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Currently Speaking Mailbag

Posted by Currently Speaking Viewers on

Okay, I give up. I am getting old. I now find it impossible not to whine about how we are all going to hell in a hand basket! I actually am amazed at the voter turnout and union membership we still have in spite of the almost complete apathy of our current society. I don't know whether to blame it on the current system rewarding bad behavior, the lack of personal, physical contact as a result of being plugged in, our chronic demand for immediate results/gratification, or a combination of all of the above!

I am frustrated, like Mr. Rapp, regarding the less than expected numbers of new voter registrations in Ferguson and the lack of other more conventional methods of protest and/or conflict resolution. I think back to the adage of picking your battles and don't understand why civic leaders did not get involved prior to the Michael Brown shooting, and now hold him up as the focal point of their protest.

Rosa Parks was not the first black woman to get arrested for not sitting in the back of the bus, however, it was decided that rather than make Ms. Claudette Colvin's arrest their example of a wrong that needed to be made right, they instead chose to champion behind Ms. Parks. They realized the importance of keeping that spotlight on the issue and not the victim (or their alleged short comings).

I guess what I have to admit is that I am getting older, and am having a hard time releasing my ideals that a single voice can make a difference. I still hold on, although no longer with both hands, the belief that if attention is directed on a wrong, society will make the choice and change for the better. Unfortunately, I believe that the younger generations don't have the examples of social justice or faith in a system that has been proven to be sold to the highest bidder over and over, again.

A quote by former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas seems to sum up my pessimism, “The truth is that a vast restructuring of our society is needed if remedies are to become available to the average person. Without that restructuring the good will that holds society together will be slowly dissipated. . . It is that sense of futility which permeates the present series of protests and dissents. Where there is a persistent sense of futility, there is violence; and that is where we are today.”

-Shelly, Saginaw

Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Andy Rapp, Q-TV, Delta College, or PBS.


Currently Speaking host Andy Rapp

Veteran journalist Andy Rapp has been hosting Currently Speaking since 1999.

Each week, he's joined live in the studio by journalists, academics, and experts. Along with viewers at home, they tackle the local, national, and global issues that matter most.