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  • Carroll Devine

A Dose of Reality

This is in response to an article I posted on Charles Barkley's recent comments about the wasted efforts surrounding the removal of statues. After I posted it, someone commented that: "It's easy for Barkley, a millionaire, to say."

The fact that Barkley has money has nothing to do with his sincerity or the validity of his position. Money can be used for good or evil. Money or the lack of it has been used as a tool of division. A bigger tool is education, for good or evil. Keep the people ignorant of what's really going on and how things work, in order to keep the power away from them. These recent events surrounding statues are just another indication that ignorance is gaining ground.

The point is, we're missing the point. We are being duped by those with political agendas (of various stripes) and anarchists, by causing this senseless distraction from the real issues that we should be paying attention to. If all the statues in the country were removed, it wouldn't make a bit of difference in the out of control crime and violence, or improve the now almost non-existent communication between and among us. Nor would it help us to learn about and from history or solve any of our problems. It's turned into a violent shouting match. We are losing our civility as well as common sense.

We can't undo the past. We can only try to do better for the future. We're supposed to be intelligent, but wouldn't the intelligent response be to turn our attention to ways of improving relations among us rather than further destroying them? Hatred only breeds more hatred, and all of this so-called outrage over these symbols is only fanning the flames. It’s interesting but infuriating to see more and more petty politicians jumping on the bandwagon to tear down statues no matter the cost, financially or in disruption of lives, or in whatever form, to further their political careers - the people be damned.

For a 5 1/2 year period I lived in or journeyed through 32 countries (living very simply, on almost no money). Sad to say, there was not a culture I found to have no bias among its people against one or another group, or whose ruling class didn't take advantage of the common citizenry. I also found almost no culture without a history of aggression and/or inhumanity to others. I did sometimes come across people who almost swooned at the name of the United States of America. We were supposed to be the beacon on the hill. At times we have been and could be, even though we've had problems and injustices to deal with. We've made much progress over the years and we seemed to be improving more.

There are forces at work whose goals are to halt the progress and turn us backward and against each other, for their benefit. Anxiety is so high now and depression rampant because so many are afraid and frustrated that they feel helpless to stop what's going on and focus on what's real, what's good and what's true. We must stop buying into the destructive forces and their plans to divide and conquer. We need more people like Charles Barkley to raise the voices of common sense, wisdom, and caring. Can I get an Amen?

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