Choose Nonviolence

We’re still unpacking and dealing with various issues that have come up in a house that has been rented out for two years…and I am discovering the down side to having renters.  I guess I should instinctively know that people don’t care about your house as much as you do.  However, I have to say that I have always been a conscientious renter and have tried to take care of the property and leave it in good condition any time I’ve lived somewhere not mine. Maybe that is uncommon.  Anyway, we had a property manager since we lived far away in Alaska but between the property manager and the renters, not too many f*$#%s were given, apparently.  Excuse my language or implied language.

We’ve had a pool guy out to get the pool back in shape all week, an HVAC guy and a plumber today to look at the systems and see what else is failing because the house smells musty and mildewy and we want to nip any further problems in the bud.  The good news is that the plumbing is okay. The bad news is that the air conditioning unit has had a clog in the line, which has led to a steady, apparently long standing, leak. The filter is soaked, the subfloor is ruined, there’s quite a bit of standing water, it needs a new coil, we need a mold specialist to come out, and the dollar signs keep adding up.

While ruminating over these issues, we were struck upside the head by the terrible violence in our new home city, Dallas.  Absent-mindedly turning on the TV and sitting down to chill for a little while, we saw a screen suddenly full of sirens and images of people running and a “breaking news” banner announcing that shots had been fired at a peaceful protest and police officers were down. At first, I think I just assumed it was a small incident and hopefully no one was hurt and it was under control.  I was wrong.  We stayed glued to the TV till 2 AM when there didn’t seem to be much more information coming out.  In bed, I couldn’t believe we were right here, right in the same city where a shooter or shooters killed 5 police officers and injured several more. It did not seem real.

I’ve been saddened and outraged by the recent police killings of two black men named Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile; it seems that we cannot escape the institutional racism and jump-to-conclusions tragic actions that sometimes take place when police and black men intersect in American society.  Protesters in Dallas were exercising their right to speak out about this violence and to say “enough.”  From all that I have read, the police department coordinated with the activists for the march and it was peaceful all around.  The police department even tweeted photos of officers interacting with the marchers. The protest was not directed toward DPD, but toward systemic violence; I think the officers there must have understood the difference.

There’s not a lot I can say that hasn’t been already said, but I just want to make the point that one can be opposed to violence from police officers at the same time one is opposed to violence toward police officers.  I wish for a world where violence is nonexistent, or at least rare, where people treat each other with respect and dignity no matter the color of their skin or the circumstances of their life.  Here in Dallas, I hope we will move forward toward that goal as we mourn and heal.



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