Atrocities….

These past few weeks have had more than their share of what we can only call atrocities. You know an extremely cruel or evil act to be perpetrated. This crowd called ISIS seems to have them down pat. But they are not alone. Every manner of being has strayed across the line throughout history. It’s just our sensitivities tend to get piqued by the people or countries involved or to a large degree how much publicity it gets.

We had a story here in Denver of a woman’s live in boyfriend who threw a four month old infant against a wall because it was crying too much. Does that qualify? Or how about a drunk driver who goes down the interstate in the wrong direction and kills a family of four. How am I doing? Two trucks hit a motorcyclist at two in the morning, stopped to see if he was alive and then took off probably after knowing he would not survive. These are real life in our fair city and occurring everywhere else throughout the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I remember in Viet Nam when a Vietnamese naval vessel was blown up by sappers just upriver of us. Nine people were killed and the place we called home was the closest receptacle for the body bags to wait for transport. They sat there on the dock for three days in the blazing sun of the U Minh Forest. I recoiled at the smell and the fact that life meant so little to these people. Fast forward forty some odd years and I can’t help but believe things haven’t really progressed and the opposite might be the case.

This has been a tough week. I have run into every sort of negative thought and vitriol from all sorts of people. Maybe I am a magnet or caused it ? I hope not. So much centered around Ferguson. One fellow almost screamed the statistics of black crime into the phone. I told him I got it but he just wanted to pursue the evidence. I asked him a simple question. If you stopped and frisked every white person on a Saturday night or better yet pulled over every white person driving at that hour, how many arrests for drugs, DUI and even weapons would occur? What an absurd question TTG !

There is no question black neighborhoods are a seed bed of illegal activity. I really tried to imagine what it must be like to live there. No so easy. As a kid of five your first memories are of a drug deal, a shooting or a run down apartment and a mother who has two jobs or does crack. There is no male in the house or if there is it is because your mother is easy. You see the teenagers being rousted and the pimps and dealers making money the old fashioned way ….preying on people’s weaknesses. This is in every aspect a culture.

As you grow older you realize you are marked by those inherited flaws and a thing called skin color. The degradation you feel most days is humiliating. Sometimes this borders on paranoia. Everybody thinks you are piece of crap and you start to believe it. They say you need to pick yourself up and get out of this. You say if I am a male I better get a gun or join a gang. There is nothing more empowering than a weapon. You now have your way with women but stability is something you have never known. Love ’em and leave ’em just like they did to you.

I thought about the politicians promising everything and delivering nothing. I thought about neighborhoods being gentrified and then no longer affordable. The building boom comes and the poor are just collateral damage. You just run out of places to go. The bullshit keeps piling up and the resentment in your heart is dark. The things go kaboom and then true lawlessness takes place. The truly sad part is there are good people there. As in any place it is the few that make the good look bad. But nobody wants to look for the bright side. We just want to paint with wide strokes. You get the job done quicker that way.

I in no way condone a big black thug stealing a box of cigars and intimidating a poor owner. I also can’t abide by a cop unloading his revolver into even a six foot eighteen year old. One or two shots maybe. Seven, eight? I’ve got a problem. Bungling of stories and evidence? No excuse. A true crisis of management and leadership. The silence of the black leadership on things like family and illegitimacy is deafening. The system my friends on both sides of the fence( and there are definitely two sides) is really screwed up.

The upstart of all of this has been a notable lack of leadership by anyone. The elite can be smug and say the Democrats should take ownership of their constituency. We have a black president. Let him deal with it. Sharpton and Jackson can rabble rouse that the one percent or cops caused all this. Boehner, Reid, Pelosi, McCain? Haven’t heard bupkis. What was I thinking? Just like everything else in our Pandora’s box just wait until after the elections when there is not so much at stake.

We were all outraged at the gruesome beheading of James Foley. That was an atrocity. Boko Haram, Al Quaeda, Assad all can be described as evil. But I will hold out to you that right here in the US of A we have more than our share of problems not only in the ghettos of urban America but in the homes down the street. Bullying, verbal and physical intimidation, hatred of our fellow man and benign indifference happen in all walks of life. I hope that we have not become so soulless that we can’t see it and much worse not want to do anything about it.

As always

Ted The Great

Factoids:

In psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud defined hate as an ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness.More recently, the Penguin Dictionary of Psychology defines hate as a “deep, enduring, intense emotion expressing animosity, anger, and hostility towards a person, group, or object.”Because hatred is believed to be long-lasting, many psychologists consider it to be more of an attitude or disposition than a temporary emotional state. Wow!

Residential segregation is the physical separation of two or more groups into different neighborhoods, or a form of segregation that “sorts population groups into various neighborhood contexts and shapes the living environment at the neighborhood level.” This is an incredible dynamic in the effort to end poverty especially among blacks. Right side and wrong sides of the tracks.

Atrocities can be against people, the environment or religions. The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the early 70’s. Today people slaughter rhinos for their horns. The Crusades can be considered an atrocity. Obviously the Holocaust during World War II but others consider the Irish Potato Famine of 1845 and subsequent actions by the British to be right up there. Man’s ability to be so bereft of morals is quite amazing.

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