A World of Absolutes

We live in a world of absolutes. This extremism exists across the entire spectrum, from social engagements, businesses, religious and definitely political positions.

It’s disheartening.

There is no longer room for civil discourse, disagreement and forward movement.

Why? And is that really the case? What is making it this way?

Who are we even arguing and debating with? When I talk to friends in person, look them in the eye, I know who my debate is with and in every instance we find common ground and acceptance to each others positions. You go on social platforms, and the opposite is true. The level of hatred, despise, for which ever position you share, is deafening, it is overwhelming.

We live in a weird world, one in which we’re debating everyone but debating no-one at the same time. Where there is no room for logical, rational, discussion, and it’s amplified by personal, human, bias. Whether those biases are we think we know, things we experience, things we see, or things we’ve been told. Deciphering the truth is exceptionally hard. It’s why I don’t share statistics, videos or links in this post.

In this world, you have have to choose sides. In this world, your beliefs are not your own, although we encourage you to be yourself. Well, technically you can but you can’t express them publicly.

I used to joke with my colleagues, companies love to talk about authenticity, and they wear it as a merit badge. What you learn, often the hard way, is that what they often mean is “be my version of your authentic self,” the same is true here.

I don’t know where we go from here. While fighting for social justice we are actually doing the same thing to others that we are decrying and saying is being done to us.

We are invoking injustice in the name of injustice.

George Floyd and Black Lives

George Floyd, a black man, recently died in custody.

No black man, no person of color, no person at all, should ever die in the hands of the police. Yes, I agree that there are social injustices at play.

I also believe that how you look, how you behave and how you speak, along with ones personal biases and experiences will dictate how you are approached, and treated by law enforcement, and people in general.

My own experiences in my personal life and businesses have shown me all too often that no one race, or color, holds a claim on injustice.

I also believe in our rights, as Americans, as humans, to protest and demand accountability and reform.

I also believe in due process. This, however, seems to be something that is not happening right now. It is not something I believe the four accused will be afforded. Which, coincidently, is the same social injustice being fought for.

I don’t believe in is in the carnage that we are seeing unfold before our eyes.

I don’t believe in the destruction of property because society has lost its ability to have discourse.

I don’t believe in cops being shot at, killed, beaten and otherwise abused.

I don’t believe in business owners being beaten and killed.

I don’t believe in the looting.

I don’t believe in people being dragged out of their cars and being beaten.

I don’t believe in destroying people’s livelihoods to further a position on social injustice, it is by design another form of social injustice.

I don’t believe in politicians, regardless of affiliation, being ok, and justifying, this level of behavior.

As a society we demand de-escalation and self-control from law enforcement, all while also demonstrating our inability to do the same. Then again, that’s what we would be led to believe.

I do not think that those truly protesting injustice are behind this carnage. I do believe there are thugs (black, white, brown) from all affiliations taking advantage of a very bad situation, and it’s all just being wrapped into one thing.

If you listen to those demanding reform you actually hear a similar story. You hear that they too despise these things. They are not calling for destruction of property, attacks on the police, and attacks on people. But they do want voices to be heard.

Law Enforcement

To say that the entire law enforcement apparatus is corrupt because of what is highlighted on the news and social media, is to say that every black person is a thug, or every white person is a white supremacist, or that every hispanic person is an illegal rapist. That is what you would be led to believe if you follow those same sources.

The most bizarre thing I can’t get my head around is the movement to DefundThePolice.

Think for a moment a world where there is no one to call in the event of an emergency. When you’re being raped, there is no one to come to your rescue or someone you can go to for help. When you are being assaulted, there is no one to go to to get justice.

A world where there is no law and order.

Ok, let’s assume that’s not what we really want. We really just want to take their funding away.

Addressing social injustice is going to require investment, not divestment. We have to train, we have to educate, we have to introduce new tools and systems to help facilitate this evolution. Reducing funding seems to be the opposite of what you want to be doing.

You could argue that defunding the police will only accelerate the social injustice. Tired, over worked, under trained, underpaid, verbally and physically abused law enforcement seems to be a recipe for a disaster.

If anything, I would argue we need to fund the police. We need to enact better rules and training, and yes, hold them accountable. It should be unacceptable to have cameras off. It should be unacceptable to allow a law enforcement official to be out of shape, to not train in some form of martial arts to learn the appropriate application of force. These should be a few of the things we should be investing in, not divesting.

Martin Luther King, Jr and the Boston Tea Party

I’m going to be honest, I don’t understand these.

Martin Luther King, Jr

To my friends that are quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., you’re missing a lot of really important quotes that embody who he was as a man, as a person; things that defined his ideology and belief system.

The most common phrase being touted right now is:

A riot is the voice of the unheard. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here are some of the others you’re probably forgetting about:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Boston Tea Party of 1773

To my friends referring to the Boston Tea Party of 1773 that sparked the American revolution.

The destruction fo the King’s tea was done as a response to the King oppressing the people’s ability to establish themselves with their own commerce, establish their own way of living. It was a boiling point at a time where there was taxation, and no representation. Where a monarch was recouping his costs from years of war in the colonies. It also came shortly after the Boston Massacre in 1770, where tensions boiled over and a number of colonials were killed during a confrontation with the King’s men.

It was people standing up for their freedom.

Is that what we are saying is happening here? These social injustices with law enforcement have now turned into a society that feels oppressed by the government? all while being allowed to protest and state their position?

It’s easy to highlight a point by talking to something that is something we’re all feeling and experiencing, but it’s one of many examples.

COVID19 Lockdowns

I agree, the impacts of an extended lock-downs are something we don’t fully understand and it’s impacts are going to be felt long after any COVID19 pandemic. It’ll hit us economically, emotionally, and physically.

Governor Cuomo says that nothing is worse than death, that’s why these stringent rules are being put in place.

Ok, at face value that’s an interesting point, but if you said that to the partner being abused, child being sexually taken advantage of, the family who loses everything and finds themselves on the streets, I bet they would disagree. To them, it probably is worse than death.

Self Identity

I have no issues with a person choosing their identity. You want to be a women, but born with the anatomy of a man, sure do you.

I do think the idea of those born with the anatomy of one sex competing in a sport of those born with a different anatomy is wrong.

I don’t think schools should allow those born with different anatomy parts should be going to the same bathrooms, but I’m not against creating new bathrooms so that they can use those.

President Trump

What’s interesting is personally I am at a loss for words when it comes to Trump. He reminds me of that kid that no matter what happens, or what he does, he always finds himself in a giant pile of shit, and there is always a camera and mic to catch it.

He can’t help himself.

I also ask myself how we even got here. How is it that he was the best choice. Shit, how is it that Biden, Bernie, and so many of the others are our best options? Where are the options for people that think rationally, that have balanced positions?

Regardless, not liking a guy, doesn’t mean I’m disrespectful to him or harbor the level of hate I see in people. I feel it in their souls. I see it in their eyes. It’s a level of anger and disdain that I don’t recall every happening before.

Does one really have to justify this position?

Sexism and Women in the Work Force

I agree, women have a history of being underpaid, undervalued and have often been mistreated in the workplace.

I disagree with the idea that we should make “sex” a prerequisite for hiring, or for why we don’t fire (because of the check mark).

We should hire for ability, and fire for inability. I also don’t think that we should speak only about women, there are other minorities that are just as disadvantaged in the workplace. Our focus should be more encompassing.

Gun Rights & 2nd Amendment

I agree, guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

I am not against reasonable rules that help ensure there is some level of control.

I fail to see how banning of weapons is going to solve some of the mass shootings we have seen over the past 5 years. Banning drugs has done little to curtail that problem, in fact it’s created a massive economic black market for it.

Laws will affect law abiding citizens, those intent on doing bad things are going to do bad things.

Yes, what we’re seeing on the streets today with the looting, destruction of property, hurting and killing people is a great example of the power of gun ownership. I fear, however, that it will lead to more people getting hurt as tensions continue to rise.

Where is the middle ground? Where is the rational, logical, thought?

We are living in a society where there is only room for extremism across the board.

I used to joke with my partner, Daniel: “I don’t want you to agree with me, I want you to believe it in your soul that this is right!” We would laugh, and realize how silly we were being, and find common ground.

Now I look and think, holy shit.. that’s exactly what is happening in the world.

I find reason when I talk to people face to face, but the opposite is true when it comes to social platforms. We push our thoughts, and opinions, debating with the world, while never really debating with anyone. The reality is, you’re rarely ever debating the same person, only the person that feels strong enough about whatever position you’re putting out at the time.

As I look back over the past two decades, and I think about those things that will be judged in the history books I wonder what they will say about the Media and Social Platforms. Will these be the things that remove all reason? Establishing an entirely new society and norm that we are all living right now? What will our grand kids, grand kids, say about this generation?

Oh, that must have been the Wild West, can you imagine this thing called Twitter? or Facebook? What is the media? The break down of society started with these platforms, and it really began in 2016…

As a society we have to learn to have respectful discourse again. We have to learn to think critically, and have reasonable conversations. We have to learn to be human, and stop being assholes.

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