I guess I should be outraged. After a recent road trip that took in half of the USA, I have exactly zero seconds of inflammatory video to share on Facebook. With the current volatile condition of our country, I should have so much footage that a substantial edit would be necessary. But I have nothing! Zero is a small number. How will I ever get a viral post like this? Why do the big news outlets get all the breaks?
The entire situation should have been the perfect set-up. The country had been primed and the conditions were ideal for a riot. We traveled through many states and saw all the predictable bad drivers doing dumb stuff on the highway. The result was … nothing.
At one point it was over 100º and no one was loving it. We stopped for fuel at a busy truck stop and I thought surely someone would snap and the facade of peace would vaporize.
The place was teeming with every kind of biped imaginable. With a quick survey of the peevish masses, I noted that every skin tone was present. The array of automobiles ranged from a rusted-out K-car to a shiny Lexus SUV. Every economic class was represented. And everyone was in a hurry. I knew it was a Molotov cocktail of humanity. I had my camera at the ready.
A COEXIST Subaru plastered with “Bernie” stickers pulled up beside a redneck truck with oversized tires and Stars and Bars emblazoned across the back window. As they fueled their respective vehicles, I waited for … nothing.
There was at least one Muslim wearing one of those headwrap things and a truck driver with obvious gender identity issues. Nothing.
A woman with white skin held the door for a black-skinned family, and the black woman in turn held the door for me. I held the door for the next person, and that seemed to perpetuate until … nothing.
Beautiful and ugly, smelly and clean, rich and poor, black and white, cops and civilians, old and young, we all used the same amenities and no one even so much as made a snide comment about someone else. In fact, most people amicably greeted their fellow humans as if the personal interlude from the isolation of their car was a relief. They had to all be faking it! I have seen “The News!”
Against all odds, that trend continued across state lines, over the mountains, across the plains, daytime, nighttime, and even in the big cities. It was as if everyone was conspiring against me to deprive me of my moment of glory. I thought, “How am I ever going to video a riot with all these people being polite to each other?”
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY? Don't these people know they are supposed to be at war with each other? Why are they going around as if they have normal lives to live?
Then it struck me. If you want to get a front-row video of a riot, you have to start your own! I would even bet there is a huge financial benefit for such a thing.
But that seems really impolite. I'm sure Miss Manners would not approve of that. And it surely doesn't line up with the teachings of Jesus about loving your neighbors and even praying for those who mistreat you.
So with my profit potential devastated and my visions of fame dashed to the curb, I plot my revenge. If they're going to be like that, I'll show them!
I'll reach out to my neighbors and coworkers with respect and do what I can to maintain their dignity. I'll go to the source, and call out injustice when I see it. I'll not fan anyone's flames of hate or fear, even if that means “news” sources lose revenue. I'll not explode over half-true inflammatory Facebook posts. And I refuse to live in fear of people with a different skin color than my own.
I'm sure this will not fix all the problems in the world. There will always be people who mistreat others. Those situations obviously need to be resolved one at a time. But maybe, just maybe, it will stir up some peace somewhere.