Making sense out of chaos

By: 
Wade Young

Life lessons are playing out in front of our eyes. Are we paying attention?

The death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in the custody of a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, has sparked outrage, protests, riots, violence, looting, and arson in Minneapolis and across the United States.

The National Guard has been activated in Minnesota, Washington, D.C., and 16 other states: Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Utah, North Dakota, California, Missouri, Virginia, Kansas, Illinois and Nevada.

I did not want to weigh in on this topic because it’s just so painful. I’ve seen the video of what happened to Mr. Floyd. It’s beyond gut-wrenching.

Peaceful protests are an expression of justifiable anger. They deserve a place in our society. However, destroying property, arson, destroying communities are unacceptable, irrational and solve nothing.  

Through it all, I have heard the peaceful protesters cry their message: Justice for Mr. Floyd; end the rioting and destruction of businesses; end police brutality and racism, and equal justice for all.

I watched Mr. Floyd’s brother speak at the scene where he was killed.

That was painful.

Justice on the left. Peace on the right.

They are powerful pleas, but why haven’t they been granted?

Why do millions of people even need to demand them?

Where do we go from here?

I have so many questions and no answers.

Peaceful protesters are trying to get people’s attention, but all of this other crap (riots, looting, destruction) is getting in the way.

It’s chaotic, but we need to listen for change to take place. I believe our young people are the key to that change.

In a recorded graduation speech for a class video, Tri-City United High School Principal Alan Fitterer spoke about Floyd’s death. He spoke about change that is needed.

“The loss of one life is one life too many. Systematic institutionalized change needs to happen. The events of (last) week have once again shown and proven this,” he said. “It is my hope that this needed systematic institutionalized change will occur and hopefully lead each one of us to a better understanding and help us to realize so much better ... that no matter the color of one’s skin, the faith of the individual, the gender or the choice of one’s partner, that we are all human beings; that every life needs to be the treasured, respected, and valued.  It can no longer be about black and white. It needs to about right and wrong. Equity in all scopes of our lives needs to occur and it can start with each one of us, each one of you.”

Pay attention, America! Our future depends on it.

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