The Moderate White American, Shameful Acts of Cowardly Comfort.
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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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The Moderate White American, Shameful Acts of Cowardly Comfort.

That title represents bold words for a one-eyed-fat-man.  I have two eyes.  I am also the alter-ego of an old white man – and my fellow white people, intelligent political moderates, have come up short in the advancing civilized struggle for morality and justice.

People throughout my life have been weary of any direct confrontation with me – mostly because they know I am willing to engage at any level they want.  When the fight or flight genes were being handed out I did not get the flight part of the deal.  With that said, the modern white political moderate sacrifices justice in the name of order.  The pathetic need for acceptance without conflict at the expense of doing the right thing is abhorrent.

Justice does not prevail in the short attention spans of white adults who long for peace and quiet in this hectic world.  Harmony is more important than justice.

Let us start with local police.  A uniform and a badge are powerful symbols of authority.  I have to say that most of the people who wear the uniform, pin on a badge, and carry a gun are mentally healthy and do not let the authority consume their life.  In 1969 I was a police dispatcher in St. Joseph, Missouri – a moderate town of about 75,000.  In my brief time in that job I came to know the personalities of most of the local officers.  I remember Lieutenant Sherwood who bragged that in 25 years he had never taken his gun out of his holster while on duty.  Another officer had shot and killed two people in his 20 years – both deaths ruled justified homicide.  In the back halls of the police station the officers secretly said the two deaths were the result of an officer feeling a need to be respected and losing his composure in the face of danger.  They said it was about his mental state rather than about the circumstances of the shootings. Who can know?

Our modern world has cameras on every street corner and on every dashboard of every police car – we have more data with which to judge.  This past two years we have seen many videos of rash gunfire by police – generally toward people of color, and often in neighborhoods of poverty.  The question is always motive.  Why did that white policeman shoot that black man 17 times?  Individual cases can be debated but there is little debate that the problem of the mental state of the police officers continues to haunt us.  Here is the rub.  Moderate White people fail to engage the debate in a meaningful manner.  They want the problem to go away so they can go to the ball game.

Check out this disturbing video of police brutality:

The video is out and he is going to pay a price.

This is a clear example of a police officer who has come to believe that he is always right simply because he is a police officer.  In my town, St. Joseph, there is an ordinance that states that we citizens must obey a reasonable request of a police officer.  Some police have come to believe that any request they make is reasonable simply because they made it.

Moving on to our school system and justice for children.  My view is that a child’s education is the responsibility of three components, the child, the parents, and the school.  When a child is on the honor role the parents and the school tout their great success – when the child if failing it is entirely the fault of the child – and the spiritually lazy moderate white adults would rather the child fail than serve justice to the adults.  Harmony and order rule.  Those same moderate white adults send their children to private schools or demand their school board better segregate the troublemakers from those more advantaged.

Desegregated schools too often host segregation within their walls.  Children of the same age and grade, from prosperous families, ore in one classroom and those less fortunate are in a separate room.  The PTA or PTO, whatever, favors harmony and order over justice. The internal segregation reflects skin color and economic strata and social strata – the Principle sucking up to the Administration that sucks up to the School Board.  Order – but no justice.

Civilization only advances when people stand up to injustice, even at the expense of their harmonic life.

There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. Wasn’t sure if I was going to read this to begin with. Perhaps not wanting my ‘Harmony and order’ to be disturbed. We inherited the same gene apparently. I have stood up to teachers, principals and school boards on many occasions… to my knowledge nothing gained. They wouldn’t let you know if they were impressed or moved to change by your words, that’s for sure. How do you spell ‘Bureaucrat’? Harmony and order, that’s how! There is no democracy in public education or necessarily in private for that matter. Heaven forbid if anyone would suggest that a child is failing because of school policy or lack of it. Home schooling is not always a good idea, this isolates many kids and creates socially inadequate individuals in many cases. We are required by law to make sure the kids are educated. The law needs to make sure our kids are dealt with fairly no matter their circumstance.

    My children all attended an exceptional elementary school with many exceptional teachers. However, the Principal at one point told me I should register my children for free or reduced price lunch and breakfast. I told him that wasn’t going to happen, because that would open up discrimination against my children, from their peers and the institution of learning. He disagreed and pandered his belief, I continued to scrape together either money or a bag lunch for each one of the kids, no matter what else we might do without, which actually wasn’t much, in reality.

    I just watched on the news this morning about a new program where police are engaging with folks of color to perhaps bring about a change in relations. One of the young men, when asked why he mistrusted the police, said he was raised to not trust, told not mix with them in any circumstance, they do not have your best interest in mind. That disturbed me. I was raised and raised my children to trust the police force, with a warning to stay out of trouble and not ever be in their radar. Once again, there are many many more parts of the story. Law enforcement, Educators, any and all who deal with children and young adults, must be vetted carefully. They must be screened for mental health issues on a regular basis and if this does not suit the individual, perhaps they are in the wrong profession. I had to be screened for drug use when I went to work for Walmart and had to have a background check to work for H & R Block. Safe to say being a police officer or and educator are bigger targets for being diligent and checking each and everyone of them, regularly. Ok, can I get back to my harmony and order?

  2. Nancy – we have the same gene!!

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