I’m really starting to take a hard look at the media…not just networks and cable, but especially pundits…some of whom I like to call the “Yeah, but” crowd. They’re the people who see a story about a tragedy, but then pull out, “Yeah, but…” to justify the actions. And this is not limited to one side or the other. Guilt is all around.
I just read a story about the man who was shot during the traffic stop, who later died. The writer then pulls out, “Yeah but he had a petty criminal record, he looked like an armed robbery suspect from two days prior, and his concealed-carry may not have been a full concealed-carry.”
Really? Wow…I didn’t know that. Now there is complete justification for him to have been shot four times!
Do you see how insidious this is? And mark my words…I guarantee you that a lot of people will read that and will think, “Well, I guess there was justification.”
This is no longer about justification. This is about looking out for each other, and making our best efforts to change and grow and survive together.
And no, I’m not talking about an “Everything Is Beautiful” sea change, because people are people, and you can’t make someone like someone else just because it’s the right thing to do. What I am talking about is the basic right, or at minimum expectation, that I’m going to get to go home tonight…whether I’m black, or wear blue, or have love for someone of the same sex, or walk to my car after a Cardinals game.
Something has to change this “We vs. Them” mentality that is so prevalent right now. This is a time where we have to figure out where we go from here…together. Things are so broken, and trying to justify the fractures is just causing more… freaking… fractures.
If you’re a parent and your kid jumps off a moving swing and breaks his arm, does it really make things better to say, at that moment, “Serves you right…”?
Hell no. You bring that kid to the urgent care and hope he’s not stupid enough to do that again. And if you have taught your child at all, he’ll remember the pain and will likely try to avoid it again.
Of course if he does it a second time…all bets are off.
So for the “Yeah, but” crowd who tries to justify a wrong, especially writers…be it an officer who freaks out and shoots a motorist, or the person who somehow justifies the massacre in Dallas by saying, “It’s wrong, but at least now they know what it feels like to be targeted,”…
…you are part of the problem. It’s not helping. It’s what we’ve always been doing…and things are only getting worse. Be part of the solution…even if it means holding your opinion to yourself for a hot minute. It might make a huge, positive difference.