Recent events in the United States are reminders that despite the ‘chemotherapy’ that we administered to cure our body of its ills, the disease still lies rampant within our collective body. It has metastasized in a horribly virulent way. The ill I am speaking of is one that is pretty much impossible to eradicate, but we certainly have to try harder to remove it from our lives.
I am not going to comment on the person whose death brought out the recent riots; a logical and reasonable person can look at the events and realize what truly went on.
Riots? Why do they happen? When do they happen? Who is the most victimized by the results of the riots? Generally, it is the people who live in those areas who pay a heavy price. Should we condone what has happened? No. Should we say that it is okay to run into a store and steal? No. But should we continue to try and control it without delving into the reasons why they come about? No!
We have to maintain good values, values that will work for us all. We also need to understand something called frustration. We all react differently to frustration; sometimes we do better with it than others. There are times that we can work through it and be reasonable. Then, there is that moment where the anger seethes to the point that a fist might go through the wall.
We are all racist. It seems that human beings just have it loaded in their DNA. We have to keep it in check, we need to stand back and look at the situation and make good judgments. Our government and laws need to be strong and clear and must provide equal treatment for all. A history of racism does not die easily and despite our efforts, it will rear its ugly face again and again until we all admit that it is there, that it is reprehensible, and that we have to face it head on and work toward its termination.
Have we made progress? Absolutely. We have made great progress but we have so far to go. One thing that happens as we process laws and move slowly toward equality is that the discrimination and racism sometimes settle into being even more secretive and harder to pinpoint. You only have to look at the rash of racial stereotyping and treatment of minorities within the legal system to realize that we still have a long way to go. I see on places like Facebook that so many people are focusing on pointing the finger at the rioters. They point out the mom who was angry at her son for his involvement. Rioting is a very negative action, but as a good doctor with a patient, we need to treat the cause and not just the symptoms.
Our judgmental side is not just focused on skin color, it also focuses on things like sexual orientation and religion. Why is it that we just cannot stand back and live and let live? Why do we think we have a right to get in everyone’s faces and tell them how to be and live their lives?
I hope and pray that we continue to make progress in these arenas. It hurts that it takes so long to try and undo hundreds of years of abuse of one human being over another, but that is reality. I just hope that we can all be reasonable, and for once and for all, set us on a program of equality as the laws of our land seem to state. I also hope that our legal system and our laws take a clear look at all and behave with wisdom and charity.