The following post is not by me. I did not write this, but man I wish I did. A friend of mine, Bryan Reed wrote the following.
I’m going to knock out an early Friday post this week because I plan on spending as much time doing nothing productive as possible on line. Let me preface this by saying if certain words bother you, you might want to stop reading…this is going to get ugly.
An interesting thing happened to me Tuesday morning. I woke up, coffee, rouse the kids, make lunches, ready for work….and I became a racist. I didn’t feel any different but apparently my point of view rattled a cage or three and was informed that I was a racist and should seek help through therapy and think past my white privilege. It was not the first time I heard this and truth be told, I didn’t feel any different. Maybe I have been fooling myself this whole time and I really was a racist? No, not likely. First of all, I think the term ‘racist’ is an inaccurate term. We are ALL the same race-human. Bias or hate is is about ethnicity.
Monday night a Grand Jury determined Officer Wilson was acted within the standards of a sworn officer when he shot Mike Brown….thus starting the great race war of 2014. What stuns me is how surprised people were by the verdict. Even though we, the general public had limited knowledge of the evidence it was still pretty easy to determine the way it was going to turn out. Wilson told Brown to get out of the street, Brown attacked Wilson and attempted to go for his gun, shots fired, Brown began to run away, Wilson told him to stop, Brown turned and rushed to attack Wilson who had has gun drawn, Wilson shot Brown, killing him. The physical evidence supports this.
When the verdict was announced it could have gone either way and protestors in the hundreds stood outside ready. I wanted nothing more than to see all of those protestors join arms and sit, chanting whatever was the slogan of the hour. This to me would have shown solidarity, support, strength and restraint…it had the potential to become a movement. But sadly, in short order the crowd turned violent with Brown’s own father chanting burn this bitch down. Mike brown, this is your legacy: division, hate, anger and violence…set forth by your own family. Scores arrested, building looted and burned, shots fired, cars flipped and set aflame. That’s one hell of a memorial when you burn a city in order to promote peace. It sounds like Belfast in the 80s.
The most disturbing part, we did this to ourselves. This act has made ethnic tensions retard to the same levels of the 1960s when Dr King was trying to make a change. Though in all my readings of Dr. King that i can recall did he ever say to loot, destroy and act a thug. This is 2014 and we really need to get a grip. We need to understand that people need to be judged on their merit and there will always be hate. The black community hates the word nigger, it stirs some very strong emotions…yet they use it to talk about each other all the time. But that is ok, because they know what it is like to be black. A white guy can get called a cracker by his own, nobody flinches. All ethnicities will look at someone gay and call them a faggot and the world freaks-unless you are gay saying it then it is acceptable because you know what it’s like. Spic, Gook, Whop, Jew….the list goes on and on. All of these are unacceptable yet we look past some and find humor in others. If you say you have never used a derogatory term then I will label you with one: liar.
Everyone has a prejudice and there is no way around it. But to hate someone for an ethnicity is truly judging a book by it’s cover. I’m not a racist, never have been and never will be but I do hate. I hate the unmotivated, the lazy, the ones who take those for granted and leech from the system that is designed to help you when you are at your lowest point. If you are not a productive member of society, YOU are the problem. My own children know this and I demand respect. Your simple actions or words can change a persons opinion about you in seconds. I am a 42 year old white dude. I have shaggy hair and a beard that I haven’t cut in months, my arms are covered in ink and my clothes are not designer labeled. I have been called a hipster, a baby killer and a war monger to name a few. But in the end, I’m just just a dad that loves his kids, works hard and has given over 20 years to this country. It’s not a hard concept, I just do what I can to be productive. I don’t have ‘white privilege’ any more than someone has black privilege. If you are waiving signs that say black lives matter then you need to really take a look in the mirror because all lives matter-your life is what you make of it. If you don’t like where you live, move. Don’t like your job, find another. Think you need an education, get one….make your own luck.
My nephew and his fiance’ gave birth this past Sunday to a beautiful baby girl. She is no different than any other baby born in this country. She has 10fingers, 10 toes, and shits her diaper. I could take her and 49 other children (one from every state) and put them all in one nursery and ask you to point out the one who is the bigot, the banker, the murderer or the President….you couldn’t do it because they are all sleeping, crying or shitting their britches. We, as adults control their future. We are the ones who are responsible for helping them establish a course in life…we have root control their destiny.
All of these courses are learned through example. The only way we will ever see change is if we start with ourselves. Until we learn to respect others we will always be knocking at the same door. I’m not a racist, but I do hate those that advocate ill will towards others.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and I challenge you to go make a difference.
I absolutely love how this guy writes. Many of Bryan’s thoughts are one in the same with mine, but he’s able to articulate his thoughts so much better than I ever could. I’ve known Bryan for 10 years now. And the only reason I know him is he was one of the teammates on Robb’s first deployment to Iraq. I have so much respect for this man, and he is a man’s man to the core. He served this country for over 20 years in the U.S. Army, never once said no when asked to go where no other man would go. Bryan, I love you dude. You’re one hellava man!! I consider it a honor to call you friend.