It seems that lately no matter what I say I offend somebody. Often I offend two or three opposing sides at the same time. And this is almost always true whenever there is any element of race involved whatsoever. At times it feels hopeless to think that none of the sides want to be appeased or conciliatory. They want to be right – no matter what.
Yet, while everyone is fighting over the ability to control the narrative and force their perspective, law enforcement agencies from the local to federal levels are still getting away with killing people throughout the entire spectrum of pigmentation and geographic ancestry. While they do so we are fighting one another. Nit-picking one another’s beliefs, methods and weakest links. We are spreading our outrage thin over trivialities when we all have the same basic goals.
Our rights. Our liberties. Our freedoms. Institutional equality. Autonomy. More local and community control. Less invasion by government agencies and harassment by its laws and their enforcers.
These are things that we all desire, and yet we cannot seem to come together to work on them together.
Black Lives Matter. Bundy Ranch Supporters. Justice for Tamir Rice. Justice for Autumn Steele. Justice for Corey Kanosh. Justice for Philando Castile. Justice for Melissa Boarts. Justice for Alex Nieto. Justice for Michael Cho.
If all of these groups – and all of the many, many groups seeking justice in police corruption, abuse and killings – came together without bickering or infighting the police state wouldn’t stand a chance.
You don’t even have to put aside your differences. You can embrace them and accept them. You can remain foes in other ideological areas, competing freely in the marketplace of human thought. You don’t have to even like each other. Solidarity is not about friendship, it is about creating a powerful enough force to achieve common goals. All that you need to do is respect one another.
The oppression of our system of governance, laws and their enforcement has left us all in pain. Nobodies pain is special. It can be hard to see through that pain and chaff at the symptoms instead of the source. If we can just understand that we are all in pain, that we all seek healing, then we can stop poking one another’s wounds and begin the process as mutually concerned and respecting individuals.
Do not fear one another’s anger. It is not an offense to you. Anger is a tool we use on problems, not people. Together we fight the problems with our combined anger and the pain disappears. The fear disappears. The mistrust and hatred disappears.
That may sound like some corny and oversimplified advice, and it is, but in this case it happens to be completely true. The system has us fighting one another to distract us. Our own outrage is used to divide us and cripple us and make us weak.
So we must seek strength in unity. Not as endless subgroups fighting only in our corner of the cause, but as individuals voluntarily joined as a single dynamic against the forces of oppression.
I cannot give you the final solution. I do not have it. That is why we work together. That is why we facilitate meetings with people we never thought we could agree with. That is why we seek out diverse allies and add our ideas to the soup kettle and stir them until they have simmered down to a common set of methods and goals.
And you can start doing this today. In the comments section of this article, or of this article on our Facebook page, reach out. Make connections. Be genuine and hopeful and honest and humble in the face of our shared problem. As you do, do not be too surprised to realize that the connections you make can be greater tools of peace, harmony, security, safety, justice, liberty and freedom than any government ever could.