I don’t ask this of the Grand Jury who made the unfortunate decision not to take the officer to trial, but of the people who reacted after the news broke. I am disappointed that we, as a people, have not learned the lessons of the past. In what universe is vandalism a way to bring about change? I was watching the news and there was one young girl hitting a window with a bat. She seemed to be doing it just because. She did not seem to want to enter the business but was doing it because that was expected? I am not sure what her purpose was.

“Peacefully protest, I get and support that. Destroying your community? What change does that affect? It serves no purpose but to further validate the perception that we are not worth the justices we seek.” These are the words I posted on Facebook when I woke this morning to find that people in Ferguson were burning down their community and creating chaos. Obviously, many of these people use situations like this, not as a form of support, but to act under the cover of protest to steal and destroy. Maybe if these people, who are mad at the world for their lot in life, would use their anger constructively not destructively to not become victims, we could reduce the number of shootings of African Americas and keep more of our young men and women out of jail. Image the things we could do with that energy, to build something great.

We scream that we want to be treated as law abiding citizens but then when we don’t like what happens, we behave as criminals.  If you really want to take a match to something, light a candle and pray.

Want to affect change in the perception? Volunteer at a local food bank. Tutor a student who is struggling in school. Get a job, any job. Start a sports program to help get at-risk kids off the street. Go back to school and further your education. Become a business person, doctor, or an attorney. Never been great at school?  No problem, seek help to change that or find another way to be an agent of change. Find a way to bring positive change to you and your community.

Love to entertain?  Write a script or a book that helps shed a positive light. Love music?  Write a song.  With today’s technology, there is no end to the information offered to anyone who really wants to change attitudes.

The opportunities to change the way you are treated and perceived are endless.  Take the time to be a positive role model.  Don’t depend on celebrities to do this for you as there are not enough of them to truly make the difference we need to become the pillars of community we need and deserve.

As we head into the holidays, take the time to buy a book and give it to a child. Share your holiday meals with a family in need. Volunteer at a shelter. Find a way to help an at-risk youth by becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister.  Is there a boys and girls club you can go to and give your time?

Lastly, it takes a LOT of energy to be so angry. Imagine what you can do when you turn that angry energy into positive change. That effort could not only change your immediate situation, your community, but the world.

Okay, off my soapbox.  I just needed to get this off my chest.