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Showing posts from November, 2014

Part of the solution

This post was inspired in part by all of the anti-Ferguson posts I've seen and in part by an article I just read about Mike Brown's dad partaking in a turkey giveaway.  I've noticed that many conservative people have reacted to all of the events in Ferguson by posting videos of looting and arson or articles talking about black-on-white or black-on-black crime.  I've seen all kinds of criticism being thrown around.  I have decided that the response I wish to give is that of a positive light shed on the black community--highlighting those persons in the community who are working to make a better world for themselves and for all people.  
I wish to explain my reasons for this.  The first is that, upon seeing all the negative posts, I have asked myself "What do you mean to accomplish by sharing this?  What is your point?"  There may be many reasons that people (honestly, it is mostly conservatives) choose to post the negative aspects of the protesting.  The first…

Righteous Indignation

I'm angry.  I'm angry because I see the hurt in the hearts of the black members of our community.  I'm angry because I see apathy from nearly all of the white members of the community.  I'm angry because only a handful of my white friends have even joined in the discussion about Ferguson or black rights or black lives, and nearly all of those who have joined in the conversation have not been empathetic toward black people, but have been critical of black people.

I have friends who post things making it seem like all of the protestors are rioting and looting--that the whole thing is a big mess of violence and crime.  This is so far from the truth.  It is extremely common for white people and even black people to be critical of the looters and vandals.  I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but all of those types of comments bothered me.  Then I saw something a black friend posted on Facebook which helped me understand his perspective on the matter.  If you truly do …

To riot or not to riot

Obama has called for peaceful reaction to the decision the grand jury in Ferguson has reached.  In his speech, he mentions what Mike Brown's father said about the matter--also that people should be peaceful.  I am a peaceful person.  I do not feel a need to personally be violent.  I see the wisdom in being peaceful and in striving for harmony with others in the community.

However, I do not agree with the argument.  Obama says that there is never an excuse for violence.  Of course I find that ironic because he's using violence left and right in the Middle East.  I am a pacifist.  I don't like violence.  I like peace.  But I cannot say that I feel there is never an excuse for violence.  I empathize with those who feel so frustrated that their only recourse is to turn to violence.  I feel even that it may be logical to do so.  When injustice reaches a certain level, revolting against authority figures guilty of creating that injustice becomes justified.  Or, as Thomas Jeffers…

The Libertarian dilemma

Conrad got in an accident yesterday.  A tow truck drove past and sideswiped him, damaging the side mirror.  When he got out of the car, he suggested exchanging insurance information with the other driver.  The other driver just said that he'd pay for the damage out of his own pocket, gave him his number, and drove off.  Since the damage wasn't severe, Conrad drove off as well.  Conrad called a repair shop to get a quote for the cost of the necessary repair and then called the tow truck driver, who agreed to meet to give him the money for it.

This story is what I wish all human interactions could be like.  It is a faith-promoting story for a libertarian.  It's good because it didn't involve the police.  It didn't involve insurance companies.  Two parties resolved an issue that existed between them themselves, without any need for outside help at all.  That's the most efficient way for issues between persons to be resolved.  The problem is that not everyone is t…

Ostrich-sized

I believe that ostracism can be a good thing.  I've talked about it a bit in earlier posts.  I consider the effects of ostracism.  When a society believes a certain action to be unacceptable--to be detrimental to the good of the society--its members often ostracize those who perform the action in question.  And this is often an effective method of dealing with problems.  Consider, for example, the recent action of Pope Francis.  He excommunicated a priest who sexually abused several teenagers.  The offender was apparently also sentenced to serve several years in prison for this action.  Both of these punishments--the excommunication and the prison sentence (which, if I understand the article correctly, he ended up not serving) are a form of ostracism.  Both actions send the message to the offender and to the rest of society "We will not tolerate sexual assault of minors."  
My parents taught me the value of ostracism in a very small scale.  For example, I was told as a c…