In light of the Zimmerman verdict, we have seen passionate positions both in favor of Mr. Zimmerman’s acquittal and against Mr. Zimmerman’s acquittal. Those in favor of his acquittal, cite the facts and the lack of facts in the case. Those against his acquittal, cite the plight of Black Americans. To be certain, there is a divide in this country that exhibits itself in many ways and has nothing to do with the color of one’s skin. The Zimmerman trial shone light on the diametrically opposed methods of handling discontent. It is the difference between rational thought v. irrational hate and manifests itself as those who chose to protest when they object to current events and those who chose to riot when they object to current events.
Tea Party: an example of protest
Take for instance tea party members who have protested vigorously to what they believe to be injustices v. the Zimmerman brand of rioters. The tea party members peacefully protest in order to affect change; they write letters to their legislators; they make phone calls; they act within the parameters of the law. The Zimmerman rioters do not do any of these things. They only seem to be concerned about expressing anger – and their anger is often expressed against those who have done nothing to earn their anger, such as innocent shop-keepers. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have found their behavior disgraceful and counter-productive. No one in recent history has done more for the Civil Rights movement than Dr. King – and he accomplished this through peaceful protests not riots. He knew that the way to affect change was to get the attention of the public in a way that opened their ears to his complaints – and that does not include riots.
The rioters fail to realize that their behavior does not ingratiate their cause to anyone except the hate-mongers. These racists have kept them in the victim mentality – often for self-aggrandizement and profit. Many of these modern-day carpetbaggers call themselves men of God, which in and of itself is outrageous, since they are not peacemakers or world-changers – only profiteers benefiting from the plight of their own people by stoking the fires of anger and keeping them victims.
Conversely, I have a friend who has a ministry in an inner-city. Once I asked her how much of her congregation would she estimate is on government assistance. She paused a minute and answered that she thought about 95% were off government assistance. When I asked her how she managed to accomplish that, she said it was by teaching her congregants to be victors instead of victims. This is a woman who knows how to make a difference to better the lives of those within her sphere of influence.
There are ways to constructively express your displeasure of existing circumstances and there are ways to create enemies of those who would help champion your cause. Rioters do not seem to understand the difference. To those who may not have experienced the plight of those who riot, this abhorrent behavior looks more like an excuse for thugs to loot and act violently. Their cause is not served nor are their problems given just consideration. They appear to be nothing more than an angry mob looking for an excuse to behave badly.
My advice to the rioters: if you want rational people to think of you as something more than wild animals, then stop acting like wild animals and start acting like rational thinking human beings with a cause. If you seriously want to start conquering your circumstances, then perhaps is high time you take my friend’s advice and start acting like victors instead of victims. In this country, far from what the peddlers of hate would have you believe, there is opportunity for all. If this were not the case, we would not have a bi-racial man living in the White House today.
It saddens me greatly that there is a large segment of our population that does not understand the American Dream but only the nightmare of race politics. And it saddens me even more that there are those who take advantage of them and insure that their bondage continues all to further their own careers. I pray for the day when people will realize that there is no such thing as the black race, or the white race, or the yellow race, or the red race. God created only one race – the human race. Man created the rest.
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