The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

Unless you have been living in a cave for the past year, I'm sure you are aware of the indictment cases in NYC and Ferguson.

People are outraged and are looking for ways to be "heard". I get that. It makes perfect sense to want to speak up for injustice and fight for change. So why are we protesting these rulings by blocking traffic on a freeway? At night? This is a problem, not a solution.

I woke up this morning and found a post from a local new station that our local freeway was blocked due to protesters. The comment thread was not civil and, as always, disheartening. Those opposed posted comments like "run them over" or "get a job". While I do not agree with people putting their lives and the lives of others in jeopardy, suggesting they be ran over is counterproductive and kind of scary. Also, this activity was done after normal business hours so who is to say they do not work?

Then there were the supporters (few) but they made their support known. One in particular made the mistake of cheering on the closure of the freeway. After reading all the responses to her cheering, I find out she works for an indie PR group in Sacramento. Awesome! While her responses were eloquent, she missed the point all together. Citing empirical data and the plight of blacks in America or that she refuses to feel guilty 50 years from now for not speaking up - seems a tad self-serving. I'll touch more on white guilt in another post. For now, let's focus on protesters making poor choices.

There is a reason walking along the freeway is not allowed. It's dangerous to the drivers and the person(s) walking. It's a distraction. In case you are not aware, cars on the freeway go pretty damned fast. Sarcasm? Yes. I'm sick and tired of people thinking they are making a difference with no regard to others they may be effecting.

One of the protesters also commented on the news post "I just got back from there. We didn't plan on the freeway closure." Okay, then what were you planning? Instead of working out of pure emotion how about a little bit of organization? It works for crime and religion.

What amazes me is not one person said, "Hey, maybe that will be too dangerous. How about picketing on a sidewalk where it is safe for everyone involved?" Nope they had "mob" mentality and set their sights on freeways.

So instead of getting awareness out to the masses about civil injustice, what you did was cause problems. Do you know what happens when a parent is late picking up their child from daycare? They get charged for it. What happens when an emergency vehicle cannot get to the hospital because a freeway is shut down? What if it was someone you loved and they didn't get to the hospital in time because some group decided it was a great idea to protest on a major freaking freeway!? Huh? Is that perspective enough? What if one of you were hit by a car? Or a driver is startled and loses control - their baby is in the backseat. Still stand by your decision to block a freeway?

The actions of the protesters, while well intended, put lives in danger and brought little sympathy to the message.

Do you want to make a difference? Are you tired of our justice system as a whole? Do something... smart.

To that well-meaning PR girl, donate your time doing grant writing for local non-profits.

To all of you that want to see change, create coalitions, organize and educate the community.

Education and rational dialogue is the key and sadly, most are missing the concept. It's easier to cause chaos and be a keyboard activist than actually be part of something positive and life changing.

Readers, what have been your best practices for bringing awareness to your communities?

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