Today, Saturday, May 30, 2020, is a date that I remember well since it was a day like this that my father died when I was only 13 years old. I will turn 48 in just 10 days. As I am listening to young folks, to my daughter who is 14 still, the other one who is 11, I cannot stop being hopeful about the future of this world, like my father was about mine. He told me, just two days before he was gone: “I know you will be fine.” That was the last time I spoke to him.
I know there will be a better tomorrow for our world because we have come from so far. From the day when slavery was normal, conquering others’ land was normal, showing no concern for human dignity was normal, extinguishing some animals, to watching the former police officer, Mr. Derek Chauvin, kill George Floyd as if it was still normal to him, and to the other 3 police officers assisting him to commit murder while being recorded knowingly…, I cannot be more than hopeful that normal is a concept which meaning is yet to be understood.
I cannot be more than hopeful, when I watched Governor Cuomo say: “Violence is not the answer”, and then quoted Dr. King saying that “only love can drive out hate”, and later on, to watch LZ Granderson in the situation room with Wolf Blitzer respond to him saying: I always hear that in relationship with people protesting, sometimes rioters, following an act of violence. I never really hear “violence is not the answer” before that. I don’t hear it directly towards the police department.”
I cannot be more than hopeful when I watched a protester this afternoon from LA say: “The power is with the people, the power is with the numbers” and then he added: “ the truth is, it is not the people who rise up out of anger, righteous anger, who chose the path or any kind of violence, it is the state that is for centuries got on and done whatever they wanted, and then let us just protest and be critical of it.”
The truth is there is no violence that can equal the violence humanity has gone through as a whole…So whenever you hear them talk about a reaction being violent, or that it includes some violence, which we might wish weren’t, let’s take some time to ask: How is it, that we don’t hear that before, when it is still occurring from the system? How is it that people want us to believe in the so-called “normal” when it is in fact “uneasy quiet”? I heard LZ say that we don’t want normal, we want better than normal, although he clearly differentiates the term from uneasy quiet, the problem is people will still misunderstand what normal is since they never experience it throughout their whole lives.
This world has never been normal, and it is not normal. Normal will be when we make injustice, discrimination, poverty, scientific illiteracy, around the whole world, a thing of the past. We need to acknowledge that this is not normal in any way, shape, or form. The people have the real power to make that happen, and until they realize that they have the numbers to outnumber those maintaining this broken system ongoing, I am afraid it will still look unachievable. However, thanks to technology, people can feel, experience the injustice as it is taking place. And hopefully, collectively, they will come together and overturn this broken system along with all its subsequent systems.
The broken system is well represented by those 4 former police officers. Let us look at the one preventing the witnesses from getting too close to the one murdering George. His role was to make sure; no one disturbs the system. He was like a subsystem within the big system. How many are playing this role now? There is a reason why he has not been charged yet. We barely accuse the accomplices of the system. Sometimes we focus only on the perpetrator as if he would be able to it all by himself. We must accuse all of those supporting this broken system, and wanting to make us believe in the so-call “normal” or the so-call “justice is impossible”, “we will never get there” etc.
It is a pattern; we have the other two police officers helping the murderer by making sure George’s mobility is limited. How many of those we have now playing this role for the system not to be overruled, nor overturned, making sure that the people’s reaction is limited and controlled, or even manipulated.
Hopefully, technology can allow people to understand the game that is being played. Young people with high critical thinking and scientific skills are no longer buying it. Although it will take time, energy, and effort to overturn the status quo, along with its normal way of leading the world, we will surely, at some point in time, talk about injustice as a thing of the past.
When the governor of Minnesota is able to say out loud, firmly and with certainty of power behind him, that the entire weight of the United States government will be brought to restore order in Minneapolis, I can feel the fear of those playing their role in keeping this system in place. The governor had only one thing to say: Charge those 3 other officers with the evidence we have to calm people down, he could also say we are going to use the entire weight of the Federal and state government to end police and white supremacy terror, to end this injustice in the Criminal Justice that is “Abhorrent” according to Governor Cuomo’s own description of the criminal justice in the US.
Of course, the system has its way to distract us from the cause of the problem, which is the same system, and those who infiltrated it to pursue their objectives; like those officers, who knew they were being recorded but still didn’t care, because they will find their way out. They had no fear at all, no empathy, no decency for the victim claiming, “I can’t breathe” and kept their cool even when paramedics arrived and said: “You are killing this man.” The system has its way, like always…distraction. The life of George didn’t merit the governor or the County Attorney to act quickly, claiming there was not enough evidence to bring charges against those former police officers, but yes, there is enough evidence to use the entire weight of the government to restore order. This is the way out of the system. The focus is on allowing people to protest because they have the right to do so, not because their protest matters, not because they want to follow up, but they want to restore order, their way, the system’s way.
Although we are seeing protests almost everywhere, we are still far from making injustice a thing of the past. When Dr. King said: Returning Hate for Hate multiplies Hate” and that “Only love can drive out Hate” because according to Dr. King, “Hate cannot drive out Hate”, he was day dreaming, because historically, that has never proven true. When and where has “Love” ever driven out “Hate”? To affirm this kind of statement, one must do so about some kind of overwhelming evidence. 60 years after his assassination, we still do not have any evidence of what he said as true. While I can agree that maybe hate cannot drive out hate, because of lack of evidence that supports otherwise, I must disagree with his conclusion as well. There is no such thing as Love that only can drive out Hate. Maybe he was being optimistic about an idea or a belief that he had about “Love and Hate”.
The point here is, Dr. King said it, and because of what he meant for the civil rights movement (obviously after his assassination), it must be true. And others are quoting him, conveniently I shall say. We need to raise the level of our understanding of the terms and concepts we use, or we repeat in the 21st century. We should not refer to human behavior (observable, measurable event) because of some internal/spiritual/magical power call Love or Hate. We should study human behaviors as they are, the result of effect of some identifiable variables in their environment. I do not know if there is hate or love in people’s heart, and I do not care. I need to understand and look at how people behave and look for the why but objectively. Talking about love or hate is, merely put, subjective. Finding the Functions of any type of human behavior, and act upon those facts to promote and create behavior change is so far, based on evidence, the right thing to do, objectively talking.
Although we are talking about a systemic problem, we should clarify that the system does not behave. However, the ones working for the system, behave. They behave a certain way because those behaviors have been reinforced, one way or any other way. The behavior of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer, who is now charged with third degree murder, has been reinforced in the past through the system. The structure of the system is reinforcing to the behaviors of those in it.
The system is reinforcing Donald Trump’s behaviors, and he is the President of the United States. He reinforces the behaviors of Derek Chauvin, as well as the other 3 former police officers along with the thousands that keep behaving the same way. The protests, alone, have not been able to shape the structure of the system, in the sense that it does and clearly include aversive consequences to those behaviors. The protests are not part of a systematic approach, they are sporadic, and they evaporate quickly. We need more than just protests! If we keep being emotional, sporadic, we are simply being played, meaning, the system is the one controlling our behaviors. In other words, the system is also reinforcing our passiveness most of the times.
But, again, this is a pattern from far and almost everywhere in the human society. A thorough approach is needed from the people, the system has proven its inability to restructure itself from the inside. Keep in mind, that the system, is a whole, every single institution that is part of it, is playing the sole role to preserve it. Numerous Non-Governmental Organizations are accomplices. Other Associations, Fundations, as well. Religions play a major role. This is where it gets the most out of its stability, because, religions’ views or beliefs, keep people busy thinking about GOD and gods. They distract people from developing scientific thinking, they are not sporadic, they are constant, they even became a way of being for most people still in my generation.
Nevertheless, I cannot be more than hopeful, the millennials, the Y generations are divorcing from almost everything we inherited from our ancestors, mostly their belief systems. Obviously, this is becoming more real every day after, thanks to technology. They are convinced by evidences, objective truth, not by dogmas or subjective views about the world, the universe, life, etc. They are showing the entire world that they have the power to change its course. However, the ones in the system, are also making sure this does not happen. Just imagine, how the president of the United States, Donald Trump, is pushing people to go to Church amid the Pandemic Covid-19. Trump is the representation of the Status quo. He works for the system that has always protected his interests. Once he was out physically, but he was still manipulating those working in it. Now he became the Executive Chief, he can really do whatever he wants as he, himself, said. And make no mistake, he is not alone. He did not get there by himself, and if he is still president, it is because he has a lot of accomplices. They are doing their work as well to keep things the way they are.
Now, let us look at the big picture of the state of the world. Yes, we want black lives, all lives to matter in the US and around the world, but this is simply a tiny aspect of the big picture. By focusing on it, every time there is an overwhelming violation, like the most recent one in Minneapolis, we are playing the game of the system. Occasionally, those things will happen, and we want to make sure there are protocols in place to take care of them. But, to get there, we cannot lose focus on the big picture, the real state of the world. We need to start a permanent movement that will end when Injustice, Discrimination, Scientific illiteracy, Poverty, are only mentioned in the history books our grandkids will be reading, or from the memory of those who live after it ended to tell it to their kids.
While we watched on video the murder of George Floyd by an unworried man, along with his accomplices, thousands are being dead away from the cameras of our smartphones, millions are being killed because of hunger, non-access to health care, etc. While we successfully watched SpaceX along with NASA launching the First-Ever Human Rocket Launch to International space, which was exciting and encouraging, in the US soil, 40 million Americans are living in poverty. The system is reinforcing to those that lead it, and they are not the majority.
The power is with the majority, the power is with the numbers, the power is with the people. And those working for the system are afraid that you know just that. We must overturn the system and design it the way it works best for the majority, meaning, “normal”. And for that to happen, we need not only to outnumber those whose behaviors are maintained by the system but most importantly, we need to outsmart them. We need to use technology to do so. Technology to spread not only the news but mainly knowledge. We need to spread scientific thinking so that we, the people, be part of the change of our reality, and proactively. Being proactive means to reach full control of the system, through a thorough approach that is conceived and implemented on evidence-based.
This implies looking back at the basis of the legal system. What makes a law, normal? So many laws are in place just to protect the system, so we need people with critical thinking skills combined with scientific thinking to review the philosophy, the objectives behind so many laws in our legal system. That goes from the global legal world view to the office of the mayor in the city, to the school in the community, to the traffic system. Some attempts have been made with the Justice Reform initiative by President Obama, but what has the Trump administration done with it? They took us back. Do the People know that information? Have the people read the final report on 21st Century Policing, submitted in May 2015? Did the people know that this Reform could be compromised if they elected Trump? When the governor of New York publicly acknowledged today that the Nation’s history of discrimination and racism are dated back to hundreds of years, I fully appreciate his honesty as governor. And when he said: “I share the outrage at injustice”, I could not be more than hopeful. However, when he added that violence is not the answer, never is…and then quoted Dr. King; then I realized we could be in this circle another hundred years. Like everyone who commented on his statement, violence was the answer then, how is it that it is not the answer today? And by the way, there is this paradox here- isn’t violence what keeps this system in place? Because, when the governor of Minnesota said he is going to send the national guard out, isn’t that a form of violence? Or does violence only occur when civilians are protesting, or anything that doesn’t come from those in the system? When Trump tweeted “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” isn’t that violence? I am going to have to return on the question of what is or is not violence.
Again, let us go back to reality. For example, I share the passion to go to Mars. I, myself, would like to go there one day, but I share double, triple passion to see this world a better place for all of us, living beings and living things, included but not limited to the ones very smart, with high IQ,, low IQ, as well as the ones with severe developmental disabilities. The people have the sole power to make this world a better place. They first need to be aware of that. Second, they must learn how to use that power to make that happen effectively. That is the reason why they need to have access to scientific knowledge and technology. Third and lastly, they need to decide to make it happen and act accordingly.
And then, only then, we will make injustice, discrimination, poverty, scientific illiteracy… each one, a thing of the past.