THE PLEDGE OF IMBALANCE
When do we become completely fed up with the antics of murdering in the streets? When will the disparity of cultures end to the point where we all receive equal treatment under the law? In weeks past, this country endures multiple situations that plague us to the point where we seldom know which way to turn for leadership. Do we look to local, state, or federal government for help? This is the biggest unanswered question.
Society must understand that the world as it is will continue to endure turmoil until people step up and do the right thing. Much of this change will involve the introduction of legislation and the implementation of that legislation through local officials and abidance by the citizens. But the main challenge to address is why should they comply when nothing to correct it seems to be happening? Deploying federal officers to disperse peaceful protests will only insight more problems. Legislative change at all levels is needed.
Former NBA player and current coach of the LA Clippers, Doc Rivers stated, “Why do we continue to love a country that does not love us back?” Consider the tragedies which have occurred over the last few months and others within the last week. Comparisons between the events are startling as the scales of justice remain out of balance. The position of the NBA to boycott the playoff games in protest of the recent events along with WNBA, MLB, MLS, and some NFL teams mark a turning point in the national opinion of racial inequality. When players use their celebrity platforms to express their displeasure toward activities that continue to degrade human rights and dignity, it demonstrates to those who have power and tend to operate in political shades of gray that they will no longer be tolerated.
When George Floyd was murdered, protests and riots ensued. Donald Trump made the statement, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” My response to that ludicrous statement is, “When the killings stop, the riots stop.” This is a simple matter of cause and effect. When minorities are treated inhumanly and are considered having less value that their Caucasian counterparts, then it is understandable that protests will begin. I do not agree that riotous behavior and violence should be the response to these tragedies, but those who are not being heard will act in a way to bring attention to the problem. Even Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Riots are the language of the unheard.” Therefore, if the riots are to cease, then leaders must start listening. But not just listening; acting.
The Pledge of Allegiance states, “…One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We have made this pledge to the nation in schools and events since we were children. When did we fail to represent these ideals we pledged to uphold? Justice for all? Recent occurrences of murder and shootings suggests liberty and justice for some. This is not only a disparity between races, but a disconnection in humanity. These matters are not theoretical constructs developed in a think tank, but actual circumstances endured by those who feel the imbalance of justice daily.
What are the disparities you may ask? Let’s examine a few:
- Caucasian male shoots church members; nine dead; peacefully arrested; taken to fast food restaurant before going to precinct; lives to tell his story.
- Black male arrested for accusation of passing counterfeit money; no weapon; placed on ground in cuffs; officer’s knee wedged on his neck; man dies resulting from officer aggression.
- Caucasian male with M4 rifle; kills two and injures one during protests; walks toward police vehicles with weapon; no immediate apprehension; later peacefully arrested; lives to tell his story.
- Black male at residential area; police called by estranged ex-girlfriend; male walks to driver side of vehicle posing no threat; police with raised service weapons pointed at black male; male opens and leans into driver side; Caucasian officer pulls males shirt from the rear and fires seven (7) shots in his back; his three children in the car witness the shooting; black male paralyzed in hospital; officers placed on administrative leave.
Liberty and justice for all? Now I’m confused. Where is the equality or balance of justice in these situations? The political position of the Oval occupant is that he will bring law and order to the riotous state. Where was the law and order before these black men were killed? Where is the voice of leadership demanding restructuring of police training and apprehension procedures? Sorry, I forgot…too busy campaigning for re-election to focus on those who don’t support his agenda or aren’t a part of his base. We can only make change when we listen. Let your voice be heard. Silence is compliance!