As I watch the protests coming out of Minneapolis and other places, as a resident of St Louis, it does remind me of Ferguson.
A few things that need to be kept in mind as we watch this all play out on our tvs, computers, and cell phones …
Not all members of any profession are all heroes nor are all members of any profession bad actors. Not every cop is a corrupt thug. Not every member of the military deserves to be seen as a hero. When we pretend otherwise, we do a disservice to everyone who has the misfortune of dealing with some of our worst societal actors and a disservice to those members of society who make sacrifices on behalf of the rest of us.
Likewise, not every protestor is part of the criminal element of society just looking for an opportunity to destroy and loot. Most, yes I said MOST, protestors are responsible citizens who have a valid complaint that need to be heard. Too many people are dying at the hands of bad cops. Minorities are disproportionately affected by these thugs with badges. And yet, my news feeds are filled with stories of veterans, grandmothers, children, and others who have lost their lives because a cop, or group of cops, did not do their job correctly.
For the protestors, your voices are being heard loudly and society at large is getting fed up with these bad actors being protected. In St Louis county, we went to the polls and voted in Bob McCulloch’s opponent after we saw him fail to do his job and hold corrupt cops accountable. That being said, you lose allies when you allow protests and marches to turn into violent mobs that destroy parts of our neighborhoods and loot. Those of us who support your message are often forced to distance ourselves from your violence. As I said above, not all protestors are bad, but the protestors need to step up and help hold the criminal elements responsible or your message is lost.
Above all, remember that the modern press is no one’s ally. I’ve taken journalism classes and worked in student journalism, the actions by the press that I see on my tv and computer are not the journalism standard I was taught. The press should never be the story or part of the story. And yet, daily the press makes more news than the rest of society’s actors do.
We all share common enemies in the stories of these current events: criminals with badges, criminals hiding behind protest signs, and news reporters willing to create a story to sell newspapers and news broadcasts. Let’s all work together and hold all of these bad actors accountable.
Clipart stolen from Clipartmax.