Saturday, May 23, 2015

You know what really grinds my gears...? By Jeffrey J. Thivierge

You know what really grinds my gears…?


I’m going to start out by saying that I’ve been graced with everything “right”... I was born a male to a white, middle-class, married couple that stayed together until death. I’m privileged in the sense that I did not grow up with any socio-economic barriers that would inhibit reaching my full potential in life.
With that said, I can honestly say that I have lived through some difficult times in my life. I’ve been bullied, called names, shot at and punched. When I came home from the war that I was ordered to participate in, I came back to a broken system at the Department of Veterans Affairs, lost medical records, and long waits for benefits. Other Veterans have died while waiting for these benefits. 

I’ve yet to see rioting because of the deaths at the VA.

In the past year or so, the media has been stoking the flames of the race war in America. I would never say that black Americans (as well as other minorities) do not live without being the victims of racism in some way, shape, or form. Racism is alive and well. It is not, however, the underlying issue in every arrest made by police. Are there bad cops out there? I’m sure there are. Are there people of every race and ethnicity out there committing crimes? I’m sure there are. 

We don’t know the details of the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore. The police chief stated that there were some improprieties during his arrest, but there is still an ongoing investigation. That fact seems to escape the rioters in Baltimore, who seem to think that racial injustice is cause for destroying public property and looting. 

Remember a few years ago when the Occupy Wall Street folks camped out in cities across the country to protest the “evil” (my word, not theirs) 1 percent that seems to control the wealth and banking system? How many people lost their homes, jobs, life savings, etc. to big banks that didn’t care about them? Too many to count. I’m not saying that I agree with the Occupy movement, but (for the most part) they were peaceful and just annoying to those of us that wanted to utilize the parks that they occupied. They did not cause millions of dollars of damage. 

Rioting is dumb and proves how little class you have. Martin Luther King, Jr. was able to effectively change the course of the civil rights movement through peaceful protest. I am pretty sure that the politicians in Washington, DC would not have taken Dr. King seriously if he had been advocating for equal rights through burning cars, looting, and assaulting police officers.

If you think that there is some great injustice in your life, use your constitutionally protected first amendment rights and peacefully assemble. Write a letter to your elected representative. Encourage others to do the same things. Do not set fire to a business. Don’t set fire to a police car. You automatically lose the argument when you set a fire.

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