A Fire is Burning –

Or Was That a Pair of Shoes?


This current outrage over an advertising campaign has made me very anxious. I think that this reaction was the hope of the company when it planned the campaign. Its sale of stock by young people is soaring. Chalk one up for the greedy guys.

The brittle nature of America - fuel for a massive fire?

Spent much of this morning trying to figure out what my anxiety is. My personality does not like conflict to be unresolved. So, I am thinking that this latest uproar has just added to my feeling that nothing is improving in race and political relations. With the 24-hour news cycle, we are constantly reminded that we suck at this. And I do not see anyone out there looking to bring people together, to find common ground, let alone consensus.

I really did not understand the fury over taking a knee. I thought it a respectful way of honoring the flag and what it stands for while sharing concern about a societal problem. The man at the center of this, well, people do not like his allegiances, which adds a log on to the fire.

Bring in a big corporation who will not even feel a pinch from burnt merchandise or lost sales, add another log. Using a phrase – which is a take on similar quotes by Ghandi, Dame Anita Roddick, Walt Disney, even WC Fields- that suggests said millionaire sacrificed everything: pour on gasoline and light the fire.

That big company knew there would be offense. Reasonable offense taken by those who have lived with the sacrifice of a loved one. The men and women who gave life and/or limb while standing on the wall so the rest of us can be secure, and those who know every day that their job may demand their lives, these people deserve the hero’s due. This ad I am certain felt like a slap in the face.

How do we as a country survive in a climate of intolerance, with a media and marketing heavies constantly stirring the pot? Where is the voice of reason and love for fellow humans? How did the extremes take over the dialogue to the point of it seeming like the center? What do we really value? Money over people? Being right over being compassionate? Opinions over empathy? Is this who we want to be?

The answers are somewhere in the ashes of the fire, if it ever stops burning.



Valerie LK Martin

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