There was a movie about youth who wanted to fight, they were called rebels without a cause. There are times in the lifespan when we search for our identity and try on all sorts of tactics in an effort to understand who we are in the face of others. There are elements of this that is healthy and it is typical during adolescence. However, the healthy component of it is having parental influences that guide the choices, the trends, the experimentation, and who establish boundaries on what is reasonable and what is out of bounds.
We live in a society today where there is a demand screamed out that every one accept every other one and every behavior exhibited because oppression has been prevalent and it is now time to be open and transparent and accepting. It is as though the screaming has become the chant and the hypnotic influence of it has taken the heart and sensibility away from our culture. The fact is that there are behaviors that are not healthy, not acceptable, and ought not be tolerated. What is happening here in my adopted city of St Louis, lovely and quintessential St Louis, is awful.
I hear the sirens and the helicopters. I watch the news. I am seeing the bad things taking place that is bringing ruin to lives, many lives. I watch as national media move into this community under the disguise of covering an important story and I find myself wanting to ask them what their authentic motives are for being present in the middle of a sad situation that needs peace and quiet, sitting and dialogue, candle light and soft voices singing songs that lull and quell fears and anger. That is not present.
I see more screaming and people who lead acting as directors of hatefulness and crime. I watch and wonder what the home life of each protester is like, where they live, where they work, where they were schooled, who their parents are and what they are doing. This riot scene in Ferguson and Dellwood and now Clayton, is being made about the color of skin and the position of disadvantage.
When will the perspective shift into a gear of opportunity appreciated here in America, recognition of the many people of all colors who have made their life a success, who have community support and respect because their behaviors are aligned with healthy values? As long as there is talk of a segmented population where American is not the self reference but there is a need for identity to a subcultural group within America, we are doomed. We need to join together, stop allowing tolerance of criminal behaviors, positively reinforce healthy values, and embrace everyone who participates in creating a better, unified, United States.
My plea is for the strangers who do not reside here to leave–go home. My prayers are for the police to be safe, for the nights to be quiet, for the judicial system to do their work. My hope is for the body of Michael Brown to be buried and for his family to encourage truth to be discovered — whatever that truth may be. If a crime has been committed, allow the trial to take place in the courtroom, not the streets, not the televisions, not the radio stations. The torture of the destruction of lives and businesses and communities has simply got to stop.
No more yelling, please. No more violence. Go and rest, sleep, eat healthy, pray, extend authentic love and thoughts of peace to everyone involved and all those witnessing this era of tragedy that has been created here. Pre-judgments made are destroying our national self esteem, our image as a nation, and our ability to remember that we are all in this together.