matter what the investigation discovers, the law prevails in the United States. If the officer acted improperly, he will be made to face the consequences. But nothing justifies the response of violent pandemonium and race baiting. Race hustlers Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton appear when a black teen is shot by a white cop, or if no cop is present, a white-hispanic neighborhood watchman (see George Zimmerman). They preach of the injustice of the past and the hardships caused by the racial inequalities of this hate-filled evil empire, the United States.
Yet, these opportunistic, self-involved, hypocritical, disingenuous, short-sighted, vitriolic race hustlers conveniently overlook the inconvenient facts that make up reality. For instance:
-they stay well away from commenting on those black youths killed in big cities like Chicago where 7 black people alone were killed by gang violence during the weekend that preceded this post, after the events in Ferguson
-2,648 black people were murdered in 2012. Of those killed, 2,412 were murdered by a member of their own race
-white privilege has supposedly sustained an unjust society despite the actions of the civil rights era and the boom in entitlement spending. According to this perspective, the responsibility for the actions of underprivileged minorities lies not with the individuals themselves but with the same racist society: e.g. the birthrate of children to single mothers and the prevalence of violence and drug use among the black population. Supposedly everyone’s fault (due to white privilege), not those who engage in such behavior.
-despite the claims of rampant racism throughout the police force in Ferguson, MO, and the pernicious threat of violence against minorities due to such racism, there has never been another shooting (that is known, at this time) by a police officer in this town.
No Justice, No Peace. This is the battle-cry of the mob. It’s unsettling melody can be heard wherever the rule of brute force is attempting to replace the rule of law. The guillotines of 18th century France fell to the same beat.
Today, the violence continues without any acknowledgement that the process to dispense justice is well underway. The truth will come out so true justice can prevail. Then, the race-hate industrialists will pack up and declare victory (no matter what the outcome). They will hide away from the daily violence suffered by the urban black communities, and from the real causes of that strife. They will wait until once again, prejudice can be used to stoke fear.
Perception (as peddled by the race hustlers): racism still exists in this prejudicial society where white privilege prevents the economic mobility of minorities who are the regular victims of race-based violence and discrimination by private entities encouraged by the state.
Reality (as displayed by objective reality through the prism of my personal bias): racism does, has and will continue to exist. However, it is not a debilitating force paralyzing minorities. Both individual citizens and state institutions have overextended themselves in their attempts to alleviate the pains of the history of discrimination. Political correctness has become a toxic attribute of our leaders and the media, preventing objective analysis and disclosure.
Nothing can change our history of slavery or the often deplorable treatment of Native Americans but, then again, no one responsible for the institution of slavery or any western massacre is alive today. Equality can only exist under the law, not in the utopian fantasies pursued in the name of social justice. People of every race in the United States are protected and punished under that same rule of law. Where evidence exists of prejudice within our system of justice, laws governing judicial malpractice will be enforced.
If the police shoot an unarmed teenager because he is black, the full weight of law enforcement will be brought to bear against those officers. If the police use deadly force to protect themselves against an imminent threat, then they have done their job as trained and should suffer no legal consequences, regardless of the tragic circumstances.
Everyone can follow the activities of the race hustlers Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. The venom they espouse is easily tracked. (Read here about Sharpton and the false allegations of Tawana Brawley) Their interest is in furthering the notion of a racist America, not to better our society by focusing on similarities and solutions. They engage in doublespeak that both denounces and encourages the violence seen in Ferguson.
REALITY: the United States continues to suffer reactive violence and infighting due the duplicitous perception that casts a peaceful future aside in pursuit of the phantom menace of a racist America.
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts”- Daniel Patrick Moynihan