I Love Lucy & the Baltimore Riots

The videos and images are shocking. People destroying their own neighborhoods, attacking the police, reporters, innocent bystanders in an act of defiance, rebellion, protest and desperation. Why? Are they angry because another young black man has died at the hands of the police? Are they opportunists using a tragedy as an excuse to rob and loot stores? Are they victims of a system that’s broken, keeping certain socio-economic groups in poverty, uneducated, with little or no hope for a better life? Are they lacking morality, a sense of justice and the knowledge of the difference between right and wrong?

The answer is “Yes” but the next question is…”why?”

Last week I was part of a training of local law enforcement. As part of the presentation our group showed the hilarious video above of Lucy and Ethel trying to keep up with the candy coming along the conveyor belt. I told the officers; “You guys are Lucy and Ethel. The chocolate keeps coming faster and faster and you’re doing all you can to keep up. Abuse, neglect, drugs, assault, robbery, murders. You’ve seen it all and it isn’t slowing down or getting better. You’re on the front lines, first responders. Your job isn’t to ask what’s happening on the other side of the wall. Why does the candy keep coming? You take care of the mess.” I then explained that finding out what’s on the other side, why it’s happening, helping slow or stop the candy from coming, is what our community organization does.

In times of social crisis and upheaval the immediate concern is to bring stability, help those who are hurting, and hold those who are responsible for harming others and the community accountable. However, calming the present doesn’t safeguard the future. We must not be afraid of asking tough questions that have no easy answers. “Why are some willing to torch their own communities?” “Why is there so much anger, vitriol, self righteousness and condemnation on both sides?” “Why do kids grow up thinking violence, criminal activity is ok?” “Why do others assume people of certain skin colors, from certain neighborhoods who dress, talk, look a certain way are always lazy and up to no good?” “Why do riots keep happening, law enforcement officials and young people keep getting injured or dying?

When do we ask; “What’s on the other side?”  If you think you know the answer, you haven’t thought long and hard enough about the question.

blessings of peace,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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About thewannabesaint.com

thewannabesaint.com is a place for sojourners walking this spiritual path called life. - Brian Loging, brian@thewannabesaint.com, is lead writer at tWS. He is also a speaker, author, poet.

Posted on April 28, 2015, in Life and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I appreciate your point of view and the talk you gave which is a perfectly valid metaphor for many working situations. You are not wrong when you say that people that think they know the answer haven’t thought long enough. Allow me to present an idea from a dual citizen’s point of view.
    I take umbridge with the idea that punishment of those who commit ‘crimes’ is good for them. Punishment is what caused that boys death. Lack of comprehensive first aid training for law enforcement, the system that makes good officers do horrible things to people… the crime rate is the lowest it has been for decades- the police are therefore overwhelmed because of lack of training and funding. Try remeding that and then change the word punish to rehabilitate and educate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blessings and thank you for such a thoughtful and well written reply.

      In my work with incarcerated fathers I have witnessed firsthand punishment vs educational approach and I agree that the verbiage should be reconsidered.

      I appreciate you reading and posting. Grace and peace.

      Liked by 1 person

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