Published On: Mon, Jun 29th, 2020

COMMENTARY: Life lessons

 

By JOSHUA HOLLOWAY

 

You are never too old to learn.  This is some very sound advice that I have heard over the years and has served quite a purpose.  But the one thing that trips us up is understanding just how hard it is to learn the older we get.  Becoming set in our ways is something that eventually happens to us all but if we pay attention long enough we will eventually learn something.

I have definitely learned a lot recently.  For instance, I have learned just how “non-essential” churches are and how essential rioting and looting is at least in the eyes of one particular political party.  Going to church is definitely a no-go.  But burning down businesses and destroying public buildings?  Have at it.  Opening your business and the manner in which it should be done should be at the owner’s discretion not the government.  Burning down a business is perfectly fine though, and in some cities, encouraged.

I have also learned that no matter how significantly low police brutality and racism statistics are, in the long run it doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matters is how you feel about something regardless of how true it is.  Punishing a few bad cops for the heinous acts they have committed on a few civilians is not good enough.  Vilifying the entire police force in the US is the more appropriate response.  Forget punishing those responsible.  I learned we should punish all those who look like them, whether they are guilty or not.  Remember, we should be doing this based on feelings and not scientific data.

I learned that “ending racism” is a very confusing goal since it consists of absolutely nothing specific that is attainable.  Does ending racism mean changing how people think?  If so, then whoever figures out how to do that first is going to be a very wealthy person.

This next one is a little confusing since I assumed that we have made some progress in terms of minority education and success in this country.  I learned that all minority kids should be grouped under the “poor” category regardless of their parent’s financial status.  Are minority kids just as bright as white kids?  You bet.  Are all minority kids poor?  Not by a long shot.

One of the “things” I had the hardest time learning was regarding inappropriate conduct towards women.  I had initially thought that we should believe all women victims and lock the man who committed the abuse up for life regardless of due process.  Then I learned that doesn’t apply to presidential candidates with the last name Biden.  Maybe it’s his age or his “experience” in Washington but he gets due process while the rest of the population is subject to the wishes of the mob.

Probably the most significant thing I have learned over the past couple of months is that there are huge swaths of people throughout this country that have far too much hate in their heart.  They have so much hate that they would literally prefer to see most American citizens suffer whether it be through loss of job, sickness, or just complete turmoil than to put up with a leader they don’t like.  To those people, we are nothing more than expendable pawns who mean nothing and are used in a way people should never be used.  If America burns then so be it and at whatever cost.  It’s downright sickening.

One last thing I learned and probably the most important: the police are not the enemy.  One bad cop does not contaminate the rest.  When I call for help, and I have, I take great comfort in knowing it is my local police on the other end of that line.  I know that it takes a special kind of person to lay down their life for their communities and people they don’t know.  It is still fresh in my mind seeing cops running into the World Trade Center to save people they didn’t know. Those who see that for anything other than what it is still have a lot to learn.

Joshua Holloway is a tribal member living in Chattanooga,Tennessee.

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