I can’t breathe!
Are the last words George Floyd said before he was murdered.
PRIDE, I’m proud to be LGBTQ, however society hasn’t entirely caught up with the movement.
Pushed to the breaking point a LGBTQ teenager has to choose between her close minded parents disowning her and who she is.
A Latino child is detained at the US Mexico border, caged like an animal.
They have human rights too.
I start to grind my teeth and my temperature gets elevated.
I am in disbelief that people could treat other people in these atrocious ways.
I can’t imagine how the marginalized person feels.
I think of revenge and punishment wouldn’t you?
Black Live Matter, LQBTQ, and South American immigrants undoubtedly deserve justice!
“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind” — Mahatma Gandhi
What makes us Violent?
When we distinguish US versus Them, we create a divide. Good versus the Bad. Right versus Wrong.
Tribalism can destroy the world and it breeds violence. Studies have shown that people who have more pride in identity or a group have higher chances of being violent to non-group members.
Thinking about people as only good or bad is only the two extremes. We are human!
There’s good and evil in each and everyone of us.
When we think of humankind, we can think of peace! When we identify and divide we breed violence.
Justification for Violence
I am just and you are evil.
In every argument each party believes they are right and know the other is wrong.
We use this belief to justify violence.
I believe in what Mahatma Gandhi said: “an eye for an eye will make the world blind” but if it was my own family or friends that were being mistreated would I change my mind and thirst for revenge?
Does protecting, justify violence? You might not kill for yourself but if you’re protecting another person you might be willing to do anything.
I am killing one to save the millions. This may be an extreme example that only plays out in the movies, but it does bring up the age old question?
Does the end justify the means?
What about our world peace? Does it boil down to violence, for instance nuclear bombs. Does this one potential act of violence keep the nations in the world in line?
Can violence bring peace?
Tribalism is Here to Stay
To say there should be no distinction between people sounds impossible. Our identities distinguish who we are. We are categorized by nationality, geography, gender, and hierarchy.
These distinctions are part of everyday life.
According to Maslow’s levels of need, belonging is a substantial human need. We need to identify with a certain group.
What happens when one other group infringes on another group’s survival?
For instance income disparity. Feeling of unfairness and injustice invokes anger and aggression.
When a group is threatened by non-group members, the group grows even closer and strengthens. They have a common struggle together.
They can band together and choose violence or stand together in peace.
What is the definition of Identity
The definition of identity has been tossed around and used for many situations.
Identity fraud: referring to someone’s name.
Identity crisis: where they stand in relation to society.
My identity: leaning more towards individuality or personality.
All these uses differ in meaning, but we do know that people need to have identity.
It’s what we do, what we think is valuable, what we endorse or oppose. It’s our relationship with society. It’s the groups that we identity with.
We, as humans, need identity but we don’t have to turn to violence, when upholding our identity.
Focusing on What we Do have in Common
Our pride in our identities box us in. Let’s not think of identities as boundaries we have to maintain!
We can focus on what people do have in common.
It’s hard for the abused to stay non-violent, but it is possible, and an effective way to communicate the problem.
Imagine how big of a person the people in the civil rights movement must have been. Being treated that way and responding with non-violent protests.
Martin Luther King realized it must be a peaceful resistance.
Even in current times, Black Lives Matter movement, the non-violent movement is more effective. Riots and violence only made things worse and gave justification to divide even more.
Pride in our identities may lead to violence, but only if we let it. We can pride ourselves and identify with being non-violent.