Complexity and connection

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/04/us/south-carolina-ex-officer-sentencing-walter-scott/index.html

 

We don’t know what will happen in this case, yet, but fingers crossed.  All my life, I’ve known of these cases, and the denial was rampant before the Rodney King event, which was the first major case I remember caught on video.  Within days, the push back claiming that there was secret footage showing how scared the officers were of him were flowing.  I noticed which side of the political spectrum those claims came from. The same side that denied multiple other cases, and claimed that protestors half-crazed with fear and grief were enacting political theater.

 

Fine.  You have that right. But don’t pretend you didn’t say it.

 

I see cell phones and body cameras as being a serious value. Why?  Because it is glaringly obvious that people don’t want to believe this is happening.  They have an INVESTMENT in disbelief.   And will edit and delete and isolate instances, and in the few cases where someone gets caught out, will claim it was one bad egg.

 

Sometimes, they will blame police training, or “racist cops”.   I understand.

 

My position: the cops are no worse than the society from which they are chosen. That on some level these events express the unspoken desires of the community that breeds, selects, trains, and punishes or rewards them.  Unspoken, often unconscious desires.

 

  1. If you don’t believe in human equality, it is fear of “the monkey’s taking over the zoo.”
  2. If you do believe in human equality but come from a place of fear, not love, you are concerned with vengeance for centuries of theft and oppression.  “If they’re like us, they’ll want revenge”.
  3. If you believe in human equality, and come from love, you know you can join hands with others of the same temperament, and that together we will get past this, and heal.

 

The cameras will win because we can’t see ourselves shooting down unarmed people running away.  THAT’S NOT WHO WE ARE.  I doubt I have anyone on my friend’s list who would approve of such a thing, and if there is…you are a sick sad human being, and I pity you.  You need healing.

 

Since I know that these events take place, and I know that no one wants to believe, I conclude that there is a critical mass of evidence that it is happening that will create change.  That most are not snakes or monsters…but just asleep. That even if you don’t want me taking your job, or marrying your daughter or living next door…shooting me in the back while unarmed is a bridge too far.

 

How many will have to die?  I don’t know. It won’t end in my lifetime, but I’m seeing more rapid change than I ever expected to see.  And it terrifies the snakes.    Our political landscape is a result of that fear, make no mistake.

 

Body cams and Iphones, man.     Fifteen years ago, I was in Tanzania, and saw Masaii warriors herding their cattle, leaning on their spears, standing on one leg, talking into their cell phones. I knew then that all would be fine. That my belief in human nature says that we can trust communication to help us open our hearts to each other.

 

And I feel terrible for the people so panicked right now, so certain America is flowing down the drain.   I’ve got news for you: there’s nothing new going on.  I’ve seen worse in my lifetime, and knew we’d get through it, as I do now.

 

Why? Because I don’t think the average person is stupid or evil. I think we do stupid, evil things when we are frightened, and we are frightened when are ignorant or asleep, dreaming of a world that never was, and forced to awaken by demographic shifts, political upheavals, or inconvenient video.

 

No, in general there is no “them” who are these terrible, powerful, alien, conspiratorial monsters.  There are monsters, but they can accomplish little by themselves: they need the snakes, but more than anything they need you to sleep. And to hallucinate that your neighbors are evil, and to ignore the paleness in your own hearts and say “it’s them.”

 

No.  It’s us.

 

  1. Love yourself enough to both commit to protecting yourself, and forgiving yourself for your own flaws and fears and transgressions.
  2. Love one other person enough to begin to see that there is no “other”. There are only different versions of the same human needs and drives, the same soul having different human experiences.
  3. Understand history enough to see the spirals of increasing complexity and connection…and the persistent forces screaming and pulling in opposite directions, each demonizing the other. You can’t fight the future, and you can’t deny the past.
  4. Find your tribe. Comfort the people you can communicate with, build a warm and comforting place, and protect it from snakes and monsters.   Attract those who are ready to awaken, stop fighting with the others except to directly protect your tribe.
  5. Win, with integrity.   Love and fear compete for the same place in your heart.  Only fight for things that you love, and never or ego or status.  Only survival.   Don’t play games, and give opponents room to back down with honor, especially if they are ready to awaken and admit they were wrong.

 

 

America is wrong about the oppression.  It has existed for centuries.  It is not a special human evil: human beings are trapped between being animals and angels.  We are pulled by both drives.  Both have their uses and abuses.  Stay awake.

 

I believe that awakening is the answer.  If it weren’t, people wouldn’t fight so hard to stay asleep.

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