Travel, Food, and Slices of Life

Thinking it Through


I came of age during the VietNam war and so, the diversification of our nation now is not a new issue to me. There seemed to be three camps in those days: my country right or wrong, things are not right so I have an obligation to protest to get change to occur, and the silent majority.  Once again, we have proof that the more things change the more they stay the same.

A close friend recently posted on Facebook how dismayed she felt when at a kids’ recreational football game, the opposing team took a knee during the anthem.  She has felt the protests at the NFL games are primarily a disrespect to the flag, to the military and to first responders. Her husband is a retired cop who walked his beat with patience and persuasion, so I understand well how they are angry that all cops have been brushed with the unethical and illegal response by others.

My understanding her viewpoint is the first step to initiating a discussion. That discussion may go no where, butting up against the brick wall of inflexible consideration of emotions and facts that do not fit an acceptable scenario. But it might also open a window to a new enlightenment.

What has particularly bothered me about people who condemn the protest is that they never address the base issue. They never talk about WHY the protest is taking place.

They don’t understand it is that silence, that negation of importance, that drives the need for protest.

And when I ask people what kind of protest would be acceptable, the silence is deafening.

When there is silence, there is acceptance. There is complacency. There is collusion.

People I know who protest the protest are usually loud in their argument that they are colorblind, that they treat each person equally.  That may or may not be true and in truth, if each person actually believed in and lived the Golden Rule, we would be living in a whole different culture.

But the people who protest the protest NEVER say anything about the innocent people who are shot and killed, not because of their behavior but because of their skin tone.  They NEVER say anything about court decisions that absolve responsibility for a death of a person of color whose actions in no way required being killed.

They argue black on black crime. Not the issue being protested–stick to the point!

They argue women are also subjected to discrimination. Oh yes, but not the issue being protested-stick to the point!

They point out cruelty to animals. Horrible, but not the issue being protested-stick to the point!

There are a lot of things that can use improving in our society. I can’t fight for every issue that calls to me and neither can anyone else. But a strong emotional response sure indicates this may be an issue that needs more attention. And attention means education first to gather the facts and reduce the emotional response as much as possible. To think calmly and logically. To even place yourself in the same situation, empathically.

Adding anger about protest is adding fuel to the fire.





Author: GoingPlaces Can-Do Zero Waste

I moved to McMinnville a few years ago and was impressed with its friendliness and the beauty of the surrounding countryside. I write several blogs. GoingPlacesLivingLife is my personal blog related to travel, food and just general thoughts. Can-Do Real Food tells about my business processing local produce from small farms and preserving it by canning and dehydrating. The concept of Zero Waste appeals to me because we can truly reduce what gets tossed into the landfill with very small changes in our lifestyle. Join us.

3 thoughts on “Thinking it Through

  1. PS One of my favorite art stores is Merriartist in McMinnville… I visit twice a year, neighbor!

  2. Thank you. I also grew up during Vietnam.
    Being that it feels our country may be sliding backwards, I have no issue with this protest. I am from a cop family, and so it isn’t authority/respect that is my issue. Just saying.
    kneeling is a perfectly non-violent way to protest. It hurts no one (unless someone thinks that the flag is ALIVE) It doesn’t actually disrespect servicemen and women (though our country’s lack of giving a s@#t for them when they come home and during their tours certainly does.) Ditto police — but it speaks to the issues of where police are heading right now — not all police — but certainly some. To turn a blind eye to ACTUAL excessive violence perpetrated against persons of color is to accept that you agree with it. People who love various black actors should read their accounts of being pulled over and harassed until they realize — ooops.
    Disrespecting a symbol is a good way to protest. It hurts noone, save those who object to the cause.

    • It frustrates me that people can’t see that we MUST be allowed to protest. And yes, protest means making noise where none is usually made, getting attention, hopefully to some positive resolution. It seems that issues related to equal application of the law to people of color will long be a sticking point in our society. I guess, in comparison, the persuasion for equality for marriage worked so much faster. Maybe conservatives realize they can still love their family members when it comes to sexual orientation and identification, but color, race and ethnic origin is not as flexible. If only people knew their own immigrant story.

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