I had another conversation -a facebook conversation- with a young man I know and like. On the day 4 police officers were assassinated in a coffee shop, he posted:
“G.E. to buy NBC, Huckabee’s contentious record of pardoning convicts, four policemen shot dead, Obama to send around 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan. Just another front page in America”
I was feeling particularly emotional that day. It didn’t seem like just another day to me. it seemed like a sad day. I tried to loop my young friend in with me. By the time the exchange fizzled out I felt even more sad and plenty agitated. He and his cohort of young educated white kids brought the hammer down on my conformist sheep-like ass.
I suspect if you came home to a violent intruder you’d call whom? Maybe a Cop? For god’s sake don’t you know any blue collar people? These aren’t especially ‘privileged’ people. Neither are the armed forces. They’re working stiffs who probably had many fewer privileges than you have.
The world isn’t nearly as simple as you think it is. I know I’m just a mom and a nag, but please try to give the people who protect your rights as much consideration as you give the people who pick your vegetables. And stop assuming all brown people are victims of The Man.
Also, vigilante justice – especially by the state – should NEVER be tolerated. That man deserved his right to due process, a full investigation by someone other than the media, and a conviction by someone other than an angry cop. Everyone does. The day we make exceptions to that rule is a terrifying day.
I have some confessions to make. You might not be able to even look me in the eye when I’m done. Bear with me. This is hard, and it’s getting in the way of my relationships. Here goes: I am a liberal. I’ve said that before, but I need to state it again just so we’re clear. Paul Wellstone is one of my heroes. I still remember Gary Eichten coming on the radio around ten-ish to say that there were reports that a small plane had crashed and that it was reportedly carrying Paul and his wife… I was heading East on Marshall near Lexington. My stomach dropped.
I am a liberal, been to anti-war protests, gay rights marches, busted my ass for the public schools. I almost always vote Democrat, but I’ve made exceptions (and in the case of Arne Carlson, I’d do it again). I believe that legalization of marijuana would make the world a better place (but that in general the use of it makes you stupider than you were before). I think it isn’t fair for people to hoard massive amounts of money to themselves and their families even after they die (if it all keeps moving up, the 95 percent of the population who make up the non-rich end up fighting each other for fewer and fewer resources). I’m pro-choice and pro- science.
Get my drift? That isn’t the confession, isn’t the thing that seems to be getting me in trouble with my friends lately. Here’s what is: I like cops. Well not all cops, but I really respect the idea of being a cop and believe that the people who work in law enforcement are good people, most of them. I am grateful to them for doing everything from asking the neighbors to pipe down to checking out my house if the door is open when I come home, to chasing juvenile delinquents who poke holes in my tires or break my windows.
Lastly I need to confess that I’m torn. I’m torn about a lot of things. The world is way more complicated than I can figure out. It seems like a lot of the people I know can’t be torn about things, can’t wrestle with their consciences or change their minds. It worries me as much as the right wing whackos do.