Fish: 'Kumbaya' ain't enough, but sometimes it helps

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I am against police brutality. I am against the gunning down of police officers. I'm against anything that can be defined as brutal. I am against violence.

The last time I felt this sick was five years ago when Tropical Storm Irene ravaged the landscape of our corner of the world. Five years later, people are still dealing with the devastation the storm left behind. That sinking feeling I felt when I went over to Wilmington (my old hometown) and saw the holes where buildings that stood for years were swept downstream, the smell of gasoline in the air; it made me want to cry.

Without drilling into each situation specifically and risk that my opinion (as unqualified as it is) could cause more civil unrest, seven people are dead — two citizens, and five police officers. What could you possibly need to know after that? Maybe factor in that five of those homicides were completely premeditated and totally senseless. The other two, we'll have to wait for the investigations to draw their conclusions. This is how we do it — it's called due process. Nobody likes it because it takes too long, and some will feel as though the inmates are in charge of the prison. If I've said it once, I've said it a 1,000 times: If you don't like it, vote in someone that can affect that kind of change, because doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of crazy. So if you walk into a voting booth and vote for the name you recognize and not the one you know — you are part of the problem.

Five years ago, when Irene ripped through this area the one thing you didn't see, you didn't hear on social media, was the flash-point encapsulated statements that either represented one side or didn't tell the entire story. Here's something else that I can tell you that I've said a million times — posting or re-posting something without vetting it is probably one of the most irresponsible things you can do. The presumptive GOP nominee is constantly being called out for it. It simply creates and feeds fear. Once you're fearful you're irrational, you're emotional and you are surely no longer seeing things clearly. Albeit, these last few days have been like looking through a fog. So probably the last thing you should do is get on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and start hash tagging and sharing memes that reflect a tiny part of the story that needs to be told.

For every video we see of police "mishandling" a situation, there are countless times they're out there getting it right. No question some make mistakes, but here's what I believe: Police officers are human beings and human beings inherently want to do good, it just doesn't always work out that way. Yes, we have two cases that are under investigation; yes, from this point in time when we are seeing it, it looks bad. But it may never compare to what happened in Dallas. A peaceful protest turned into a shooting and killing spree. It's tough to process, I have literally spent more time squeezing my temples than I ever have. I honestly wish it would just stop happening. I wish I had a way, something to say to simply make it all stop. I'm near to a breaking point around it. It makes me sick!

But then, I'll hop on social media and see the things that people post that merely reflect their own feelings, some with their own editorial notes and name calling that goes with their un-vetted meme. One thing that we need to remember is this — we are all Americans, this is happening to every one of us. Yes, some will feel it more than others, but you're ignorant if you think it can't touch you. Because our current culture seemingly has to clarify that any life matters and until we get that straightened out we honestly will continue to devolve as a society.

So, what needs to happen is this: We need to ramp up the love, and pump the brakes on the hate. And I'm not talking about sitting around the camp fire signing "Kumbaya." Just have a higher conversation. But if you've ever sung that song, then you know its power, you know the feeling it conveys. So if the "Kumbaya" ain't broke, don't fix it. What the Hell is up with that?

Fish is the opinionated morning jock on Classic Hits 92.7. He offers up his opinion at 7:50 a.m. every morning (Monday through Friday). Let's start the revolution. E-mail him at fish@wkvt.com. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.


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