LIAM CULLINS

Past Perspective: Dallas Police Shootings

Something I wrote and then never published to my personal Facebook account. It’s interesting to get a glimpse into what I was thinking at the time, and the commentary is certainly still relevant, so I thought I’d share it here.

For those of you who have been Facebook friends with me for a long time, you know that I’m usually pretty hesitant to get into the fray when it comes to all-encompassing social issues. My usual tactic to dealing with things like this can be summed up with what I said about the Starbucks holiday cups issue: “The way I deal with complete and utter stupidity is to ignore it.”

With this current issue of the shootings taking place in Dallas and Louisiana, however, I’ve been tempted to jump in and express my opinion on the matter, because it’s an important issue. However, I’ve hung back because I’ve had the inkling that something about the way this issue has engulfed everyone’s Facebook feeds is wrong. Now I’ve finally figured out what it is.

When I was in middle school, I watched a film called Crucible. I won’t bother going into what it’s about, because we have Google for that. However, a concept was introduced to me that day, known as mob mentality. Now, within the small, tight-knit town that this film is set in, you can understand why mob mentality is something that everyone could easily fall into. Travelling to or communicating with other places was harder and took longer, leaving people in this sort of social and cultural isolation. It was my mistake in thinking that with the wonders of modern communication technology (such as this website I’m currently posting this on), instances of mob mentality were nearly non-existent.

I was wrong. It’s worse. Much, much worse. Before I continue, however, I want to clear something up before the accusations come rolling in. Do I believe that everyone should have a voice? Yes, absolutely. The more people start to decide for themselves who should and shouldn’t have the right to have their opinion taken into consideration, the closer we get to tyranny. It’s what our country was founded upon. With that said, the social aftershock these tragedies have caused is complete and utter lunacy. Yes, I said it. Lunacy. Madness.

Why is that? Well, it’s because we live in a bizarre time. Never before in human history has the controversial action of one individual been magnified to such a degree as SEVEN BILLION people, people with different ethnicities, upbringings, and worldviews come charging in with their angle on the situation, all of which whom may or may not have the full story or an understanding of what that individual was going through at the time. Can you imagine how you’d feel if everywhere you went on the internet, you had hundreds of thousands of people venting their outrage, their hatred for you or whomever you’re affiliated with? I’d be on the brink of suicide.

Now, I’m not suggesting that people just ignore the recent tragedies and expect the issues at play will just fix themselves. This is an issue most certainly worth your time to look into and discuss. However, what I’m seeing everywhere on Facebook right now, this isn’t a discussion. It’s an all-out civil war, and quite frankly, it is NOT a war worth fighting, because all I’m seeing right now is chaos giving birth to more chaos. Violence can still do damage and not be physical, so stop. Take a deep breath. Put down your verbal guns and knives. Examine the FACTS. Be civil. Firefighters don’t come rushing in with flamethrowers.

Thank you for reading. Have an awesome day.

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