I was on a camping trip with my granddaughters last week and had a few opportunities to take them to the playground there at the campground.
In police work, we spend a lot of time watching and observing people’s behavior, so it is naturally ingrained in me to do it all the time.
I observed kids there at the playground that were white, black, mixed-race, fat, dirty, leaders and followers. A microcosm of our society. Yet these kids, ranging in age from four to 10 were holding hands, hugging, helping each other on the equipment, waiting their turn and assisting when one of them fell down.
Lacking hateful words, the pushing and shoving, the overt violence … why, they were downright civilized. I never observed the animosity towards members of the group that they would learn in the coming years.
But as in these recent protests, using “racist” as an energizing catchphrase is not accurate, but the true root of the idea is actually “class warfare” which is that political tension and economic antagonism in society consequent to socioeconomic competition among social classes.
The common man knows it “the haves and the have nots.”
Classes include those in authority (law enforcement officers), wealth (inherited “fortunate sons,” Wall Street hedge fund managers), professionals (doctors, lawyers), chronically poor (homeless, undereducated, those continuously making bad decisions) and political (elected legislators), all of which were not part of the protests unless guilt, not conviction, drove them to intermingle with the downtrodden.
Now the antagonistic propagators of anarchy easily touch the nerve of those feeling left out of the American dream, as in the case of the infinitesimally small incidents of police brutality, painting a picture of calamity in need of immediate change.
Change that includes the complete elimination of police agencies to address the reality of a small group of bad actors, leaving neighborhoods devoid of order, but hey, what is anarchy without the presence of authority? Success.
If one feels failure in their lives, do they take an honest introspective view of their efforts to achieve success, blame it on classes or better yet, blame it on the boogieman of racism?
For those fact checkers out there, obviously there are those that have been victims of racism and bigotry, and they will always look at a situation through the prism of racism.
My grandfather made moonshine whiskey and understandably hated the police. Duh. But he knew it wasn’t because the police were inherently evil; they just got in the way of his moonshine operations.
We were all born with talents on loan from God. Find those talents and exploit them towards excellence. Taking your eye off the ball by blaming others for your lack of success or lot in life is just making excuses that others had absolutely nothing to do with.
And what is success to the individual? To some only being a world-class surgeon will do. To others, it might be being the welder in town everybody goes to because your skills are great and your prices are fair.
I am always reminded of my present situation in the words of St. Paul, who said, “I have learned to be ‘content’ in all my circumstances … my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Like the kids on the playground running hand in hand together. We are all God’s children as we skip through life. Hatred and name calling are from the Devil. Be of good cheer knowing we live in the greatest country in the world. Give thanks, and behave yourself.
W.J. Butcher is a Coweta County resident and retired 26-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department. Send comments, kudos, and criticism to: email@example.com .