Tag Archives: Toxic Media

What Ever Happened to the Truth?

OK, trigger warning here: I’m going to be getting “political” here, and discussing racial and police issues. If that’s not your thing, I understand. It’s why I’m putting up the warning.

So what sparked this? We’ve been catching up on TV lately. We missed quite a bit of shows during our moving prep, the actual move, and the time our furniture was MIA. We got into the most recent Season of CBS’s S.W.A.T. reboot.

Overall, it’s a really good show; a rarity among reboots. They went off the deep end trying to show support for Black Lives Matters at the start of this last season though.

The episode involved trying to break up a chain of terrorist attacks that were designed to hit South Central and stir up racial tensions to the point of actual violent conflict. All this while the neighborhood is planning an annual remembrance event of the Rodney King beating.

LONG story short, the episode spins the riots following the King verdict as the fault of the police because they didn’t step in and restore order. They even have the Commander of the SWAT Division of LAPD get up in front of the community and apologize to them for not disobeying orders and trying to help (he was a patrol officer at the time).

The thing is, I was in San Diego at the time the riots broke out. I was staying with my dad the cop AND (his idea) I was also working as a private security guard in the Miramar area of North San Diego at the time. Believe me, I was paying CLOSE attention to everything that was happening.

Still can’t believe I went to work the nights of the riots completely unarmed, but otherwise looking for all the world like a cop. Pinkerton had dark blue uniforms.

ANYWAY… The truth is people in the neighborhoods where the rioting was taking place were actively shooting at any police that came into the area. Not only that, they were shooting at fire trucks and ambulances trying to help as well. The police pulled back and focused on containment because the alternative was to turn South Central into a full blown war zone, and be accused of a race massacre.

Back in those days, the police were also outgunned. The military weapons and transports that we see police using nowadays came about after the riots.

That’s a big part of why the national guard was mobilized to deal with the riots.

What’s My Point?

First, let me say that NONE of the above facts justify what happened to Rodney King, or others like George Floyd. The idea that Rodney King’s 1986 Hyundai could even do 120 MPH as police claimed is laughable. Even my dad called BS on that one. Early Hyundais were complete crap. You couldn’t get them going 120 if you dropped them out of the space shuttle.

Black Lives DO Matter.

If we’re ever going to get to a solution for all of this though, things have to be dealt with honestly. Both sides are going to have to see each other as human beings. Policing needs to change, no doubt about that. You can’t drive the police out of neighborhoods or try to eliminate them completely (as a few cities have tried) and then complain when they’re not where they were chased out of though.

It’s racist if they’re in black neighborhoods, and it’s racist if they don’t respond (fast enough) to calls in black neighborhoods. Is it any wonder cops are quitting in record numbers and cities can’t find replacements for them?

I’ve seen the impact firsthand there. We left Sacramento and California completely because it LITERALLY took 7 hours for police to respond to any call that didn’t involve gunfire. That’s IF they responded at all!

I won’t fault Shemar Moore (lead actor and producer) or CBS for trying to shine the spotlight on race issues as relates to police. They’ve done it before and up till this point had done a very balanced job of showing both sides of the issue.

I’m REALLY disappointed at the spin they put on the whole situation in this episode however. It was blatantly and unabashedly anti-police, dishonest, and only served to deepen mistrust of law enforcement, especially in minority communities. Nothing in that episode was going to promote communication or healing.

Maybe I’m expecting too much in hoping for Shemar Moore’s character to instead say “We have every right to be pissed about what happened that day and still happens too often. We can’t blame the police when some of us burn down and loot our own neighborhood, and shoot at the people who come to help us though.”

I’m only going to add one other point here: I am NOT saying that the entire neighborhood was involved in shooting at police, etc… I’ve said time and again that the vast majority of Black people, like ALL races, are good people. Like all races, there’s a small percentage of bad apples though. That small percentage did ALOT of damage though, and to their own neighborhoods.

Anybody comes in here with a racist reply about that’s how “all of those people are”, it’ll be an insta-ban from this blog. I don’t have the time or patience for ignorance and hate.

Balance, Perspective, and Tuning Out

Time for something vaguely resembling social commentary, since I promised Laura V that I was going to do this post a week ago. It echoes something that’s been on my mind lately, particularly as my pain level drops and I gain fresh perspective on life.

Laura did a post a week or so ago about the need to just set all the political and social drama aside and look for the good, for one’s own mental health. I have to say I completely agreed with it too.

For the longest time, I had the mindset that liberty required eternal vigilance. Turn your back, and corruption and evil will run amok. I scoffed at the new agers who just advocated completely shutting out any sort of news because it’s all so toxic. Stick your head in the sand, and let other clean up the mess.

Anymore, I’m starting to think there’s some wisdom there though.

Why? Look at the messages we get from every source nowadays. “They” are out to get us. We need to oppose THEM, by any means necessary if it gets much worse, etc… And that’s just mainstream pundits on both sides. God help you if you’re spending all your time on Twitter and Facebook, you’ll hear even worse.

Everything anymore is gloom and doom, designed to promote utter hatred, contempt and mental anguish. Very little out there is designed to bring people together. It poisons the soul and erodes mental well being.

I’m beginning to think civilized society is losing the bigger war by focusing on these fights also.

I’ve done a few posts on “being the light” and “being an example“… MAYBE those are the bigger keys to a real victory for humanity. Be the kind of people we want others to be. Let the example we set inspire that change in others.

Yes, it’s work trying to emulate Dr King, Ghandi, Jesus, etc… Hate is easy also, but it’s also destructive to it’s wielder and everyone around them.

I’d say the answer isn’t to turn a blind eye like empty headed new agers only concerned with “good vibes”. None of the three people above turned a blind eye. But they did work for peaceful solutions, understanding others and elevating humanity.

Keep news to a sane level. You can doom surf yourself into a nervous breakdown. Stay detached from stories and remember they’re trying to manipulate you. Work towards good without getting consumed by injustice. Hate can’t be fought with hate, it only grows it.

Remember the other side of any issue are human beings also.