And Where the Hell Were You?
"Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself."
~ Baha'i Faith
People, be honest.
You don't care if the police are harassing, brutalizing, and killing unarmed, innocent people...so long as it's not happening to you and yours.
You don't care if large percent of a specified population is below the poverty line...so long as that population doesn't include you.
You don't care if kids are going without food, shelter, academic encouragement, and healthy socialization...so long as it's not your kids.
You don't care about the aches and pains of humanity, so long as they're not plaguing you.
All you have to do is shut your door, close your blinds, shut off the TV, and block out the misery of someone else's world. It's easy to ignore other people's pain. It's even easier simply to blame it all on them, so that you don't feel obligated to do anything.
And it's easy to lie...oh, it's so very easy to lie to yourself and others when the truth is right before you, setting your world ablaze.
For those of you complaining about the rebellion in England, blaming the immigrants, and predictably calling for guns and police to flood your streets, tell me...what will you do when that innocent bystander is finally you? Because it'll happen. Don't think because you're white, it won't happen. Don't think because you have a job or are in school, it won't happen. Don't think because you're from the good side of town, it won't happen. Sooner or later, it starts to happen to everyone. What are you going to do when it's you?
You're yelling at these children, calling them criminals and savages, denouncing their lawlessness and disrespect for the public, but not once are you asking, "Who started it?" Politicians are supposed to ensure the well-being of all their people; police are supposed to serve and protect all their people, but they've failed, haven't they? What gives a politician - any politician - the right to go on vacation when there are poor, uneducated kids in their country being harassed by police? What gives the police the right to descend into criminal lawlessness and disrespect for the very lives of the public?
One plus one is two, ladies and gentlemen. You're telling me that if we truly gave every single person an equal chance to live in a safe neighborhood, go to a good school, have a good-paying job, and provide for their families, that we would still be seeing what we're seeing around the world? No. At some point, you made compromises. You let your leaders sell some people down the river so the rest of you could be comfortable. You didn't think to stand up for your neighbor. Your neighbor was too Black, too Asian, too poor, too Muslim, too female, too gay, or too uneducated for you to demand that they have the same rights and comforts you have. You changed the channel when you heard news of your neighbors' murders at the hands of public servants. You were content to let your leaders run unchecked, robbing some and bribing others, and now you have the audacity to be upset that it's come back to haunt you.
Where was your torch when Duggan went down? Where was your howl of anger, your candlelight vigil, your demands for the heads of the ones who killed him? Where were you when those before him went down? How many channels did you flip by in months and years past when a young face flashed across the screen, while some soulless talking head rattled off his name as though he were some random casualty in a distant war?
You cry about what's happening, but what did you do to prevent it? Despite the lies of Western individualism, you are responsible. Social injustice is not meant to go unchallenged simply because it happens to someone else. It does not matter if you are not the one initially being harmed. If your neighbor loses a child, you should weep. If your neighbor is robbed, you should be enraged. And if your neighbor must go to war, you should be their comrade.
Here you are at the crossroads again. Your miserable excuse for leaders are trying to win back your good graces. Tell them what you want. Do you want more armed police haunting your streets? Do you want your internet access monitored more tightly? Because when leaders take liberties, they do not take those of the poor alone. Your freedoms and rights will be snatched along with theirs.
Put your leaders in check. Demand they do what they're supposed to, and demand that they do it for everyone. Tell them this is their final warning, otherwise the next time, you will help set a blaze that will rewrite your nation's entire history.