Smoke and Mirrors

“No justice! No peace!” – These are the cries of the many who have been filling the streets. What exactly are they defining as justice? From what I can see, the line keeps moving. It is not enough anymore to make reforms, give one’s word and work together. Therefore everyone, they will withhold our PEACE.

This is a cry for social justice. It has permeated our culture in every single way. There are daily emails and commercials on television about this very thing. Pledges to do better, promises to placate. This seems to me to be smoke and mirrors.

This cry for social justice is becoming a class warfare. It is, I will argue, polarizing our nation. It is leading those at the bottom to the blind alley of resentment. It is dismissive of all of the avenues of achievement available to them.

The Black Lives Matter movement is a bandwagon many have joined. It sounds romantic and logical. Of course they matter! Why wouldn’t they? The problem is people, it is sinful to believe that someone matters more. Whining about the past and placing blame never gets us to the goal line. Letting go of resentment on both sides does.

Social justice is related to the concept of equality. Equality cries for the distribution of opportunities, goods and services equally. This takes from the haves and gives to the have nots. This creates a resentment among people. This is human nature and inevitable. This also creates a dependence on those in authority and furthers the divide between classes and cultures.

I saw something written by Abraham Lincoln and it resonated with what I believe to be happening today.

We are blaming a system that maintains peace in a community. We dehumanize those doing this important work. There is this group of people calling to defund or dismantle the peacekeepers. They are not mad at them. They are mad at authority. They deny anyone who wants to make rules and enforce them. They want to live their lives with the absence of morality and then achieve peace. That is not how the system works people. Just look at history.

Much of what is being used as ammunition against this authority is history and a false narrative surrounding it as a whole. History is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from it. I think if it upsets you, even better! You will be much less likely to repeat it. It is not anyone’s to erase. It belongs to us all.

The Minneapolis Police Department has learned from their history. The actions of four men do not summarize the entire story. I guarantee the good that will come from this history will make us all better people. We have to set aside our anger and truly want to move forward and discrediting those who do good works is not part of the equation.

The call to action asks for many things to be changed from the police department. What has me completely shaking my head is that those in power in this department are agreeing to this with ease. They are doing so, because many are asking for changes that have already been made. Those in authority in the department know this and are placating you. They have made many progressive changes in the last 5 years that are beyond what the protests demand. Those demanding changes have clearly not done their homework on this. There is no culture of racism rampant. It does not exist. This killing of George Floyd was about anger. This is an individual action that I condemn and if you took the time to have actual conversations with these officers, you would find this to be true across the board. It seems to me nobody wants to actually do this.

I think when we try and move forward, we must understand that by taking to give we create resentment. By shaming and blaming we create resentment. If we want real change, we need to stop trying to fix what is not broken, look for what is the same among all people, and stop threatening peace. We need to turn towards what is righteous and pure. We need to trust our neighbors and our hearts, and let virtue guide our decisions. We need to stop demonizing the Peacekeepers. We need to stop erasing history on the surface, for it still lies beneath. We need to learn from it and move forward. We need to leave the anger out of our hearts because there is not room for both anger and wisdom in a heart that desires true peace. Look past the smoke and mirrors, for there lies what we all seek.

3 thoughts on “Smoke and Mirrors

  1. Another appropriate quote…People hate the truth for the sake of whatever it is they love more than truth, They love truth when it shines warmly on them,and hate it when it rebukes them. St. Augustine

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