Pretty Wild Vegan

The One True Fight

This is September…well, not really, not yet. I am writing this on August 27th, 2020. I need to mark this date. And I don’t have a lot to say about food right now. Today I am focused on the fight at hand.

Just so you know, I happen to live in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kenosha, yes. Usually so dull and quiet, we call it “Ken-nowhere.” “Ken-nowhere”…where the biggest attractions are Lake Michigan and the Jelly Belly Company Store. Other attractions are its proximity to outlet mall shopping, Milwaukee and Chicago. Other than that, it is an amazingly boring small town, population of approximately 100,200.

“Ken-nowhere” has earned an international reputation in this past week, though. We are suddenly on the world map as the most recent epicenter of racial unrest in America. 

Recap? Sure. An unarmed Black man, named Jacob Blake, was shot, in the back, at point-blank range by a White police officer on August 23rd, just a few days ago. It is a familiar story for us. You can read the details online if you are interested. 

Let me tell you a little about what we have seen since the shooting. At the time of this writing:

  • The police officer was put on administrative leave.
  • 7-8pm curfew imposed every night.
  • Peaceful protests and gatherings have occurred daily.
  • Large numbers of people come from outside the city and state, frequently arriving after the curfew.
  • The people coming from elsewhere often have their license plates ducked taped over or blacked out.
  • Peaceful protests have turned violent after curfew.
  • Millions of dollars in property have been damaged from vandalism and arson, after curfew.
  • One entire section of the Kenosha uptown business district was destroyed by fire.
  • Two people were killed, and another seriously injured.
  • One 17-year-old male came from Illinois with an AR15. He was arrested for homicide.
  • There is dramatically increased Police, National Guard, and Federal Officer presence for peacekeeping.
  • There is a lot of sadness, fear, and anger in this otherwise inconsequential little town.

Now, to be clear, I am not going into the right/wrong, morals/ethics, or should/should nots of any of this. All that is way beyond my capacity in this post. I do want to say that none of it makes any sense to me. From the initial shooting of Mr. Blake, to the people who come from miles away after curfew, to the vandalism, looting and arson of apartments, and businesses, to the kid who thought it was a good idea to bring an AR15 across the state line and shoot other people. NONE of it makes any sense. Yet it is all probable, likely, almost inevitable, if left to run unchecked. Senseless yet predictable…there’s a strange pair of words to set together.

This is how it looks from where I sit. Senseless and predictable….a sad, twisted statement of who we have allowed ourselves to become as a nation. 

Consider this: Our current condition is the legacy of hundreds of years of fostering fear and loathing, and lack of empathy. This is the result of whole populations of people being pitted against each other. This is what happens when a minority controls massive advantage while the majority get carefully crafted messages of disenfranchisement. 

And I am not only referring to racial issues here. Look around. We are all fed the lies. “You are not good enough, you are not smart enough, you are too old/young, etc.” from the time we are tiny until no one has to tell us anymore. Because at some point, we believe the lies, and we repeat them to ourselves even in our sleep. 

Then, predictably, at some point, we also lose compassion and empathy for others because we have already lost it for ourselves. We believe, “If I can’t have some, they can’t have either. If I am not good (substitute old, young, fast, smart, pretty, white, educated, rich, etc.) enough, then they really aren’t good (substitute any of the above) enough.” There must always be a loser in this type of logic to prove that I am a winner. You know, “I am better because I know you are worse.” Then, by human perversion, “If you are worse than I am, I can mistreat (ignore, judge, belittle, harm, incarcerate, or kill) you. I can justify it all, too. God is even on my side sometimes.”

It is clear to me now that this is the dinosaur in the room. This T-Rex has way outlived his time. EXTINCTION OVERDUE!!  

But how do we kill a well funded T-Rex? What is the ultimate weapon?

We have to build self-love and acceptance Self-LOVE, not conceit, arrogance, or narcissism, if we are going to end this struggle of “us against them.” I believe that it is in the war on love and acceptance of self where we have lost so much ground. It is also the place we can gain the most territory.

This is the fight we need to fight and the dinosaur we need to kill off. This is where we need reinforcements and peacekeepers!  

Please join us in our march to self-love and acceptance for the sake of American society as a whole. Please spread every little bit you gain. Please, genuinely share the love and acceptance you build with everyone else you meet. It could take generations to recover from losing our connection to ourselves and each other, but really that is the only fight that will make any difference. All other causes will extend and resolve from there. 

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