Make Hummus, Not War
The protests that have ensued aren't so much about Keith Lamont Scott's death, as they are about the life that preceded it, and the lives that succeed it.
Notice that the Black Lives Matter movement doesn't call itself Black Deaths Matter.
This isn't about punishing those responsible for Scott's death.
This is about life. This is about justice for those of us who are still here.
Think back to when you were in kindergarten and another kid hit you. What did the teacher do?
Did they bring the both of you together, facing each other? Allowed both of you to express your hurt feelings? Facilitated a mutual apology?
Perhaps you were the bully. It doesn't matter. Justice recognizes both sides as victims. Justice recognizes that every person is as important as anybody else. Justice recognizes that the goal is for us to get back to playing in the sandbox and smiling again.
Black people in this country do not feel as important as anybody else. Many people in this country do not feel as important as anybody else. Policemen and women do not feel as important as anybody else. Politicians do not feel as important as anybody else. That's why we get bullies. That's why we get bullied. That's why we go to war.
Justice isn't material equality. Nobody expects everyone to have exactly the same amount of things, or money, or fame.
Justice is equality of status. Justice is equality of treatment. Justice is equality of respect.
Everybody wants to feel respected.
We don't respect people anymore. We don't respect ourselves. We definitely don't respect black people.
Would you be angry if your entire life other people regarded you either as a criminal, stupid, or both? Would you be angry if your entire life people kept looking away from you, crossing to the other side of the street, clutching their bags tighter? Would you be angry if your entire life people never asked for your honest opinion? Would you be angry if your entire life "How are you?" was never anything more than a rhetorical question?
Respect isn't a zero-sum game.
I don't know of any inherent limitations we have to our capacity for listening.
I do know there are limitations to how much we can judge people and make them feel bad about themselves. It doesn't end well. Someone eventually grows ill, goes insane, or gets shot.
Justice isn't ever "served" in a court of law. Justice is achieved face-to-face, like in kindergarten. Justice is served over a cup of coffee, glass of beer, or bowl of hummus. When we're chewing, we're inclined to listen. When we're tasting something good, we're inclined to smile.Hey, wanna trade lunches?