We need to stop saying “This is not who we are” in America because there is much evidence to the contrary.
Look at the history of riots and violence in cities across this country these past 300 years, 100 years, 50 years, 10 years.
Sometimes the riots assisted in change that was for the better for that city or state or the country, sometimes they did nothing but raise awareness. Either way, the citizens decided for themselves how their city or state or country would be governed and regulated.
America aspires to have the citizens all agree and live by certain principles that let us each have the inalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Until that actually happens, we will have agreed on a truce until it's time for a group to riot or incite violence.
Our history is not neat or clean. Our future will be messy.
When you have every religion, every skin color, every culture, every belief system allowed to exist (and in most cases flourish) within the borders of a country … you have what is known as a Melting Pot.
This isn't multi-culturalism. There is only one culture. American Culture.
We don't have to share beliefs and values to respect each other's right to exist and live within the borders of the USA.
As individuals, we can walk away from those whose beliefs are so divergent from our own that we simply cannot understand them when they speak.
We can also move to a community or city or state that aligns more closely with our beliefs.
We will argue. We will resort to name-calling. We will fight with words, fists, knives, guns, baseball bats, and whatever else we have available.
We will defend ourselves and our properties – from each other – and rely on law enforcement to punish those who got through our defenses.
So, please, stop saying “This is not who we are” in America because you're ignoring the facts that indeed…this is exactly who we are.
When a segment of society resorts to violence – it is time to listen and then work together to find a resolution. Does this mean we negotiate with domestic terrorists? With those focused on doing harm for the sake of doing harm? Of course not. It does mean that we, as citizens, must rely on law enforcement and investigators to discern the purpose of the violence. And when they've returned their answer, that is when we the citizens can make the biggest difference.
Does listening and working together for a resolution mean acceptance – of anything?
No. It means that we now have a foundation of understanding to begin discussions. Which often leads to compromise. That is what will lead to resolution.
If the compromise is uneasy or unbalanced, violence will erupt again.
This level of understanding and compromise occurs at all levels:
- between individuals
- between community groups and local government
- between individuals/organizations and state government
- between organizations/state legislators and federal government.
This is why it is important to stop saying that “This is not who we are” in America. Uneasy compromises have been made and more will be made. This means we can expect a future that is just as messy as our past has been.
You get to decide how you will best prepare, now, for future messiness. How? Just look over the last 100 years. Whether or not you participated in protests or riots or violence. Whether or not you experienced natural and man-made disasters. You can see what occurs during those incidents and prepare yourself to survive them when they happen to you.
How to prepare for natural disasters.
Stock up on canned food, cleaning supplies, water, first aid supplies. Have a heat source for the winter. Learn self-defense tactics. Your state website will have a guide on how best to prepare for natural disasters in your area. California earthquakes. Missouri tornados. Texas floods and hurricanes and tornados. Arizona droughts. Blizzards. Wildfires. You can be prepared.
How to prepare for group violence.
Check your state's laws regarding self-defense. If you have weapons, get trained properly on how to use them. Learn to be vigilant with situational awareness – knowing what is going on around you. Being able to draw a mental map that helps you understand where you are, what surrounds you, and the challenges that lie ahead. This ability allows you to see clearly what is happening so you can develop an effective coping plan – fast.
How to prepare for individual violence.
Self-defense is a skill we all can improve, and many have mastered. Seek out the masters in your area and learn how to defend yourself against other individuals, from a group or gang, from the local government if necessary.
It's on you to protect your body and property and family. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you understand that it is time to stop saying “This is not who we are” in America.