The uneducated antagonist is not confined to a race, religion, political affiliation, sexual preference, social class, gender, or any other sub-sect of people that exists.

When did Americans become so out of touch with the facts and become so obsessed with pushing an agenda no matter the cost ? I don’t know, but I don’t like where we are or where we are headed. The most recent example is, of course, the reaction to the tragedy that took place in Ferguson, MO a few months ago. We did not wait to let the justice system run it’s course, rather we all but convicted Darren Wilson of murdering and unarmed black teenager without so much as a second thought to his guilt or innocence. That part didn’t matter.  A dialogue had been created by a few very influential folks that took an unspeakable tragedy and turned it into an opportunity to push a social agenda that would largely benefit themselves. Not the family of Michael Brown of the community of Ferguson, MO, only themselves.

Unfortunately these are the folks with the loudest voice on the largest platforms. They have reach most of us don’t, and are getting more and more irresponsible by the day. In this particular case it was the leaders of the black community, democratic politicians, and the liberal media. This was an opportunity for the likes of Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton to be relevant and boost their influence. That is not to say Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton are bad guys. They are not. They are doing good work in the inner city to help the black community every day- even when the camera’s aren’t on. That doesn’t exonerate them, however of their actions over the last few days, weeks and months. Their choice to use incendiary language when speaking to the Ferguson community was a factor in how the community reacted when the decision of the grand jury was announced last night. It was not the reason, but it was no doubt a factor.

I am not here to attack Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, or the liberals in the media. It is simply the most recent example of a much larger issue. I can recall numerous occasions when Republicans, the conservative media, and leaders of hateful caucasian groups have been just as (or more) guilty as Jackson and Sharpton are here. My point is that we as a society need to be aware of the underlying and often unspoken bias that accompanies much of what we hear on TV. It is our responsibility to listen to informed opinion, read, research the facts, engage in meaningful conversation and form our own independent opinion. If that opinion happens to coincide with that of a particular news anchor, politician, or social leader- great. If not, we need to challenge those views and voice our own [informed] opinions as respectfully and honestly as we expect from others.

The only thing worse (in the context of this dialogue) than news outlets, social leaders, and/or politician pushing a selfish agenda are those of us that lap it up like kittens. At least the media can point to their mandate to gain viewership to sell advertising and leaders of communities can sight their insatiable need to stay relevant and influential as the reason they chose (or are forced) to act the way they do in cases like this.

What is your excuse ?  Why do you feel the need to take an uniformed position and dig in so far you are incapable of hearing reason ? Why do you feel such a pull toward a particular group that you are willing to disregard common sense and science ? Why is it that we create social divide at every opportunity ? And once divided, why do we fee such a desire to lash out at those with a different point of view ?

These are questions we all need to answer for ourselves. But in the meantime: Take a minute today to listen  to someone with a different opinion than yours. Take a look at the facts in front of you, not the rhetoric presented by those with an agenda. Before lashing out at someone with a different point of view, take a pause and make sure you’ve first got all the facts and second, form a response that could potentially change their minds rather than just attacking who or what they are.


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