We Have A Perception Problem

Photo Dec 13, 3 40 50 PMToday is the eve of Christmas Eve and as much as I really want to talk about my book and how you should all buy it because it’s on sale, I feel the need to continue to talk about what is going on around me. I find it fascinating that we’re living in a time of sheer division. Before it was about Obamacare, or gun control, or Ebola, or gay marriage, but now it’s about policing and protesting for accountability.

Once again I look at the media and see the dollar signs that sells papers and web clicks. Although I find it to be really interesting that two policeman are killed during a terrorist drill in Brooklyn, I feel bad that people have to lose their lives in order for a discussion to happen or to continue. What I can’t stand is how predictable people are.

The moment that those two police officers were killed I hoped and prayed that it was not going to “linked” to the peaceful protests of a week ago. But, in my gut, I knew that this was going to add fuel to the fire.

It’s shame those cops were killed. It’s also a shame that everyone who stands to gain political capital has taken advantage of that, which means that the sheep who believe everything they read will follow suit. Blaming the protesters for a crazy man’s deed is just as stupid as any police supporter saying we’re blaming all police for the actions of a few bad cops. Which brings us to the real problem… perception is reality.

There’s a real perception problem that is overplayed by the media. There are people who believe, with good reason, that the gangsta lifestyle has been glorified and that these “thugs” want to live that lifestyle (by the way, thug is the new “n” word, think about the that). Sure, you can point to music, movies, and video games for such attitudes but lets think about this for one second. If you’re perceived as person who wont amount to anything and you live in an area where your life means nothing then would you think you had a future? How would you act?

There are also people who believe, with good reason, that bad cops don’t exist. They’re first responders to danger and are sworn to protect and serve. If there’s an incident they respond to that must mean that thugs and criminals are present, which may be true. However, it’s only in the pages of the Batman or in television shows that police do bad things. After all, if Tamir Rice (12 years) had only listened to the police and put down the toy gun he would be alive today.

Maybe that assessment may seem unfair but bad people exist on both sides. What continues to pop up is absolutism. If you’re not with me than you’re against me. If you support Obamacare you’re anti-American. If you’re protesting police brutality then you’re against cops. Why can’t we live in the grey anymore? Why can’t our interests be mutually exclusive?

I know the answer but if I talk about race then I’m a race-baiter or I’m being divisive. We have a perception problem and it will not be fixed until we place the appropriate value on human lives.

If I talk about Mike Brown, someone will say, “he wasn’t innocent.” My response has always been, it doesn’t matter. We’re suppose to have this glorious justice system that can determine that

“Well, he’s this big guy and the cop was afraid so he had to shoot him.” My response has always been, you mean shoot him after he ran? Couldn’t Wilson shoot him in the leg? “Cops are taught to shoot to kill.” Bingo. That’s the problem. Why have a judicial system if that is truly the case?

Again, we have a perception problem because if anyone of us talk about any of these officers in a bad light in terms of history of police brutality, any guesses on the response?

It doesn’t matter they were a cops.

Perception is reality and we need to fix this.

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Shut Down

shutdownI don’t like writing about politics too much. It’s not because I don’t understand what is going on, it’s because I view American politics sorta like Game of Thrones played out in a democratic/capitalistic society. I do vote and I’m a registered Democrat. I roughly follow what happens in government but it’s not apart of my daily life. Despite all this, I do fundamentally understand what is going with this governmental shut down. The question in my mind about all of this crap is, who does the Tea Party hate more, President Obama or poor people?

Let’s just say, for argument sake, that this whole action of shutting down the government due to Republican wanting to defund Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) is not about race. Factor out the fact that conservatives have fought POTUS with every tooth and nail. Factor out that the Affordable Care Act is SAME THING Mitt Romney did in Massachusetts and they all loved it. If it’s not about the race of Obama, then what’s it about? His political views that allowed him to win the popular vote twice? So if it’s not about that, then one could conceivably deduce that this issue is about poor people.

Is Universal Healthcare that bad? One could argue that healthcare is a fundamental right of being American (or a basic human right). Yet we, as a society, seem to be ok with the rising prices of private insurance costs. I suppose that it is fine that the best medical care goes to those to can afford it. Honestly, it sounds a lot like Higher Education but what about those American citizens, who cannot afford insurance? You have some states, like New York, whose minimum wage is not sufficient to keep people about the poverty line and you expect those people to have decent healthcare?

Well according to some Republicans, those people should really do their homework and search the free market to get a fair price (assuming you do not have a pre existing condition). Of course, if you come to the table already having been sick then you’re pretty much screwed (so move to Canada or Cuba). But, hey this is the system that we has worked for many years and the think we should go back to that, which pretty much means they give zero fucks for those who can’t afford it.

So now the government is shutdown and each side is blaming each other when we all know that Obamacare is a LAW that passed both houses and deemed constitutional by The Supreme Court. Why fight this? Millions of people signed up on Day One and the website was down due to massive over use. What does that mean? Could it possibly be that there are more people who need this than previously thought? How is that possible when considering the rate of unemployment?

Having said all that, understand that this shutdown is about the common person. There are people out of work and thus not getting paid because the privileged are having a tantrum. All these politicians, arguing for or against what’s happening, are all getting paid. They do not and cannot feel nor truly understand how it feels to forced to not to work while people debate the validity of a LAW that has already been passed. Sure some can empathize, but at the end of the day, they can pay their bills.

I will fully admit that the luster of Obama’s administration has worn off on me. There things that he has done that I do not agree with when it comes to drones and the almost war with Syria. Despite this, he is still the President and the blatant disrespect of him from the Tea Party show that race play a factor at least on a subconscious level and if you do not believe me simply look up Michelle Bachman’s remark about how she feels that Obamacare is the POTUS’ attempt to drug dealer.