Last week was one of those weeks where at the end you want to say, “Can we just pretend this week didn’t happen? Let’s start over.” It actually was a good news/bad news situation. It’s just that the bad news was SO bad.
So let’s start with the good news. I dropped around 4 pounds! And it seems to be staying off, which means it might not be just water weight. I made all my workouts and discovered the joys of having a training session at 7am. I’m not being sarcastic – I really liked working out with Will early in the morning. We are going to switch my times from Tues – Thurs at 11:30 to Tuesday at 11:30 and Friday at 7am. That way at least one day will not be in the extreme heat.
I made some major dietary changes. Breakfast was a protein bar or shake, and water; lunch was a kale/spinach salad with chunk chicken and honey mustard dressing. At dinner I ate whatever my husband fixed but watched my portions and tried to limit the carbs. Dessert was one or two small cookies and some milk. I have not bought any more cookies or munchies and am trying to phase them out of the house. In any event, what I did this week has shown some results.
As usual, the bad news comes from society. First police in one city kill a black male. Then police in another city kill another black male. These events happened within a couple of days of each other. Of course, it all led to protests with the Black Lives Matter movement in the lead. Then, during a peaceful protest in Dallas, a sniper from up in a building (at least at first) started shooting, aiming specifically at white police officers [the sniper’s description (from information posted prior to the shooting) not mine]. Five officers died; six were wounded. This resulted in the usual cries of how violence is not the answer. Tributes are still being posted.
Personally, I feel any loss of life is tragic. I hate that those black men were killed, whether it was justified action or not. I just hate that they died. I also hate what happened to those Dallas officers. This is not an “either/or” situation. However, in listening to all the different reactions I see inequity, and many will not like what I have observed.
My first observation is a fairly simple matter of communication. I have noticed that when voicing sorrow over these events, what a person says seems to be dictated by the subject first addressed. When someone states their outrage over the shooting of black males by police, that is often the only sentiment expressed. Apparently it is ok to make that observation, and no other. On the other hand, each time I’ve heard someone state that the incident in Dallas is tragic, that statement has been followed by a qualification along the lines of, “But we must remember that the police must change so trust is restored (or so more shootings do not happen, or whatever).” I’m not saying that sentiment is incorrect. What I’m noticing is that people do not feel they can simply mourn the deaths of the officers. They feel they have to say something about problems with the police at the same time. It’s almost as though they are afraid they will be accused of being racially prejudiced if they don’t say something about the first two shootings. I’m seeing a double standard here.
My second observation is from reading/listening to the reactions of various public figures, especially our presidential candidates. I was particularly disturbed by a statement from the candidate for whom I will probably end up voting. It went something like, “White America needs to listen…” Of course, there was a lot more to it, but the basic problem is contained in those five words. As long as most of us think of our nation as “white America”, “black America”, “Hispanic America”, etc. we will not achieve the tolerance and understanding we seek. Does “white America” need to listen? Yes, but only because ALL of America needs to listen. To use an old saying, we have two ears and only one mouth for a reason. But, how can we expect our people to change when our leaders are still subdividing the populace in any way, but especially by race?
And speaking of “ALL”, my third observation involves a phenomenon that has been happening for a while, but is brought into focus each time these horrible events occur. Each time, chants and signs saying “Black Lives Matter” are blasted from our TVs and various other media. Ok. Then there is always the reaction, “ALL lives matter”. Ok again. I have no objection to anyone expressing their opinion – we all have them and we all have the constitutional right to express them within certain safety limits. What gets me is when the people saying “Black Lives Matter” criticize those saying “All Lives Matter”. The explanations I’ve seen for this say that “All Lives Matter” ignores black lives and tries to take them out of the equation. Hogwash.
I think the basic problem here is we are talking “apples and oranges”. I get the impression that the “Black Lives Matter” sentiment (not the organization, just the idea) is aimed mostly at government and police forces – trying to call attention to what they see as a specific problem. “All Lives Matter” is a more general sentiment trying to draw attention to the more general problem of our lack of unity – back to the problem of subdividing the populace. Now, why the two groups feel the need to react to each other, I have no idea. For some reason, people saying “Black Lives Matter” seem to take offense when someone else says “All Lives Matter”. Well, all lives matter to me and that’s just the way it is. I’m not leaving anyone out, and especially not based on how much pigment someone has in their cells.
All this is just my opinion and observation. It won’t change anything, but perhaps it can serve as food for thought.
Until next week….