When events of current history cause Hollywood to rethink the title of a to-be-released comedy( Ben Stiller’s new comedy previously entitled “Neighborhood Watch”), you know that someone is listening to the news. When the mainstream press hammers one segment of society into submitting to the prevailing opinion or interpretation of the facts, you also have to rethink your focus of what you believe to be facts of a case. But, when you read closely the words of witnesses and the interviews of investigators of events such as the Trevon Martin shooter case, you may feel a cold chill run down your spine.
When President Obama used the analogy that Trevon Martin could have been his son, the cold chill of reality set in on many parents and grandparents that our children and grandchildren often fail to realize the consequences of their actions or inactions. The way we conduct ourselves in public, the form of our dress, makeup, hair style all have consequences in the world for the manner in which we are perceived and the seriousness with which our words are read. Often it is unfortunate that people do not see through the facade to evaluate our sincerity and our studied choice of presentation. That is the way the world is, and we must accept it.
We rail against the whirlwind of public opinion, often to no avail. We try and try again to mold our view and facts in a world that is fashioned by Madison Avenue, focused on form, not substance. Eventually we determine a decision, steadfast in our convictions, but modify our form to relate to the eyes and ears of our audience.
If we accomplish little else, we will bring facts to the public that have been studied by professionals. We will cause fresh eyes to evaluate, relate and digest issues we believe warrant discussion, and we will write with the belief that the story deserves another look.
As with the death of Trevon Martin, we see wrongs that require a deeper investigation. Facts require more eyes and ears to pass over them than just the police who made the initial investigation. If the concept of “Neighborhood Watch” can no longer pass scrutiny in our little corner of the world, will every sign be required to be replaced? We hope not. There are wrongs in people and groups that can be addressed without the whole world having to change. If there is a criminal element in any segment of society it can be addressed with the system we have in place. From Baton Rouge to Washington (and even in Shreveport) there is much room for improvement. Some people need to be purged from their positions of authority for poor decisions or lack of good judgment. Let’s hope we can make some easy changes in the immediate future so the next generation will inherit a better place to live.