“There’s a bad apple in every bunch” and other pacifying clichés are a premature resolve to situations for which there are no simple solutions.
Some people are thugs, some are racist, and some are overly enamored by power and authority. The human condition is littered with them about as inseparably as babies and bathwater.
Some. Not all.
Information technology, surveillance videos and camera phones deliver them to us 24/7 for rush judgments and have trained us to render instant clichés and unenlightened opinions before the next breaking news story takes the limelight.
But when that next limelight is but the same story in a new venue, clichés are useless. The power of fear these stories induce demands a more substantial literary device. Throwing a cliché at a bunch of dead people is no longer a solution. Like thoughts and prayers, it never promised to. If people were truly thinking and praying as much as they say they are, a solution would have emerged by now instead of just another useless platitude.
I don’t think the question is whether we are all equal, but rather, do we want to be?
We say we fight against discrimination between the differences of people at the same time we are mad at work differentiating ourselves, climbing the ladder from a lower rung onto one better and more distinguished. Success in American culture unfortunately lies squarely in the value of being better than. Where’s the pride in being equal?
Some who can’t seem to climb become thugs. Some who have climbed feel compelled to prove it with power and authority. And the rest of us either take sides or create clichés to exempt ourselves from the problem while secretly profiling the “some” as “all” but publicly offering only fleeting thoughts and shallow prayers of hope that the next time it won’t happen in my neighborhood.
There are no good apples.
All are bruised and imperfect in some way, yet misled by a private logic that they are “better than” in their fight to the top of the basket while denying the real truth that all apples were created equal and together, can make a very satisfying pie.
Chop off our own bruises and imperfections and we all look the same in the basket.
That is, if we will risk being equal as it was originally intended.