When Real Conflicts Erupt Too Close to Home

By Michael Patrick, P.hD.

Outside the bubble of America’s well-framed fictions, violence in the real world beyond our borders doesn’t depend on paid agitators, flag-waving street philosophers, or gangs busting windows and snatching beer from a ransacked store. Armies don’t depend on a phalanx of fatties, carrying armloads of free designer jeans.

In America, unsafe streets appear to have replaced sports as the new national pastime. Too many Americans accept this violence and its excuse-making politicians like it’s just another new show to binge on Netflix.

The cast is always the same: drug dealers and burned-out users, bored school teachers, a rapist with a knife, almost always black victims, now cop victims too. Plenty of innocent kids to get caught in the cross-fire.

It’s a plot filled with poverty and name-calling all around. In the end, the street spectacle blames the spectators who tuned in to watch, never the actors. It’s a miserable little show that deserves lower ratings, but what else is on? Its either watch that or tune in to hear a disgusted CNN anchor scolding us about masks or frothing at the mouth about Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, conflicts aren’t staged-managed like talk shows.
Last night, students in my class worried about their friends. A student’s brother was wounded on the front lines of a shooting war between Azerbiajan and Armenia.
The massive peaceful marches and the violent police push-back in neighboring Belarus touch home for many students and friends. Freedom here doesn’t come cheap.
Pray for this generation who are now confronting so many endless conflicts.
In the fake worlds of Biden and Trump, leaders offer up dodgy excuses for tolerating street violence, looting, and burning month-after-month as part of their bizarre “new normal”. Privileged America evidently can afford such violent indulgences to entertain themselves while the country unravels slowly. People in less prosperous nations cannot afford the luxury.

Please pray for my students. They are looking to find a fresh path soon for their own futures. If there remains any Hope left, they will find it. God is present here and He is cheering them along. I pray for the same Divine intervention in America, even when the news media fails to report on it.


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