Paraphrasing Marine Corps Colonel Jessup, played by Jack Nicholson, in “A Few Good Men.” as Jessup was being cross-examined in an important military court martial. The Colonel was making the case that his questioner, Lt. j.g. Kaffee, played by Tom Cruise, who was demanding the truth in this climactic scene, could not handle the truth if he heard it.
I am making the case that perennial activists, here in the US, in the Middle East and elsewhere, while demanding justice and peace, can’t handle peace. It simply does not fit into their plans.
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
The activists I am talking about are either professional activists, e.g., the leaders of Hamas in Gaza, or dedicated amateurs. These activists are not looking for solutions, resolutions or the peace that would come with the implementation of a solution; they want the rewards, money, fame, approval–all of the above–that comes with their continuing oh-so-public public activism.
I am not talking about people who volunteer, who run, contribute to and work individually, in groups and for non-profits. Those who quietly go about the business of actually making things better. They are my heroes.
Almost everywhere you look, things are getting better and better in our country, America. And the activists are getting louder, angrier and more physical. They are feeding the fires of racism, sexism, and you-name-it phobias in order to advance their own interests. The last thing they can stand is to solve the problems, and for the protested issues, their reasons for living, to go away. That explains why as problems become smaller and more contained, activists are even more vigorously beating the drums, shouting and pushing in the streets, and working a pliant media to make the problems appear larger and more menacing than ever. The invention of the term microaggression is a clear indication there not enough real aggressions to support the case the growing activist army needs to make to sustain itself.
Charges of racism are much in the news, more to hurl lethal accusations than to expose a real problem and fix it. “Checkmate” is the last thing that a winner says in a chess game, indicating that his opponent has lost. The term “Racist” is now being used in the same way. Calling someone a racist and having it stick is the political equivalent of Checkmate. Your opponent is now cancelled, is now out of the game.
As a case in point, let’s talk about race activists e.g., Black Lives Matter (BLM). Their anger at the murders of innocent young black men, until once focused exclusively on their claims about racism causing deaths of black men at the hands of white cops. When they found that in some cases it was black officers shooting black citizens, their color criticism changed from “white” to “blue.” In other words, they pivoted from racist cops being the issue to police in general being the problem. But their activism continues to ignore the 95+% of black deaths that are not caused by police. We’ll ignore, for now, the argument that the vast majority of that 5% are completely justified. We don’t need to make that point to make our case here.
I am deeply suspicious of BLM’s motives, and you should be, too. If they want to stop the murdering of blacks, why ignore 95% of where the murders are committed? Let’s look at an obvious parallel. Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) strikes predominantly African-Americans, with about 8% of the African-American population carrying the sickle cell trait. If an organization raised, say, $100M, to find a cure and spent 95% of its funds looking for causes for SCD outside of the African-American population, would you say they were dedicated to finding a cure? Or might they have another agenda? What might BLM’s real agenda be given that they ignore where 95% of the murders of black men occur? They simply want an excuse to attack and marginalize our law enforcement agencies, and will continue to do exactly that as long as anybody will pay attention to them.
All lives matter, and that statement does not in any way imply that some lives are worth more than others. It takes a twisted view of the world to claim that all lives matter means that black, brown or Asian lives somehow matter less.
Activists, including protesters, violent and nonviolent, jihadists, and people who take “us vs. them” political and economic stands, will also settle for nothing less than endless accusations, endless issues, real or imagined, with the endless personal and financial benefits accruing to the activists.
Why? Is it because activists really believe that the world would be a better place if and only if 100% of what they believe is right is implemented? As the Allies correctly did in WWII when they demanded unconditional surrender from both Germany and Japan? No. It is because being an “I’m Right” activist is the way they see themselves, their lifestyles; it is their raison d’être. Their lifestyles and their view of themselves is at the core of what matters to them.
Let’s take a look at a well known international example. Peace efforts in the Middle East are frequently sabotaged, with the Palestininans having turned down at least 4 peace proposals in recent decades. And none of those peace efforts would have been necessary in the first place if the countries surrounding Israel had not grouped together in a joint effort to, in their words, eradicate Israel altogether. These countries massed and attacked Israel 3 separate times–1948, 1967 and 1973. Their group commitment was to push all Israelis, especially the Jews, into the Mediterranean. Israel had to win all 3 wars, or it would not exist today. And they have to win any peace, to make certain they have defensible borders with countries committed to not attacking her. It is commonly known that if the other countries put down their weapons, there would be peace; if Israel puts down its weapons, there would be no Israel.
C’mon Will, Doesn’t everyone want peace? No, activists don’t. If there was peace, they would no longer have a special place in their society. Instead of being in charge of a small or large group of fellow activists, thereby earning their version of respect and honor, they would be working in a restaurant, or doing electrical work–something no doubt more mundane. No headlines. No self-aggrandisement. And they totally miss the point that real respect, if not glory, goes to those who show up everyday, adding value to the world by working and taking care of their personal responsibilities, including their family and friends.
This is what we are all called to do in the various parts of our lives. We are not called to satisfy ourselves or to make ourselves look good. We are called to get the job done. Not to be right or to “win.” But to get the job done. To dig in. Find our respect in the eyes of people who understand what is going on. Find glory in the eyes of our God.
What are you called to do? Please share that in the comments. I’d like to hear. As would others. I am called, in part, to create an excellent, engaging and motivating podcast site. I am clearly on a mission here.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.