Prep Monday—Go Home and Be Angry

More stuff going down around these parts—again, if you haven’t seen the news, you’re living under a rock. It’s tense, all over the area, and the 24/7 coverage is really, really wearing.

And yes, I can only imagine how it feels to actually be living in Ferguson right now.

Sad, mad, glad, and afraid. The four basic emotions. On the one hand, there are the law-abiding citizens; on the other hand, the ones who are out-of-control. The latter are making things very, very difficult and dangerous for everyone.

Remember when your kids were small, or, if they still are, how you taught them appropriate responses to emotional angst? Things like “it’s not okay to scream when you’re only playing,” “it’s not okay to steal,” “it’s not okay to rip out your brother’s hair because he breathed on you.” We teach our kids that it’s okay to feel whatever emotion they’re having, but their responses must be tempered and socially acceptable.

Why, then, is Ferguson having such a hard time?

Go home. Talk to your family and friends. At home. Rant and rave. At home. Write letters, make phone calls, blog, go on social media. At home. Punch a pillow. Punch the walls. At home.

Do you really think that marching around your town, chanting “hands up, don’t shoot,” or any other slogan, is going to—what? What is that going to do? Show solidarity? I would hope you already have that, among your family and friends. You should know that the majority of Americans also stand firmly against injustice already.

It’s like posting a pink ribbon on your Facebook page. The purpose of that is to raise awareness of breast cancer, right? Who in the hell is NOT aware of breast cancer? Likewise, NO ONE in the world is not aware of what’s going down in Ferguson.

Now, I get it—the Constitution says you have the right to peacefully assemble. Great! The Constitution guarantees many things; common sense and common decency promote many things, but there’s a catch: there may be consequences.

For every action, there is a reaction. Michael Brown was shot, people are angry. Cause and effect. I’m not going to comment on the incident itself, because that, too, is cause and effect. If this had happened, if something else had not happened, wherever you stand on the cause, there is an effect.

If you argue with an officer, there is an effect that will follow; if you break the law, there’s  consequence; either of these things could have many outcomes. If you fail to make dinner, you will be hungry; if you fail to work, you will have no money. You certainly have the “right” to do any of these things, and many more, but there will still be a consequence from whatever right you choose to exercise.

Sometimes, if you peacefully protest, someone will do something bad. It could be blocks away from you; it could be the person standing next to you. Either way, there’s a cause and an effect.

Last night, there were reports of kids being tear-gassed. Why in the hell were there kids outside in that mess in the first place? I’ve heard parents say they want their kids to be a part of this. Shouldn’t they, long before 9:30 in the evening, be in bed? School night or not, doesn’t matter.

What are some of these people teaching their kids? Go ahead, you can get mad at me for saying “these people” if you want to, but if you have half a brain you’ll realize I’m talking about people who bring children to a “protest” that, based on events of the last week, has a high potential to turn violent.

That, my friends, is the highest example of stupidity. Period.

My concern, and the reason I filed this under “Prep Monday,” is if things spread to the surrounding areas—and that’s already begun—we’re prepared. We’re ready, just in case, but not actively holed up. There’s no reason. Not yet.