Mark Butler 
Member since Oct 29, 2013



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Re: “Jonathan Ferrell, me and the Geico pig


Race issues are clearly real. You can see it in these responses alone. Escalating this argument will not get anyone anywhere. Charles was well within his right to post an op-ed from his perspective. This is America. He can write about how amazing the red skies at night are, and that's his right. @HardTruth and @@peace are well within their rights to post their opinions in response. However, the one thing that EVERYONE in this thread, media, politics, the inner cities, the boonies, and the burbs seems to be forgetting, is that America is supposed to be a melting pot. Our language divides us. Even in late 2013, we still call people black, white, turban-heads, gay, straight, guidos, yellow, and any number of other segregation-oriented descriptors. How can these chunks of stew melt together when we still think in these terms?

Until we, as a whole, can admit that we're American People (not gay white male, straight black female, trans asian, et. al.) hate speech will continue. Personally, I think if media were to refer to everyone as "citizen", the lines imposed (self imposed or not) on people would be a whole lot harder to see. Think of how this would be if the headlines had read "Officer Shoots Citizen in Charlotte Neighborhood". Would race wars be the first thing people jump to, or would it be the officer's ability to react appropriately? It's high time we improve our language to remove the divide between members of the American race. That's what it boils down to. Sure, I come from Irish decent, but at the end of the day, as much as I appreciate what my great grandcestors went through, I'm not them. I'm a new generation in a new time; I'm an American and nothing else. Nothing else should matter. My rights are just as important as yours, and your rights are just as important as mine. We're from the same country, living at the same time, wanting to live a good life.

My wife and I are raising our children this way. If they see a same-sex couple, they don't flinch. Love is love. Until recently, my eldest didn't even notice a difference between skin color (which raised all sorts of questions about why people have different skin color). This is where we need to be going. I'm not white, I'm a mix of heritages that culminated into the here and now.

I think Mr. Easley is entirely valid in his points of view. Present circumstances and his experience led him there. Authority figures are way more likely to overreact towards minority offenders because of stereotypes regarding aggression. I also think HardTruth is right in regards to the need to lose the race card-flag-thingie. The difference is, I'm not going to delude myself into thinking that the race card-flag-thingie isn't at all valid. Rather than his method of "get over it", I think we should learn to forgive the past for its sins (which are well documented and numerous) and adopt a more blended mentality. If we can stop thinking of ourselves as separate groups living near each other and think more along the lines of neighbors and brothers, then race won't matter.

Not to repeat myself, we can't overcome racial profiling until we can overcome our own language. I'd love it if this could be eliminated over the next few decades. If for no other reason, maybe there'll be a little less vitriol in article responses online.

Mr. Easley was a teacher of mine at AICH. I can say that he is one of the single most open-minded people I have ever met. He never cared about which of his students came from where. Everyone got a chance to be creative. It was our work that defined who we were. It was our thoughts and intentions that defined our character. It was our willingness that defined our fortitude. To him, ideas were currency. I'm glad he's writing now, because he was rich as hell back in class. Keep making people expand their thoughts Mr. E.

Posted by Mark Butler on 10/29/2013 at 4:59 PM

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