My Brother's Keeper
To show surprise of the current societal happenings in time would be an acknowledgement of willful ignorance. One would have to make the conscientious effort to ignore the signs that has been leading to this civil unrest.
We have lost, I believe, our connection to our neighbors, our communities because we have been so disconnected from ourselves. Chasing after success, buying into the “more is better” mentality, and for too many, the need to just survive. We have dismissed the snide remarks about the ball busting female at work who was called a “bitch” because we did not want to disrupt the work culture. We have remained silent to the conversation at the dinner table depicting the neighborhood store owner as a “mop head” because their native garb does not rightfully reflect Western culture.
When I say, “we”, I am included in this universal WE because as a member of humanity, I have found myself in situations where my biases or prejudices have prevented me from reacting in an effort to protect a fellow human being. We have failed to respond to the small, yet many injustices because lazily we put things onto the shoulders of others. We have failed to connect the dots, those which suggest that my reactions and/or lack thereof infringe upon my neighbors…it is called a ripple effect.
If I sit by idly, allowing my sister to make a general statement to the nefarious acts of men without bringing her attention to the large percentage of men she has yet to meet just in her state alone or not hold her accountable to the choices she makes in the selection process, I am a part of the problem. If I do not respectfully challenge my friend’s theories as to All Lives Matter versus Black Lives Matter, then I am a part of the problem.
Let me state for the record that every interaction does not deserve a response, for then we would be in conflict all day, every day…I do, however, believe our complacency to hinge our actions on the theory of being “colorblind” or to ignore derogatory commentary on the assertive actions of a woman versus that of a man…we feed into larger practices not progressively moving us forward as humans.
When we remove class from the equation, or even other -isms such as gender, race, and religion, things should all come down to the fundamental interactions we have with another human being. In that moment, we should see ourselves in the face of the other. It is imperative that we act and hold our elected officials accountable. We should not allow everyday citizens to be held at a much higher standard than police officers when they have chosen the profession to “serve and protect” us. It is not enough to be disgruntled on the couch without taking productive action to the discontent we feel.
Put yourself in the shoes of the other.
What if your child was being unlawfully detained by a cop with limited training of people’s skills? What if your father was being provoked by a group of people because he was simply elderly and moving slower than others?
When is it our problem to step-in and care for our neighbor?