Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Man’s Inhumanity To Man [1]

I am beginning to wonder if we are in the "End Times!"  The whole world is in such disarray that it is difficult to imagine what can be done short of revolution.  Humanity seems to have devolved to a point of total impotence unable to do anything about the events happening around the world due, I believe, to the pent up hostility and rage about injustices, both personal and collectively, that finds no positive outlet.

I do not dismiss the many good things that are being done by many, such as the current ALS ice bucket program, but the events that get the majority of news response are those most negative and attention getting.  It has always been this way for the news agencies.  However, with the immediacy of Twitter, Facebook and the numerous other social media, we are inundated with information that we mostly can do nothing about.  The result for some of us is an ever-deepening sense of frustration and hopelessness.  This often leads to wanting to hide from the world, to isolate ourselves from the din of anger, hostility and cruelty.

Such desperation also leads some to vent their rage in senseless rioting, looting and other abuses that have no real connection to the events within which they take place.  In our current situation in Ferguson, Missouri it has been fairly well documented that those who take part in rampaging through the area after dark looting, destroying and intimidating the public in general have come into the community from other places.  It is true that some do come from Ferguson as well.  One only needs to look at the conditions prior to the shooting of Michael Brown to see that this community, like many others in our country, was a bomb waiting to explode.

There are too many injustices to list here.   The injustices exist in the racial profiling, disproportional arrests of minority persons, lack of employment opportunities for those minorities and poverty in general.  That any hope at all can exist within such communities is a miracle in itself.  Amazingly, hope does seem to exist.  That is, it exists until we have an episode such as the shooting of an unarmed young black man.  I am enraged at the handling of all of these events.  They happen over and over and they have a common starting point:  The person is a minority—black, Hispanic, or Asian—and is therefore subject to suspicion.  Almost the first thing to happen is that certain “facts” are released to smear the victim and justify police action.  This is a disservice not only to the victim, but also to the police, who for the most part serve us well and without malice.

It is time to wake up and realize that there is a lot of work to do to begin to change the atmosphere of suspicion, anger, and injustice.  The Civil Rights Movement is not finished, even though you may think it was resolved by law years ago.  It is evident to me that many in our country still harbor deep-seated resentments to persons who are “different” from us.  This is particularly evident in the current immigration controversy, which I will not go into here, except to remind us that we are all immigrants due to our ancestors having come to this country as “foreigners.”

Some of you who know me have heard me comment that I have largely stopped my subscriptions to news feeds as well as the amount of “news” that I subject my mind to.  That does not mean I have given up my concern for community, national and world affairs.  I admit it is representative of a drawing back within myself to some degree.  I do not recommend this as a way to deal with controversy and injustice as it exists today.  It was necessary for me to withdraw for my own sanity.  My own frustration at “man’s inhumanity to man” just seems overwhelming at times.  Until I decide to deal with it in some other, more productive, manner I will hold most of my commentary until I just cannot hold it any longer.

[1] This phrase, which is always used with a sense of regret, was coined by Robert Burns and used in his poem From Man was made to Mourn: A Dirge, 1785: