Enter: The infamous ‘man with the can’.
Only a few weeks ago did his (…or is it ‘their’) brand of visual toxin bloom like poison flowers on church property and automobiles.
Can an act that was meant to hurt be turned towards healing?
Sheriff Creel feels that teenagers may have done the deed.
In my youth, I recall times when I said hurtful things to friends and loved ones. The favor was returned in full force and I was grateful. Grateful, because it helped me learn that I can’t unjustifiably hurt someone without my own pride taking a payback punch.
Things done in early life can haunt a person’s mind, and the minds of those who were there to witness it all, for decades.
If teenagers committed this act, once caught and known, it won’t matter if they grow to become shining individuals of society that cure cancer, or end poverty as we know it. They will always remain suspect for this abysmal deed. Things can be forgiven, but seldom forgotten.
I want to believe that our young folk are better and smarter than we think. I want to give them a chance to be looked up to, instead of stared down upon.
Their modes of expression are vastly different from my generation. Or so it seems.
For instance, how do we know if the suspected teenagers (if teens they be) are all white?
And, for the record, yes, I know how that may sound. But this is precisely how different our world is today.
There was a time when almost no one could conceive of a black person being a serial killer; or of our founding fathers siring biracial children. Just because we cannot imagine it does not mean it isn’t so.
Why are certain realities so hard to face? Why does our skin prickle when confronted with these things? Who, really, are we trying to please, and why?
Time, perceptions, and stereotypes can change. They don’t need our consent in order to occur. In time, all decision will be stripped from us and handed to the young, as you and I rest deep within the dust.
When people saw the initial image and postings that ignited the present outrage, there were comments made by citizens equally as painful and revenge-filled as that of which the Undersheriff and deputies had been accused.
The only difference being that one group was hired, sworn in, and are committed to the following:
Promote a safe environment, free from crime and the fear of crime.
Provide an optimum level of service to the citizens we serve.
Practice our core values of:
Integrity is the trademark of the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office. We are committed to the standard of excellence in our performance, ethical conduct, and truthfulness in all relationships.
This sheriff’s office holds itself accountable for its actions and takes pride in the highest professional level of service to our citizens and visitors.
The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office treats all persons in a dignified and courteous manner. We model understanding of cultural and ethnic diversity, both in our professional and personal undertakings.
We provide quality service in a courteous and efficient manner. We pride ourselves in our accessibility to all of those who call upon us for assistance.
We are responsive to all people and treat all people impartially, with consideration, compassion and respect.
The other group (regular citizens) are therefore, not bound by these standards. (NOTE: The above Mission Statement can be found on the Sheriff’s office website)
If teens are involved in the Wakulla Spray Can Incident, what kind of light does it shine on their parents?
And let us not begin to think about an adult who could do such a thing.
Sheriff Creel has mentioned many times that he wants to provide help and counseling to inmates who are thought to be mentally unstable. Yet, there are people walking around every day who need that exact same help.
Some drive buses. Some fly planes. Some teach in classrooms. Some even wear uniforms.
And yes, some of them are probably writers too!!
There is a larger ailment that afflicts us all. We just can’t name it, or put our finger on it. But when it flares up, we attack one another. Some say its simply human nature. I tend to think its a lack of human understanding regarding the human nature.
This entire ordeal is a test of our compassion and what we perceive justice to be. Race may be a factor, but it is never, ever the only factor.
What is happening now is a great deal deeper than we think. But we’re not ones to probe too deep, because it hurts too much. There is a spiritual debt to be paid and it is owed to many. Will we run from the collector this time?