By in Politics

Thoughts on Diversity

I was sitting in the Sam's Club Snack Bar a short time ago and I noticed an incredible diversity among the patrons in the snack bar. Anglos, Hispanics, African-Americans, Muslims, men, women, children, well dressed, casual dressed, word dressed, rough dressed, tall, short, heavy, thin, and in between.

Amazingly everyone was smiling, laughing, enjoying themselves. No one was glancing about nervously, cowering in fear, or casting suspicious glances at anyone else. It was quite wonderful to notice, considering all that has gone on in the world and the US over the past several weeks and months. To listen to the government and the major media, we should be living in fear and keeping a close eye on our neighbors. How Soviet Union! How Hitlerian Germany! How Orwellian!

But people just don't seem to be doing it. The folks I watched for those several minutes I was there were going about their lives and the business of shopping in the most normal manner I can imagine. They were not behaving as if they expected gunfire to erupt at any moment. It is the terrorists intent to have us afraid of our own shadows and suspicious of our fellow men and women. I have news for them, at least around here. They are losing. We are not cowed. Bloodied, we are not bowed. And when we find you...

Image Credit » by geralt

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JohnRoberts wrote on December 5, 2015, 4:54 PM

I think if the government and media did not interfere, the scene you described would be even more commonplace. Leave people to themselves without government or media lecturing and they may be more civil and understanding and blind to what other people look like than given credit for.

lookatdesktop wrote on December 5, 2015, 5:13 PM

Your nice article was a refreshing change from the every day scare monger media. Have a great weekend. I think Ill go to Sams this weekend. Have a cup of sample Colombian coffee and check out the laptops.

msiduri wrote on December 5, 2015, 6:09 PM

I think you're on to something. After this last think in San Bernadino, I find ISIS more contemptible than anything else. A violent sociopathic death cult capable only of destruction—and worthy of nothing.

LoudMan wrote on December 5, 2015, 6:25 PM

Lately, it seems the real terrorists are those filthy bastards who run our media and those we've elected.

CoralLevang wrote on December 5, 2015, 7:39 PM

Yes, my dear friend, we are "cut from the same cloth." You have no idea.

One of my favorite pieces to date I have read from your pen.

Thank you for reminding me of a piece I wrote long ago. I have tagged you.

Last Edited: December 5, 2015, 8:04 PM

markgraham wrote on December 5, 2015, 7:51 PM

I agree with you we can all get along if the media did not blow everything out of proportion with every little speck of information they think we want to know.
Honestly the news is too depressing. I read the newspaper and really I think I would rather watch an old tv show like the Waltons or Little House or even Touched by An Angel than watch all the news programs.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:05 PM

I absolutely agree. For purposes of their own power and enrichment the gov't and media sews discord instead of harmony.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:07 PM

I hope you are able to find a laptop that suits your needs and has some of the cool bells and whistles.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:10 PM

Your description of ISIS is why I have adopted the Muslim worlds practice (also adopted by the French and Russians) of calling them Daesh.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:14 PM

The media rely on bad news and sensational stories to sell air time (used to be newspapers). The gov't has a vested interest in keeping us afraid.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:18 PM

I look forward to reading your piece.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 5, 2015, 8:26 PM

The news people wouldn't get any ratings by saying good things about any one.

msiduri wrote on December 5, 2015, 9:19 PM

I don't understand the relevance. I've heard the name. but just thought it was an alternative.

wolfgirl569 wrote on December 5, 2015, 9:21 PM

I think the media is a lot of the trouble. They are only after ratings and fear and death seems to get that for them. I will listen to parts of a news break but then we turn it off. If more people would the ratings would drop until they changed their news to what people want to see. But for now that is what draws viewers so it gets sought out by the newsmen. It is the same here, there was many different people shopping Friday evening when I was out and most seemed happy and the rest were just in their own little words, on the phone, texting and so forth. Life is normal here

BarbRad wrote on December 5, 2015, 9:26 PM

Are you saying that we should not remain vigilant? We can't bury our heads in the sand, either. My husband and I went out for lunch today and we weren't cowering. I'm not afraid to live as I normally do. But I also believe there are people who want to kill innocent Americans and they demonstrated it this week in San Bernardino. I'm not suggesting we see them lurking in the shadows wherever we go, but I do believe we need to report activity that seems suspicious, no matter who is doing it. Had the next door neighbors of these terrorists had done that, fourteen innocent people might still be alive today.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 5, 2015, 10:43 PM

I think you misunderstood my post. One can remain vigilant without becoming paranoid, and on guard without becoming xenophobic.

The one neighbor whom Foxnews has managed to get on the record says the suspicious activities included getting lots of packages delivered via the US Mail and working late in the garage at night. Somehow I don't think that would have been enough to get a warrant, especially considering Farook was a native born US citizen.

The reason the neighbor gave for why she did not file a report was she thought doing so would be politically incorrect.

My article was meant to portray the positive aspect of how people of diverse backgrounds can share time in a place without suspicion and fear of each other. I'm sorry you took it to mean something totally different.

Last Edited: December 5, 2015, 10:44 PM

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 5, 2015, 10:46 PM

Daesh and their followers want us to change our way of life, to live in perpetual fear. When we do the simple act of going about our daily lives instead, we defeat them.

wolfgirl569 wrote on December 5, 2015, 10:55 PM

But they continue thinking they are winning as the media does not show that. They concentrate on finding fear

morilla wrote on December 6, 2015, 1:25 AM

In and of itself, lots of mail and working late in the garage is actually 'normal' for many. But, that's part of the problem. Government bureaucrats, politicians, and self-proclaimed 'journalists' don't always lead a 'normal' life as compared to the rest of us. They particularly don't lead lives which, apparently, involve 'normal' things for many. As an example...

The media keeps talking about all the ammunition this couple had stored. Clearly, at least to the media and those unfamiliar with firearms, it appears to be an inordinately 'large' quantity. Reports have it at 4,000 - 7,000 rounds. While that may sound like "a lot" to someone who doesn't shoot and, if you allow your imagination to run in the context of what they did, it represents a good number of rounds.

However... A standard combat load is 300 rounds for 5.56 caliber weapons today. That means 600 rounds for two people. That's just for the rifles. 500 - 1,000 rounds a practice session for competitive shooters isn't unusual. (I took up reloading when I shot competitively, 30 years ago. Even at that, I simply couldn't afford to practice; but, still managed to put in 100 - 500 rounds between matches. One trip to the trap range 'for fun' involved 100 - 150 rounds in those days.) In short, it doesn't take that long to eat through that much ammo just in practice.

To put that in perspective, the one report has it that the couple fired 76 rounds at police in their 'last stand.' On the other hand, the police fired 380 rounds at them. In other words, it all depends on context and that's where the media and the Government fail. They use information selectively and either out of context or with no , actual context, to induce fear, readers, sensationalism, etc. Put another way, hindsight isn't always 20/20; but, it's always easy to make accusations and spin a story that way, particularly if you have an agenda.

It's what makes things so insidious. All Governments rule by 'fear.' Fear of the IRS, the NSA, etc. All special interests influence based on appealing to an individual's social compulsion to 'conform' and political correctness is a prime example of how that can be abused. It's just like when Joe Biden says it's your patriotic duty to pay taxes. It actually is and why it's called 'voluntary compliance.' However, that has nothing to do with how much MORE you should have to pay to support 'special interest' programs. The reverse is also true in that some will not 'see' it, no matter how much objective evidence is presented since their paradigmatic leanings preclude it as a possibility.

Last Edited: December 6, 2015, 1:30 AM

BarbRad wrote on December 6, 2015, 2:36 AM

It's something we need to keep in balance. I guess I'm someone who reports things that just don't seem right. That might be unusual traffic in and out of one house at all hours of the day and night that could indicate drug dealing or someone I might see lurking around the windows of houses during the holiday season who look like they don't belong there. Our neighborhood has experienced recent burglaries, and so we try to notice people of any ethnic background who seem to be casing a place, or perhaps, trying to break in. We also let neighbors know if they seem to have a broken sprinkler that happens when they aren't home. Crime is not always terrorism. We have learned in my neighborhood to be observant and communicate, and we even have a neighborhood email list to make others aware of things that don't seem right. My neighborhood is quite diverse, as is my community. I get the positive aspect of diversity. My relationships are so diverse we hardly notice race when we're together. We are just friends. But we know each other very well and have for years. It's getting harder and harder to get to know new people very well. Most of us are surrounded by mere acquaintances today. Some people don't even know their family members well enough to know what's going on in their minds.

Paulie wrote on December 6, 2015, 2:48 AM

You are correct. Everyone should continue living their life and not be cowed by the terrorists.

Rufuszen wrote on December 6, 2015, 8:44 AM

Mostly people just get along; its not until someone with an agenda throws in over the top politics and religious bigotry that it all goes wrong

markgraham wrote on December 6, 2015, 9:34 AM

But still when the reporters break in to other shows just about every ten minutes repeating what they have already said with just about 20 seconds of new material and that is usually about an hour before the actual news hours start. I am not that news starved.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 6, 2015, 10:13 AM

Daesh is an acronym of sorts for the full name of ISIS/ISIL when translated from Arabic. It is also an Arabic word meaning something that crushes or tramples. The leaders of ISIS take great offense at being called Daesh, but the Muslim world uses the term to describe them because they consider ISIS to be neither Islamic nor a State.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 6, 2015, 10:14 AM

I blame CNN and the advent of the 24 hour news cycle. Now they all want to be first with the story, even if the story is wrong.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 6, 2015, 10:18 AM

Thank you for giving context to the situation. Is it now such that people who run a cottage business out of their home and sell via the internet will have to worry that their neighbors are going to report them because they stay up late working and receive a lot of packages via UPS and the mail?

I teach my Social Studies students that government, while necessary, is not necessarily a good thing and that they must remain ever vigilant against government excess.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 6, 2015, 10:22 AM

What you are describing is vigilance. And you are correct, neighborhoods are no longer the communities they once were due to the high mobility of people traveling to find new jobs and new opportunities.

I teach in a school that is majority African-American and majority below the poverty level. I don't see their race, I see my kids. And I am very protective of my kids.

DWDavisRSL wrote on December 6, 2015, 10:24 AM

I sometimes think more people need to really listen to John Lennon's song "Imagine." He isn't advocating the abandonment of religion, nationality, and material things, he was simply inviting us to treat each other as if our common humanity was more important than any of those things.

markgraham wrote on December 6, 2015, 10:37 AM

I really love that song. The federal government should listen closely to that one. Maybe it would make them think more wisely.

msiduri wrote on December 6, 2015, 12:23 PM

Ah, OK. Jack boots, of sorts. And it offends them, hurts their widdle fweewings? Aww.

MegL wrote on December 6, 2015, 1:45 PM

It's great to see everyone enjoying themselves together with no thought of race class or creed. That is how it should be.

BarbRad wrote on December 6, 2015, 2:00 PM

Exactly. I also taught in such a situation at one time. Skin color, like length of hair, helped me tell one student from another while learning names until I would have recognized my students by name in the hall. Once I knew the students, what they looked like didn't matter anymore unless I was supposed to compliment a new hair style or a student came in with a cast on.

lexiconlover wrote on December 6, 2015, 7:08 PM

When I was in school, specifically after 9/11, we had a family from Saudi Arabia who got a lot of crap. So I can agree with how nice it is to see so many different nationalities in one place coexisting.