Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Do we really believe on a two-way street?

Thank you Jon Stewart!

You said it well  - there is a two way street for standards.  I agree.  I think we all agree.  I am so happy he brings up the idea that supporting one does not mutual exclude the other.  If only we as a culture could support this . . .

Because the two-way street applies when it is doubled on itself.  As a culture we should expect more from citizens - holding them to a higher standard . . . and that is not insensitive to people's socio economic class or race.  You can be deeply caring about the plight of the inner city while expecting those who live there to not break the law as a way of life.  The two are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, only caring and understanding and not calling our fellow citizens to a higher standard is a form of classism.

And it applies to our culture . . .

As a culture we can be deeply touched by Grammy performances by Kendrick Lamar - in chains and in prison - while at the same time wanting to get rid of the cultural elements that glorify being sent to prison in the first place.  It is a two way street - paying homage to the ground-breaking works of NWA but committed to a future in which young people will not resonate with drug-fueled, misogynistic and murderous themes.  It is not moralist to hold our entertainment industry to a higher standard.

And wealth . . .

You can have a great respect for those who lead in industry and capital and grieve over the life choices they make that send them deeper into an often obsessive whirlpool of selfishness.  1% is still a percent - one of us humans.  Corporations  and corporate leaders enable all of us to create a living - we can enjoy the benefits of this partnership while still holding them accountable to their fair share of the burden of an equitable society.  It is a two-way street.

And beliefs . . .

You can disagree with someone and still honor them - the two are not mutually exclusive.  This is an almost-dead idea on social media.  We rally to people who agree with us while mocking and de-friending those who think differently.  We should treasure those who fall outside our perspectives because they see things we don't.

I love Stewart's ideas here.  The real test of the idea, however, is whether it lives and breathes outside of the Police Brutality issue.  Otherwise it is just another issue-driven polemic.

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