How did we get here? To most, I’m sure, the agonizing loss of human life over the last 48 hours remains beyond comprehension. The murders, protesting, and boiling societal emotions more closely resemble a fictitious Orwellian dystopia than the communities we grew up in.
Who would have ever thought Dallas and Baton Rouge would reach a point where the law enforcement agency-citizen relationship would look like a lighter version of Middle Eastern religious conflict?
Yet here we are, witnessing acts usually reserved for conquered territories by occupying forces.
America, for the longest time, has worn the “melting pot” moniker with pride. However, we are witnessing the collapse of that falsely believed title. America is no longer a melting pot. It is a quilt of distinct patches, bound together by a select few shared beliefs and ideals. The most important of which is equal access to the institutions tasked with determining justice and carrying out its enforcement.
The last 48 hours are a morbid reminder that any society choosing to repeatedly neglect justice, is simultaneously enabling the erosion of trust in its institutions. The result of neglect is the inevitable arrival of vigilantes pursuing justice on their own. They are fueled by a loss of hope in accessing justice via our institutions.
Vigilante justice and the corruption of existing legal systems always results in the same tragic outcome: The loss of human life in the name of revenge.
Luckily, we have the means to democratically repair the corruption of our institutions and restore the access and administration of TRUE justice. We can repair the broken bonds of our societal quilt by making amends to those who feel disenfranchised in justice’s absence. Our fate is always within our means and our future is ours to write. All that is required is attention and participation.