The events of the last 24 hours seem very extreme to many, but in reality they are not as extreme as we would make them out to be if we were simply consistent on condemning bad behavior whenever and wherever we saw it. This can be painful to those with a political agenda, a social agenda, a racial agenda or any agenda that places your personal priorities above the priority of civility in our society. This is what excuses the behavior we saw demonstrated in 2020 when many riots and looting took place across our country and we kept hearing the Dr King quote that, "riots are the language of the unheard." Remember that? Well does that question work today in addressing the events of yesterday? Of course not.
Broken Windows Theory says that a singular broken window left unfixed on a house will lead to more destruction and decay of the building and the neighborhood in which the building resides. When our country allowed large swaths of cities such as Seattle to create their autonomous zones without challenge, I thought it unbelievable that we would allow such and wondered where the line would be drawn. Many saw this bad behavior as legitimate protest. It wasn't, and neither is what happened yesterday. Our neighborhood is being destroyed because we didn't fix the broken windows. We need to fix the broken windows.
STOP JUSTIFYING BAD BEHAVIOR
There is simply no excuse for bad behavior and it must be condemned whenever and wherever it happens. The problem is that we often make exceptions for the bad behavior that supports our aforementioned "agendas." That will not work for a society built on principles and values and maybe that's the problem with each of us. Where are our core values and beliefs these days? Hasn't it always been wrong to break a window in a property that doesn't belong to you? Hasn't it always been wrong to break into a closed and secured building? Hasn't it always been wrong to set a police car on fire because you are mad about something a policeman did? Did we justify that in 2020 and are now ready to condemn it in 2021? Well life doesn't work that way. The bad behavior you justified yesterday will be back tomorrow asking you for greater levels of acceptance until it becomes intolerable. What are you accepting today?
So here we are. My agenda as you know is "unity" as I attempt to build consensus on working together without regard for skin-color, but even then, it's not a blind acceptance of bad behavior. Bad behavior needs to be condemned when it happens. And while it is often challenging, it speaks to our character, values and principles and defines who we are and what we stand for. As Dr King went on to say following his quote from above, "if every negro in the United States is against nonviolence, I will be the lone voice saying 'this is not the way..'" Today, I say, "there is a better way."
The "Race" Believers
So I immediately began hearing refrains from the "race" people (those who believe and advocate for people based on skin color) saying, "if these had been 'black' people then people would have been killed..." I wonder if those people feel satisfied that today we know that 4 lives were lost in yesterday's protests/riots and looting. Does that satisfy their feelings for "justice?" Doubtful. We've got to get past skin color and move to humanity. We were all human before American culture started labeling us according to our skin color. That we need to fix and I'm working on it.
Finally, America's greatness doesn't hinge on who we send to Washington D.C. It hinges on who we are in our homes, families and communities. My personal quote says, "If I change ME enough, I can change The World." Lets start today being people of character with great concern for others and lets simply not support bad behavior from wherever it comes. Remember the bad behavior you support today, becomes the bad behavior that you can not tolerate tomorrow.