"I am so tired of hearing about it."
"I'm over it."
"Ugh! Quit giving attention to destructive morons."
"They probably didn't even know Freddie Gray."
Any combination of the above quotes has been said over the course of the last two days. My overly privileged place of employment has made any number of comments about how stupid the rioting in Baltimore really is.
Some have even said "Why would you loot a CVS for toilet paper?" as if that was why it was done.
"The struggle," as it is so aptly named, isn't something most people understand.
Living paycheck to paycheck isn't the struggle.
Having an iPhone 4 isn't the struggle.
Eating too much over the weekend at a friend's barbeque is not the struggle.
Wearing the same two pairs of pants to your work every week is not the struggle.
Not knowing whether you will be able to feed your family dinner is the struggle.
Wondering if your kids will safely make it home from school is the struggle.
Living in a country where your fellow citizens rate you lower than the gum they just stepped in is the struggle.
Your voice not being heard for nearly all of civilization is the struggle.
People tend to make up a wide arrangement of excuses to make their situation worse than it really is. I suppose knowing that it really isn't "that bad" does make you feel better when you go to sleep at night.
But it is really that bad. For a lot of people.
And as a country we are responsible (well, we should be responsible) for supporting every single aspect of our community.
We weren't given the ability to speak so we could sit back and say nothing at all.
We were given a gift of voice; a gift of higher intelligence. Yet we choose to tell people that think differently than us to shut up or to stop whining.
People were meant to be heard.
Do I agree that destroying a city is the way to be heard? A way to be seen? Absolutely not. There are much better ways to get your point across. Much more logical ways. Usually those ways are harder and most of the time you get ignored.
But I will say this, you just destroyed a city because you were tired of being oppressed. This will all get cleaned up and life will resume as it always does, and all of this will be forgotten.
If you want change to happen, you must be willing to make your own changes.
Hurting law enforcement isn't going to make that change.
Damaging public property isn't going to make that change.
Setting things on fire isn't going to make a change.
Your voice is what is heard. Your actions are all for naught.