Dec 222014

Back home in Asheville. Rain, rain, rain. Bought USA Today to catch up on the news. I assume it is a mess. Just kicking back now.

The shooting of the officers in NYC, the choking incident in NYC, the shooting in Ferguson, what we have in America is a culture violence in this country, with far too many guns on the street, leading to a climate of fear in poverty areas, especially, and also within the law enforcement community.

Racial animosity, also, is predicated on fear and distrust. Then, poverty, inequality, rampant drug use, political chicanery, all are implicated in our national problem, and it is OUR problem, whether we live in the ghetto, suburbs, rural America or urban America.

I, personally, do not blame law enforcement for a set of problems that are far beyond their responsibility and control. Of course there are good cops and bad cops, just as there are good and bad workers in any field of endeavor. And the bad cops need to be weeded out. And wrongdoing within the law enforcement community must not be covered up.

At the same time. Drug pushers in this country must be stomped out–I am talking hard drugs like heroin and cocaine especially. Another major problem is gang activity, especially in the urban areas, but it has extended itself far beyond urban America. African-Americans tend to be negatively stereotyped, but so do the police by those subsumed in urban poverty. Then, alcohol abuse and dependency continue to be major problems.

Problems faced by the working poor and disabled, sociopaths running around (from all walks of life) preying on people of conscience, inadequate educational opportunity, especially for the poor, not to mention the fact that America seems to be fast becoming a spiritual desert–we face a multitude of interlocking problems. But thankfully, not all people have lost touch with spirituality, in the broad sense. And obviously, there is much too much political schism in this country.

Far too many politicians would do virtually anything to gain power, tell lies, destroy someone’s reputation, gerrymander, suppress voting by the political opposition. Far too many of our political leaders are setting a terrible example for our kids–and their kids. It’s not a matter of liberal versus conservative–both views have their positive and negative sides and both perspectives can be carried too far. That’s why we need dialogue between the two to arrive at a point of reasonable compromise.

Suffice it to say that we have a multitude of problems in this country. You can’t just blame the police or blacks or whites or rich or poor or the middle-class. Oh, I forgot to mention mass media, seemingly addicted to increasing profit, at all cost, willing to do virtually anything to drive up ratings or circulation (pump up crises, for example. engage in unwarranted speculation, spread pure gossip and rumors, etc).

Indeed, we have a multitude of problems, and we had better stop finger pointing and start looking at ourselves, and we had better take the risk of coming together with those who may have another way of life or have a belief system that differs from our own– to arrive at a point where we can identify positive values which we can all agree upon and then translate  into concrete action aimed at turning this nation around and setting it on a positive course once again.

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