After watching the local and national news I am very confused. This isn't the first time I have been confused. To be honest, I am confused quite often but this time its in a different way. I'm confused because I don't know what our world is coming to and how in the world people validate some of their actions to themselves prior to doing them.
Topic 1 Mall Brawls:
Mall Brawls just recently began to spring up following Christmas (READ ARTICLE). In the era where everyone wants to blame their actions on something else, they are blaming social media as the reason people get the idea for "going out and hitting someone" at the mall. That's totally a bunch of baloney. The real reason is that people are angry these days and are just looking for a way to be violent but do it in a way that they can put the blame on something else. I know I'm just your confused blind guy but here's how the scenario goes through my eyes.
A guy we will call "Tom" is getting frustrated because things just haven't went his way lately. Tom is a "Patriotic" guy and he also knows that in our country we have Freedom of Speech. Tom knows that this means he is entitled to speak his mind and post it up on social media if he so chooses to do so. In his emotional state of anger, Tom decides to throw a bunch of threats up onto the worldwide Billboard (Twitter and Facebook). Tom posts this message on his Twitter account
"#Galleria 5pm 2nite bring ur baseball bats & fists. B ready 2 brawl"
Within an hour of posting this tweet, Tom has gotten 500 retweets and more than 50 replies. Some of these replies read,
"I'll B there #MallBrawl"
"I'll bring some of my peeps too #FightClub"
Tom gets kind of excited because people seem to be listening to him. He is making a difference or at least he convinces himself that he is making a difference. Next thing you know, all the #'d items are trending at enormous rates and hundreds of thousands of people have read Tom's tweet. What was an angry thought has now turned into a self validated action as Tom sees that others have bought into his idea. The response and support of so many empowers Tom to go through with his plan and next thing you know he's at the local mall, The Gallaria, with his bat and his fists bluing along with hundreds of other people that also need to get a little aggression out.
So as I mentioned earlier, I am confused. First, I'm confused about where the heck these people come up with these ideas. Maybe I just grew up in a household where morals and doing what is right was taught. It would never even go through my thought processes to just go out randomly and punch someone. Maybe I am the odd ball out with respect to this, I don't know. Second, I know we live in a world where there is a need for instant gratification but do we need gratification (getting rid of aggression) so abrupt that we don't have time to check our conscious to realize that fighting people just because others are doing it is not a good idea. It seems to me that in today's society, the answer to the question "if someone else jumps off a bridge, would you just go jump off a bridge too?" may actually be "yes" for many of us or at least those that have decided to get involved in "Mall Brawls". Thirdly, I am confused on how one even goes about starting a Mall brawl. Do you just walk into the mall and first person you see that reminds you of someone you don't like you just go up and punch in the face? How do you decide who you are going to hit? If its that random, at least hit someone of smaller stature than yourself so you would win in the fight. As much of an idiot as these people look just randomly going into malls and hitting people can you imagine how bad you would feel if you started a Mall Brawl and you came out of it getting your face smashed in? How do you explain that to someone?
It would probably go something like this:
Bystander: "Hey man, what happened?"
You: "I started a Mall Brawl."
Bystander: "A what?"
You: "Oh its the new thing, 100 other people and I went to the mall and just started punching people."
Bystander: "Interesting, never heard of that before. That sounds kind of pointless. Looks like you chose the wrong guy to punch."
You: (moment of silence) "Well, you should see what he looks like."
Bystander: "Hmm, well if he looks worse than you than you must have killed him because you are jacked up. Well, good luck with your next one of those. Make sure you pick the right one next time."
Topic 2 Violence Against Police:
I am confused why we continue to have so much violence and hatred against our police. I don't think I need to give proof of the recent uproar and violence against our police force. One would have to be living the life of a groundhog to not realize we have a problem with this. Much of the backlash against the police is of course in response to many cases where there is a belief that racism played a roll. There is no question that there are still people in our country that are racists. However, every conflict between cops and an African American is not racially related. In fact, nearly every case in question of whether a police officer overreacted could have been avoided if two things would have happened. First, don't break the law or hang out with those that break the law. Second, listen to authority when they ask you to do something. I realize that in some cases a law had not been broken before the police confronted the individual but this is somewhat irrelavent because the second still holds true. In a case where someone has been stopped by police but have done nothing wrong, they still should abide by the police's instructions and then later it can be decided whether the police acted without the need to do so. Its much easier to find fault when society follows authority's instructions but still is punished. I think this is where the problem lies.
This generation of youth and young adults have a total lack of respect for authority. There is a sense that we are "entitled" to do whatever we want and our teachers, parents, police force, etc shouldn't be telling us what to do. The people of our generation only think about themselves and their own current situation. In fact, those that blame the police for overreacting in a situation are the same people that will blame the police if there is a mass shooting for not doing enough to protect us. The below quote is fitting for much of society today.
“Are these things really better than the things I already have? Or am I just trained to be dissatisfied with what I have now?”
― Chuck Palahniuk
To all those that don't have respect for our police force and others who teach us and protect us, there is always another option. If you would rather live in a world where terrorist attacks are considered normal, mass murderers roam the streets without consequences, every child has a gun and everyday you fear for your own life this is an option. Just continue on with the route you are going; protesting every incident in which the police show authority over those who refuse to listen to authority, rioting and destroying property and giving criminals equal power as police.
If you are one of those people that don't give respect to authority and are always thinking about your own good , I challenge you to put yourself in the shoes of those you are making judgments on. If you were a cop and had been in situations in which you had given instructions to a possible criminal and they didn't listen to orders but instead pulled a gun out and began shooting at you I am guessing that when this situation occurs again you may feel the threat of the same type of suspicious person reacting similar. It doesn't matter if your black or white, if a cop tells you to put your hands up you put your hands up. If you don't listen than the cop must suspect that you are trying to hide something. If you think you would never react to protect yourself if you had been in this situation before than you are only in denial. Always put yourself in the shoes of the other person before reacting because typically when you react right away you are only reacting with respect to your own best interests and not necessarily the best interest of society as a whole.
Topic 3 "Reactions":
All of the above brings us to the topic of "reactions". This is where I get really confused. I am confused about how lying down in the middle of the road, running onto the highway, burning buildings down or shooting people including cops has anything to do with solving the reported problem of cops abusing their authority. To be honest, lying down in the middle of the road or running onto the highway is just flat out stupid (excuse my language). Lying down in the middle of the road and getting 100 other people to lie down in the road with you is not going to do anything to solve the problem. What its probably going to do is end up in a car driving over these people and cause more problems. In the same way, I am confused on how going out and shooting cops because they shot someone else of your race is the way to solve a problem with police authority. In fact, if I were a police officer and there had been threats against the police force , this would make me more likely to react quickly in a situation. I am confused because those that are going out and rioting and breaking the law by destruction and violence have no problem with what they are doing. In their minds they are saying, "Its okay to burn this building or threaten a cop because I am fighting against racism." In reality, they are not fighting racism at all, they are just breaking the law. To be honest, I don't even think that 3/4 of the people that were out there rioting in protest of what happened in Furgeson even fully understand the case. I don't even think most of them probably care about the issue that they are rioting for. I think the majority of the people just want to be violent, destructive and break the law but want to have something to blame their violent actions on.
I don't have a problem if people want to contact the government or the police force to address a problem but breaking the law does not help in any way to solve a problem that relates to laws. Also, getting revenge and following the old saying "an eye for an eye" is not the answer. To those that think it is justified to kill a cop, than you are also saying its justified for the cop or their family members to go after and kill you.
This is not how the world works nor is it how it should work. Stop thinking about only yourself in every situation and start putting yourself in the other person's shoes and respecting the authority and protection that we have as Americans! Stop allowing your children to feel as though they are entitled. Teach them to respect authority and teach them to be grateful for what they have because there always is another alternative. Only when this happens will the world become a better place. When this happen, I will no longer be confused and my mind will begin to work clearly