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This is a vital question right now.  I will not try to analyze the verdict that came down today.  It is too complex for me to even try.  I sat here thinking and reading comments and my mind was rather stalemated.  It has happened again.  That is all I can say.  People are assigning blame to so many things.  A jury came to a decision.  They thereby did not condemn the shooter but found him innocent of the charges.

Is there guilt in the death of the young man?  Indeed.  Lots more guilt than finding Zimmerman guilty would have taken care of.  That's the point I see being missed so far.  maybe when folks settle down they will take this from here and go forward.  Is there another choice?

We should not be having to suffer this today.  But we are.  The blame for what has happened goes far beyond the trial today.  Read on below.  We have so much we must fix.

When Martin Luther King was assassinated I had similar thoughts.  It was not just another killing.  It happened in a context.  I was playing choose up sides basketball at the YMCA in Town of Tonawanda outside of Buffalo New York. At that time  I was teaching at SUNY Buffalo.  When the announcement of King's death came over the loudspeaker there was a loud cheer!  I left the court, got dressed, went home and drank too much.  I never went back.

Since then there have been so very many things like this that I have become numb.  I guess I write through that numbness tonight.

After King's death there were riots.  There was also was a will to fight on and to make his life a monument to non violent struggle for freedom.  The latter is what we need to focus on now.  Our country was born out of violence and has been a haven for violence ever since its birth.  There is a strange myth under all we do that says we must be strong (in the sense that we can be more violent than anyone who would try to harm us) and can never stop being strong.  I served as an Officer in the USMC.  I was taught to kill.  I have never recovered from that.  I think the ability to kill others is a very self destructive ability.  The many justifications that support it do not erase the damage it does to one's soul.

I have had this discussion here many times and have only come out of each episode more dedicated to the idea that violence is a very central feature in all that is wrong with the world today.  It is not possible to solve problems with violence.  One may choose to use it under some claim of being "forced" to, but there is no escape from the consequences and the damage to one's being for having done it.

Clearly what I have asserted is not popular.  If it were the problem would be self correcting in that people would opt against violence in order to escape the consequences of using it.  But there is the rub.  Most people reading my words here have already thought the thoughts one must think about this issue.  They have imagined some point where using violence is a lesser evil.  Once you say that the situation the Jurors were forced to cope with today is beyond having a clear resolution.  Each person who opts for the idea that using violence is a lesser evil has opened the can of worms.  If you have followed this line of thought you realize why we need to go forward.  

You can not arm people and teach them that there are times when it is good to kill without the situation degenerating to the conditions leading to the death of this beautiful young man.

We will never know what went through their minds that night.  All we know is that they both lived in a society that is not healthy and that generates fear as a means of controlling people.  Now only one of them lives in that society and he will live the rest of his life with a killing of another human being in his memory.  The trial and the need to to escape punishment has already rearranged the memories to lessen some of whatever guilt he might be feeling.

Meanwhile the reactions to this are myriad.  The idea that violence has had a boost today is almost universal.  There are some pleas for non violent reactions to this in all sectors of the society but far more projections of all kinds of violence to follow.

Can we have a victory in all this?  I think we can.  It will be hard, but all progress is hard and freedom never is won without struggle, pain and suffering.  I ask you to join me now in that struggle.  Can we dedicate ourselves to the uplifting of human values to a state where violence is never an answer?  Can we struggle for a society that does not take human life for any reason?  That would be some victory.  I can only hope.

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The way to be victorious in tradgedy

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:24:06 PM PDT

  •  my thinking is that there are so very many (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky, Lujane

    ways to be violent

    deciding to push the button of a drone is violent

    looking the other way when someone is being brutalized is violent

    violence will always break out when there is injustice

    i think the problem you have outlined has more to do with the conditions that lead to violence than the violence itself

    the verdict condoned violence against anyone who can be defined as other

    i don't think we can defuse violence by taking aim at it.  i think we have to undo the circumstances which make violence

    and given that most violence today is institutional and state violence, the kind of violence you seem to be addressing is almost besides the point

    ows was rigorously non violent but that didn't matter at our current stage of dystopia

    •  I thought that was what I was saying. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueDragon

      There is a circularity here that can not be escaped.  The conditions leading to violence come from violence and the circle can not be broken.  That is why so many believe they can solve problems with it.  

      Or society is structured with this inbuilt circularity.  Its stability is built on an implicit use of force.

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:46:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Think I've Heard Some of This Before (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky, political mutt
    -- what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.  
    Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war
    We are never without a present war. America and the present war are inseparable.
    True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
    If you can't hear the Sermon on the Mount in the voice of this American prophet, you can't hear it in the teachings of the Man Himself either.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:55:52 PM PDT

  •  One simple way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    don mikulecky, myboo

    I ain't visiting the Gunshine State under any circumstances.

    •  This is good for so many reasons! (0+ / 0-)

      Remember the 2000 stolen election!

      An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

      by don mikulecky on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 09:25:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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