“We haven’t seen internal unrest like this since the 1960’s” is a refrain heard many times this weekend. I remember how bad it was and how divided we were.
I also remember a song being released in 1965 by Barry McGuire, “Eve of Destruction,” implying the world was on eve of being destroyed. There were wars and protests, he said, and we were on the verge of “the button being pushed.”
Then there was the counter song “Dawn of Correction” that said the opposite. It believed we were smarter than to push any button, and better days were ahead.
The second proved correct, over time, as the Iron Curtain came down and the cold war ended. So the moment always seems worse than what the future might portend.
Which brings us to today and the cross road we are at. Not quite the survival of mankind this time, just a crisis of government and the future of our nation.
This doesn’t need repeating, but the day after the tragedy we condemned the police involved and couldn’t understand why all four were not locked up. We still don’t understand why three, though fired, are still free. It’s clear they failed to do their job.
What’s also clear is that the advent of the cell phone has made the actions of some clear and undeniable. Hopefully that reality impacts behavior of many. It has the power to bring change to all society.
The protesters have the right to protest. It’s the very foundation of our nation and how we were formed. I have not heard anyone say that any person should not be free to do so. Protests have proven to impact change in our nation.
So on the police action and with the right to protest, we are in full agreement.
Now comes part three, the looting and violence. Here I draw the line.
How can we allow businesses and outlets to be destroyed and burned in the very neighborhoods that need them the most?
People need their grocery store, drug outlet and shopping center. What gives anyone the right to destroy it?
I find it deplorable that St. Patrick’s Cathedral was debased. What happened to respect for religion and houses of worship?
How could anyone desecrate the WWII memorial? On what ground is that defendable?
How could someone think its right to burn St. John’s Church in Washington DC. where every President since James Monroe has gone to mass?
We must separate the unacceptable act by a now prisoned rogue police officer, justified protests about the act and others like it, from breaking the law and destroying society norms.
Now I hear “well they are a small percentage of the people.” Well so is the rogue officer. I have not seen one defense of the officer.
Society is held together by its fabric of law. Wrong is wrong no matter what side of the law you are on. We who understand that must stand with the protesters against the act by the officer, and with those saying you can’t break the law protesting a law breaker. It is the common bond of right and wrong that melds us, we cannot lose that.
Stay well and stay safe.