//Violence Is Because Some Do Not Have A Voice
Stop violence

Violence Is Because Some Do Not Have A Voice

Dehumanizing people all because they do not look like you, or worship the same God as you, attend the same denomination as you, dress like you, come from a different place than you, love or appear as the “approved” of by you gender, or have less than you do only breeds violence. Violence is a form of communication when no other form is available.

Note: These are the opinions of Stephanie Ross and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ye Olde Journalist or its staff.

It looks each and every day that this country is tearing itself up at the seams. The news is filled with protests, riots, violence, and murder. The police are called out to protect business centers and the wealthy, while the poor and destitute are left to fend for themselves.

Those on the right side of the political spectrum claim that this is the land of the free. However, one look at our prison complex system will tell us that in this so called land of the free, there are more people locked up in prisons without freedom than any other country in the world.

When a football player refuses to stand for the national anthem, he is condemned because people claim that he is disrespecting those that gave their lives and died for the freedom that we enjoy. But ask all of those who are without freedom in this land what those men and women gave their lives for and you will hear a different tale.

This year is a Presidential election year. And we have two people that are running who do not want to hear what others have to say. Perusing across social media you will find a majority of people could care less what other people have to say. The schisms that are ripping apart right now in this country is because people do not want to hear what others have to say or recognize that they exist.

What we need, in order to disarm the violence, is to begin to listen to people. When I say listen to people, I mean that we must not just let the lips move, but actually listen to and consider what they have to say. To blame certain groups of people for all of the evils of what is going on is to ignore that there are others that desiring to take back – even by force – what they fell is being taken from them.

The haves do not want to see the homeless – even if they are veterans – so they press their city councils to use the force of the police as human exterminators in order to treat the homeless as less than human. For many homeless, the haves animals are treated more humanely than those who have no home to go to.

Groups of people are all lumped together because certain people want the police and the military to make sure that these people are kept far away from the “civilized” population. Marijuana is called a “gateway” drug even though those who use it are far less likely to commit a crime than those who drink alcohol. But how many people are given multiple chances for drinking and driving while we lock up and throw away the key for those who have a small amount of marijuana on them.

Dehumanizing people all because they do not look like you, or worship the same God as you, attend the same denomination as you, dress like you, come from a different place than you, love or appear as the “approved” of by you gender, or have less than you do only breeds violence. Violence is a form of communication when no other form is available.

What we need, in order to disarm the violence, is to begin to listen to people. When I say listen to people, I mean that we must not just let the lips move, but actually listen to and consider what they have to say. To blame certain groups of people for all of the evils of what is going on is to ignore that there are others that desiring to take back – even by force – what they fell is being taken from them.

There are white supremacist groups that are stock piling arms fearing that those in the unacceptable unhuman groups are taking over the government in a great conspiracy to exterminate the white race. There are Conservative Evangelical Christians who are stock piling weapons in order to protect themselves from the army of the AntiChrist who is coming to destroy them.

Violence is a form of speaking. When the Russians felt that the aristocracy no longer cared for what they had to say, a revolution was born. When the French common people were told by the aristocracy to go an eat cake, a revolution was born. When colonists in North America were told to shut up and pay the taxes, a revolution was born. And a revolution is brewing in this country. It could be only two months away.

I also hear many people say that one of the problems in this country and world is that the children have not been taught to respect anyone. Well respect is a two way street. Refusing to listen and consider what another person says all because of their political bent, religion, race, education level, sexuality, or any other reason is disrespecting them. If you refuse to respect them, then why should they respect you? And if you are not going to teach others the meaning of respect, why should anyone else be expected to teach respect?

The problem in this country is that too many people have gone to extremes and are unwilling to listen and consider what others of differing thoughts and opinions have to say. There are groups that treat other people not like themselves as less than an animal.

Former NFL player Shannon Sharpe made the point on his new show Undisputed about the shooting in Tulsa in that the police, who will gladly help rescue a cat from a tree, or a dog from a storm drain, or even a horse or cow from flood waters, let an African American lay in the street for several minutes until he ultimately died. Shannon’s conclusion, and I would have to agree, is that the Tulsa, Oklahoma, Police Department thought that this man, Terence Crutcher, who was unarmed, was treated as less than an animal.

The old saying of “walk a mile in another persons shoes” really has no meaning. Until more people desire to understand what others are thinking and feeling, we will all suffer through the tearing apart of this country. What did that get us 150 years ago when the Civil War tore this country apart? One lesson should be that before the war neither side was willing to hear the other side out. Each side demonized the other side and demanded all or nothing. Yes, slavery in every form is wrong, however, the result of not trying to listen to each other was millions of people dead. I come from Mississippi, and you can still see the lingering effects of the Civil War on that state even today.

Violence is a form of speaking. When the Russians felt that the aristocracy no longer cared for what they had to say, a revolution was born. Again, when the French common people were told by the aristocracy to go an eat cake, a revolution was born. Once again, when the colonists in North America were told to shut up and pay the taxes, a revolution was born. And a revolution is brewing in this country. It could be only two months away.

In 1860, Southerners, who felt that the abolitionists were not listening to them and were going to force them to end slavery, decided that if Lincoln were to be elected, they would leave the Union. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are despised by large segments in this country to the point that it is entirely possible that if one or the other is elected, those who feel that the election is rigged will rise up to take back their country. All because extremism and the refusal to listen.

So my question to you is this: Are you willing to let this country burn and many people die all because you think that you and those like you are the only ones who matter and who are right?

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