I am ever so grateful for the internet.
First, I saw the NEWS about the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I saw a video, which was live streamed earlier, real time: of a man who was shot by a police at a traffic stop; filmed by his partner. The police then handcuffed Philando Castile’s partner and held her away from her daughter. The whole incident was wrong. Nobody deserves to be killed like that. It should never have happened. Police should never have to work in such fear that they could potentially be held at gun point for asking for a drivers licence; agitated enough to pull a trigger at a man who was merely sitting in a car, in compliance. Nobody should have to die at a traffic stop. It was just wrong.
Later, I saw the NEWS about the deaths of police officers who were on duty, watching over Black Lives Matter rally to keep them safe. I saw a video of how it all begun, and some of the footage from the scene. Those officers, I bet, were not trained for combat. They would have been trained to handle confrontation in person, and to call for back ups if anything went wrong. Training to shoot at still targets for emergency purpose is different to having to engage in a gun fight involving a sniper. I saw those officers and felt for them. It was unfair. And it should not have happened.
And I thought of all other injustice that have occurred in the past and present that were left unresolved. In days when there were no mobile phone cameras, and the convenience of live streaming, we have no idea how many innocents were harmed and their files closed without ever seeing justice. The partners of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, without video evidences, could have been questioned by people who wanted to deny the wrongness of the situations; victims and their relations having to speak against defence who wanted to explain that they had enough reasons to shoot, when they did not. Without the internet, we would not have seen those police officers at the rally having to engage in a gun fight, under equipped. Normal human behaviour would have been to take cover. I felt for those who held themselves against the harm, while they did not even know where the bullets were coming from.
I loathe that infamous last words “that was unfortunate, you have to forgive, what did you learn from it?”
‘Unfortunate’, and ‘wrong’ are two different things. You learn from unfortunate experiences, but you must take actions to correct the wrong. Unfortunate and wrong could happen at the same time. But they are still the two different things happening only together, and you cannot just forgive them to be.
But you cannot just go and kill your ‘enemies’. I hope you are angry, because anger is a great fuel to take you ahead. But you have to direct the anger in a functional direction. We can get together. We can change the law; bit by bit, by working on gun control, minority rights, by supporting Black Lives Matter movements. We can pray. Study law. Or work hard and support somebody else study law. Connect with others who care like you on Facebook and other social media. Don’t make decisions alone. Flood social media with message of peace. Send love notes to random people. Swamp White house and other decision makers with petitions. Stay connected to what you care about.
I don’t know if this will help anybody, but I believe that anger is better than despair. And indignation is better than anger. If one person is not strong enough, a group of us will be stronger. I may be a dreamer, but I think a dreamer is better than a terror. In fact, I am convinced that a dreamer is better than a terror. Share your ideas. Stick with peace. If the world is a reflection of what we are, then it might be worth taking a look at the way we are. And so I am going to so stubbornly believe that we can do better than this.