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March 29, 2012

Eyes on the Prize

Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, meanwhile, smoldering bodies are found in Detroit, and by the time you finish reading this, several of the world’s women will have been raped. Unemployment is worse than the government wants us to think. People are also underemployed. For many just getting on their feet, gas is not affordable. Global warming, individual mandates, TSA, BPAs, civil rights, war, the 1%, women’s reproductive rights, the price of everything ; constant, generalized, compound-uncertainty, cognitive dissonance: No solutions, or solutions dissolved in gossip and rhetoric, rendered inert by straw-men and argumentum ad misericordiam or general distenterest/despondence. People like Nancy Grace have television shows and people like Nancy Grace watch them.

In times of need, Americans seek out that which satisfies them. We love red-herrings. Mainstream media loves walking into a serious meeting and slapping a cold, dead fish on the table. Then they put their hands in their suit pockets, and walk flatfooted around the room whistling, hoping everyone will be distracted by the cold, dead fish. And we are distracted. We take the bait. Lucky for them, we enjoy being led astray.

We like thinking we have something unique and important to say – some group or cause to stand up for. We do, it’s true, but this sends us off-topic and keeps us from creating real solutions to the causes of problems. It spreads lotion on the bedsore instead of getting the patient out for a walk once in a while.

We like to put a balm on it. Put some creme on it. Take a pill for it, and in some cases forget about it until it goes away. When the towers fell, our first reaction was to blame. But while they were falling, we asked ourselves why would someone do this?  When a loved-one passes suddenly, our first thought comes in the form of a question: why? It’s in our nature to question why terrible things happen, when they do. Our instincts provide us with the right question, and the answer. Too often we exchange the why? for the who? part of it. Who as in who’s to blame? Who was responsible? Whose negligence led to this? This is racism.

Our negligence led to this. Our, as in: everyone. There is no one accountable except for everyone.

In the BBC documentary Requiem for Detroit a former convict and now YMCA worker explains something very succinctly, “abnormal behavior in an abnormal environment […] is normal.” We created the environment, or allowed it to be created around us.

Guns don’t kill people, George Zimmerman does, right? Or, was it because George Zimmerman was white, and Trayvon Martin was black? Was it because of the bullet inside the gun, or did a ‘stand-your-ground’ law cause all of this?

Zimmerman shot Martin because he was misguided, as we all are. We will remain misguided if we continue to accept the mainstream-media’s bait. Our eyes have been taken off the prize. The prize is right in front of us. It’s us.

Compassion is not divisible. It is not for one race, or one sex, or one species; in order for compassion to work, it must be applied universally. Incomplete or false compassion leads to intolerance.

Compassion cannot be retaliatory and it does not waver. There can be no tit for tat.

Racism exists. It has, and will exist well into the foreseeable future. One race over the other is not what’s at stake here. Compassion is at stake, and as a result, humanity – everything.

This is a time to dwell on our sameness, not our differences.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”  — Tenzin Gyatso

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