Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Keith Plunkett: The state flag isn’t the problem. Forgetting our humanity is.

Excerpt from an article by Keith Plunkett.

A young mentally unstable young man in South Carolina, easily susceptible to a message of hatred and violence, and apparently without any parental supervision to help steer him in a different direction or get him the help he needed, walked into an African American church in Charleston and gunned down 9 people because of the color of their skin.

Within hours pictures surfaced of the young man waving a Confederate Battle Flag. President Obama’s lack of compassion for the dead in an attempt to use the tragic incident as a political means to reboot a discussion about gun control are quickly overshadowed when former presidential candidate Mitt Romney– with an equal lack of compassion for the dead–calls for the Confederate Battle Flag to be removed from flying at the state capitol in South Carolina. The outrage mob on Twitter and in the media picks up on the comments to begin focusing on Mississippi’s official state flag and the “need” to change it, too.

9 people are dead in South Carolina and their families and community are devastated. The remainder of a young mans life is ruined by the lack of a social network that could have and should have intervened. And all we can talk about now is a damn flag?

What the hell happened to our society that causes us to search for blame in an object, and ignore the real causes of social degradation?

We cannot change what happened in years past, but we can learn from it and change next year and the year after. Those who can’t take their experiences nor their time nor their place and honor it through action that puts the health of society and our people first will be easily manipulated by symbols and symbolic gestures that are meaningless when it comes to facing shared challenges.The problem doesn’t lie in the facade we paint, the problem lies in the hearts of each of us. We can’t create new packaging and expect the underlying issues to disappear into the wind.

Fortunately, if we have the courage to take our individual little pieces of knowledge, our own places in time and history, and join it together with others experience, then that is where the solutions can be found.
That starts with losing our newfound national pastime of constantly being offended and making politically selfish points out of every human tragedy.

The state flag isn’t the problem. Forgetting our humanity is.

Complete article is HERE