Society’s Pressure Cooker: Conflict and Order

Viewpoint by Daniel Smiechowski

The recent social unrest in a place called America is as old as time itself. Racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri on the heels of the Michael Brown shooting by a white police officer spilled onto the streets of San Diego. The results of a tea pot left unattended.

Many Clairemont folks missed the point in railing against the protesters. A small group of UCSD Students who chose to block the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 were signaled out as being highly disruptive. Geez, is that not the point! Are we not blinded in not seeing the forest for the trees? Have we lost all concept of the greater whole? Martin Luther King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Commentators on local social media ran the gamut from the self centered to the absurd. One response that particularly struck a chord was by a gentleman that stated, “The protesters had caused us law abiding citizens to be late for work.” Is this a statement of an evolved human being? Did it ever occur to this simple minded fellow that there exist three rails of human behavior being morality, ethics and of course the incorporeity of law itself? Does America’s vast middle class silent majority really believe in the birth of justice through indifference?

When the tables are turned, and the control and order folks are met squarely with injustice, ever see how they come off the rails. Every psychologist and psychiatrist in America understands that everyone has a breaking point. Our society is no different. Most people understand the value of sobriety checkpoints yet isn’t this some form of organized protest (police power) in reverse, that is to put some motorists back on the wagon. Why is the peaceful protest of injustice any different?

Consider that during the last one hundred years in this country, we have had conflict and concomitant social unrest with child labor laws, women’s right to vote, Civil War veterans march on Washington, civil rights, abortion, Vietnam, Wall Street and thousands of more protests on all sorts of issues. My belief is that most Americans just conveniently forget history and fail to see the lessons of the past. Either that or the shallowness of their everyday lives has muted creative impulse. The piano man represents conflict, progression and creativity. And one final note, is the dropping of bombs at thirty thousand feet shown on a jet’s video monitor a form of organized control? I think not.

Be nice, do good deeds and don’t be a stranger as we at The Clairemont Times value your participation.

Daniel J. Smiechowski has been a resident of Clairemont since 1967 and can be reached or 858.220.4613

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