The actions of the former Minneapolis officers were horrifying, inhumane and intolerable in every way. The aggressive taunting on both sides of the video camera recording the event was sadly revealing. And the days of widespread looting and burning had nothing to do with honoring or seeking justice for George Floyd.
Were the officers being racist? No, not directly. What we are seeing here is the racial component of the deepening and destructive divides on our country, America. And there are dangerous divides in politics, between the sexes, the so-called haves and have nots, and an increasing number of identity groups–many invented for political purposes.
There are no heroes here, and we need them. There are no heroes here, and precious few people are even doing the right thing. Where are they? Who are they?
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
The antagonism, the distaste and distrust, and, well, fear, that is often evident on both sides of different issues, be they racial, political, etc., are signs of a larger issue, not simply indications of a division related to one specific issue or event. That’s why I say that the Floyd event is not racist. And the other divisions and divides are not “ist” issues either. If we wanted to have an “ist” word that summed them all up, it would be “agendist.” In the Revolution 2.0™ dictionary, that word describes anyone who starts with an agenda, selecting only the data and thought processes that support that agenda.
a·gen·dist | \ ä-ˈgen-dist \
Definition of agendist
: of, relating to, or stressing and defending agendas
an agendist social media post
: showing skill in promoting agendas at all costs.
an agendist law or ordinance
As we look for heroes, or even those who are simply getting it right, we are going to skip over the agendists.
Joe Biden was not a hero when he said that Floyd’s death was a symbol of “…ugly, systemic racism.”
Donald Trump was not a hero when he tweeted that, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
The people burning down neighborhood businesses are not heroes. Not a single person participating in, encouraging or condoning any kind of violence is a hero. Nor are the people perpetuating the, “Hands up, don’t shoot.” lie.
Many of the civil protesters are getting it right. And you can be civil while being angry, loud, boisterous, demanding and unrelenting. The civil protesters who are going the extra step of encouraging those who might be prone to violence to stay civil are some of my heroes. But where are they?
If there are any of the people operating under the banner of Black Lives Matter who are going into the inner cities, where the overwhelming majority of black murders occur, with the intention of saving and changing black lives, I want to know who they are. I would be humbled to simply know them. There are no headlines there, no approval from the crowd or the media. Not even a single camera.
The people who actually pause, contemplate and think before they react to anything are getting it right. Those who honestly research opposing opinions before they react are heroes.
Very few of us pause and think; we react according to our agendas, in line with our team’s thinking. Let’s take a look:
- Believes Climate Change is an existential threat.
- Sees COVID-19 as a real and lasting threat.
- Wants free and readily available abortions.
- Sees America as still deeply racist.
- And sexist.
- Wants more and more things to be free, with an ever more progressive tax structure.
- Hates Donald Trump.
- Overall, sees Climate Change as more of a hoax than an existential threat.
- Sees COVID-19 posturing and reactions as a government power grab.
- Hates the remaining and decreasing instances of racism and sexism, along the racists and sexists.
- Wants a tax structure that supports only what the governments at various levels do uniquely well.
- Loves or, perhaps, simply tolerates Trump, preferring him to the alternative.
We could go on but you get the idea. And I called them Group A and Group 1 to avoid any hint of ranking them. How is it that those in each Group almost always embrace each issue in the same way as the others in that group? If you see Climate
Change as a dire threat, you are Pro Choice. If you want smaller government and lower taxes, you likely think face masks are a government ploy. Are the worldviews for the Groups so all-encompassing that this kind of solidarity is logically consistent? Is it caused by cult leadership in the Groups? Or is it an extension of the I’m right, you’re wrong thinking, extended from the individual to the group? That is my take. Whatever my selected group, my team, is for, I’m for. The people who take sides in this way are not getting it at all right. But if you listen to them, they are the only ones getting it right. For example, Group A is getting it right, and Group 1 is somewhere between dead wrong, and evil incarnate. And somehow at the same time, Group 1 is also getting it right, and Group A is twisted and wrong. That leaves us with two Groups, each with widely divergent beliefs and opinions, each convinced they are completely right, and the other completely wrong.
These groups lecture and demean each other, but they do not listen to each other. Let’s picture a scene together. We have all seen photos and videos of those with opposing viewpoints, lined up across the street from each other shouting slogans and holding up signs. Now picture two rows of TVs lined up on opposite sides of the same street. TVs can only broadcast, they have no ability to listen to the opposing televisions. If the operator of one bank of TVs wants to be heard over the others, the only option is to turn up the volume. And the opposing operator responds in kind. All with no listening, all with no progress. Just more volume.
I am certainly not a hero, but I am working to get it right. I am not a part of either Group A or Group 1. I am part of those seeking to find, then implement, common goals. If there was a Common Goals party, I’d join. And ring doorbells for candidates. Common goals exist, and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. In this way, the deep and ever more destructive divisions in politics, between the sexes, the so-called haves and have nots, and the increasing number of identity groups can be reduced to productive logical and factual debates.
And we can heal.
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple, Google, or Stitcher.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.