Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ferguson, Janay Rice, Judgment

Hopefully people will read this and think, not just glance at the words, find something to get riled up over and start an uproar. Let's start with Ferguson. An unarmed black person was shot by an officer. No he didn't deserve to be shot because of the robbery at the store. We really don't know the whole story, forensics and objective evidence. Is it impossible to think everybody could wait until the Grand Jury hands down the decision? Will it bring back the dead man? Back when I was growing up in Phila. and surrounding suburbs it was common knowledge that you went to the hospital prior to being booked at the station. It didn't matter if you were black, white, green, or blue. I personally had a recent experience with an officer. Apparently I ignored a "no U turn" sign. While apologizing for not seeing the sign I was threatened with losing my license and being required to be re-certified (no I'm not 80 yrs. old.) I also accidentally touched the officers hand which was on the door of his car. He was on one side, I was on the other. I was threatened with being charged with assault on an officer. I'm not black or a person of color. I can certainly get behind any movement which is trying to put a stop to aggressive police practices, etc. By making it a racial thing, you muddy up the issue and lose many supporters. I see what protesters are doing. Maybe they aren't the majority. Then again, I didn't own any slaves and most people today have no close ties to slavery to be using that as justification for bad behavior. My children were fairly typical. One son received a speeding ticket on his way to school. As he walked back to his car he called the cop a "Pompous ass." Not a wise choice. He received four additional tickets for completely bogus reasons. Since he isn't a person of color, nobody came rushing out to claim racism. In fact, I explained to him he should learn not to be confrontational with an officer since they have the power to ruin and or kill you. Make a choice. Is you building your ego worth the possible consequences? The first point is, wrong is wrong and people of all races have to deal with this stuff daily. Next, why are parents teaching their children to have a chip on their shoulder when dealing with authority? Such guidance will probably lead to more trouble then its worth. Why give people ammunition to use against you? Act right, be courteous. You may still have issues but you maintain your personal integrity. In the end, that's all you can be sure of. Eventually others will realize YOU are not the problem and be willing to support you. Now Janay Rice and domestic violence. As much as the media claim they are not blaming her for what happened, they are. They are questioning her judgement and ability to make her own decisions. Janay says it was the first time she has been hit by her husband. Why won't people believe her? Have they seen her bloodied, bruised? No people should not hit other people because they are angry. Men and women should both be expected to keep that in mind. The NFL is full of super aggressive, super macho, hard hitting men. That is their culture. Now, let's say, as Janay told the commissioner, she spat on her husband during the argument. Then in the elevator she lunges toward him. Maybe it was reflex that he raised his fist and hit her. I'm not sure if the punch or her hitting her head on the rail knocked her out. Again, its not right for people to act that way toward people they love. Alcohol and emotion are a dangerous mix. He should not have hit her. He's obviously a strong man. But what if it was the first time and the alcohol reduced his judgement enough so reflex took over and ....boom. Now the media is saying Janay is brainwashed, doesn't know she's a victim, is protecting her abuser and coming to all sorts of unfounded conclusions and giving her unwanted advice. Let her know she has public support if she needs it and butt the hell out. By using her experience to advance your cause (which may be a good cause) is wrong. She didn't sign up for that and people should respect her decisions. Neither the public or the government should be minding your personal business to this degree. If any of my twitter followers read this I hope you have a better understanding of who I am and what I stand for. People make judgments daily about all types of things and people. They often base these judgments on incomplete information. We all have a responsibility to become informed about all things and people. As individuals we can only show by our actions what kind of people we are.