On the one hand, close to 103,000 Americans have died from a pandemic and people who thought a temporary closure of physical locations was excessive got their demonstration in with no problem. And then Wisconsin justices met remotely to decide that the temporary closure shouldn’t stand.

Many of us could explain why that happened, why it’s only right that we have freedom. Hang on to that for a minute.

On the other hand a man was murdered in Minnesota, we all had the opportunity to see it happen, and the killer wasn’t arrested during peaceful protests. He was, however, arrested after a riot and a police station burned down. 3 other associated people remain, as I understand it, without charges.

Many of us could explain why that happened, why there is a process and this is the fastest a Minneapolis officer has ever been arrested. Hang on to that for a minute.

Hang on to those explanations because people display their priorities with their day-to-day actions. The end doesn’t always justify the means but it does show the choices we made along the way.

Wisconsin can get the national guard ready to go after 16 businesses get looted, but when someone who took an oath to never betray public trust beats Joel Acevedo to death, it’s business as usual and 3+ weeks to sort it all out. Why is it easier to respond to broken windows than deaths?

Wisconsin can reverse government actions and get us out of lockdown early, but with 588 people dead of an infectious disease there’s a bunch of people in Bayview who are 3D printing masks for healthcare workers that have no other source. Why is it easier to ok a restaurant getting back to indoor seating than it is to buy the tools needed to protect lives?

Those are hypothetical questions. I could explain the reasons why, just like we can explain how different protests have different results and reactions. But I think the explanations betray our values.

We seem to keep prioritizing property and status quo over life and well-being.

Perhaps we need to all go back and look at the hierarchy of needs. When some people are protesting to go to a bar, and other people are protesting for the smallest sense of justice, is it any wonder that society feels like it’s broken? Maybe it already was and you just didn’t notice until today.

And if society is nothing more than the priorities of our daily lives playing out, then I need to ask: What values are you contributing? Are they the ones you mean to be sharing?

Because I’m looking at a world where I got handmade pizza at a restaurant tonight but right now Sherman Park is full of police officers with riot shields.

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:17‭-‬18

The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.
Genesis 4:10

For people who are removed both physically and socially from the protests this week, you can still make a difference. I’d encourage you to check out this post by a friend of a friend:

If something on the list seems simple or unimportant, stop and think about the value that action could add into society. Are you thinking about the impact you could have on even a single life? It might be bigger than you first realized.

If something on the list seems too unusual or uncomfortable, I’d ask you how your common and comfortable actions have served you. Are they resulting in a better world? Maybe it’s time for a bold change.

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