Recent events have again reminded us just how divided we can be as a population. Throughout American history, we have been challenged to find common ground within a melting pot of ethnicity, socioeconomic stratification, and political maneuvering. What will you do when it lands violently in your front yard?
Sometimes the big picture blurs out who is truly being affected. Hint: it’s us, the individual citizens, and the family next door. If you are reading this, it is a safe assumption that you have begun to take your family’s safety and preparedness more seriously. There has been a smoldering divide in our communities that seems to be flaring up more often lately; most recently, there has been a storm brewing over the militarization of the police at the local level. With the situation in Ferguson, Missouri demonstrating a total distrust of police after the shooting of an unarmed black teen and the overwhelming military style projection of force by the state, has the match been lit for emotional contagion?
Emotional contagion is a condition that spreads when an event happens that gets a community upset enough to protest in the streets in a way that attracts people from other areas to join the cause. After a while, there is seemingly little connection to the facts of the original case; and now the street becomes the venue to air all sort of grievances.
So what does this all have to do with the survival group? Everything. This is all part of your situational awareness. You have seen the media coverage in Ferguson. What did you notice this time as opposed to other unrest events? I saw that almost every newscast was conducted in a normal middle class looking neighborhood. The cameras were literally broadcasting from the front yards of houses, not parking lots of some big city urban center or some far away avenue where corporate elite businesses were being destroyed. Sure, there has been plenty of looting; but the battles have moved onto the side streets right outside the bedroom windows of innocent families. Did those people expect a running street war with international media coverage? That’s not all that changed this time around; when have you ever heard of news crews being attacked with tear gas, threatened with violence from police, and even arrested just for covering the news?
The biggest difference, and the one thing that got my attention, was the sniper sitting on top of a SWAT vehicle actively aiming his weapon at the crowd as if scanning for targets, one finger pull away from starting the next revolution. Somewhere along the way, the lessons of Kent State have been lost. In today’s militarized society, it seems as if we have turned the page on airing our differences. There are a lot of societal reasons that we won’t go into here that are fueling this divide. For now, we are just setting the stage to discuss how we will survive and navigate the changing social terrain. Conflict is here, and sides are being chosen. For those families caught in the perimeter of such conflicts, it would be wise to be ready.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom