Sunday evening after coming home from work and doing my usual chores before relaxing and preparing to get myself motivated for the next day I watched TV and saw a special report that I should stay away Downtown Spokane because of a civil disturbance occurring.
A half hour later,. local news reporters holding microphones and standing rigidly before news cameras used sobering tones to express a serious situation rapidly developing in downtown Spokane. The quiet and reasonably peaceful protests of a couple hours ago somehow got highjacked by not so peaceful looters, vandals and other all around not-so-nice people.
It’s a scene that played out in every other major and not-so-major city in this country, as if it was planned and orchestrated to publicly show the world our true colors. The day after, news of the craziness here in Spokane showed all too clearly what had occurred and many including myself figured outside demonstrators were to blame. People who live here, couldn’t have possibly done this to our town. Yet, it’s possible the opposite is true.
Think about it. Think about the people out there who are marginalized, poor, and always hurting. I know I look the other way when I see a homeless person panhandling; assuming that what he or she wants isn’t food but drugs or alcohol from that cash donation. The tribal casino I work for has any number of people who grace our presence with their foul odor from not bathing in days because they don’t have that luxury where they’re staying at. Think of how many minorities you’ve run across and automatically assumed they were less than honorable or trustworthy. My wife assumes all Muslims are terrorists, can you say that too?
Then we have a President who sees more fit to group those on the far left as terrorists than those on the far right who he sees as loyal Americans.
Where do we stand from here? The problem isn’t just about us versus them as Shawn Vestal of Spokesman Review elegantly stated it: “Us is all of us, like it or not. At this moment of extraordinary national tension, so full of the potential for violence, so fractured at the core, so full of venom and incitement radiating from the White House, and so vilely attended by bigoted online calls to shoot protesters or run them over, us versus them is a disastrous formulation.” We need to stand united whether some of our leaders like it or not.