Combating Violence Pursuing Justice

 Combating Violence  in Society

Violence in society requires a complex solution. Trying to simplify it instead of uncovering its root causes leads to valuable time being wasted. There is no time to waste in solving the social unrest that occurs when people begin to question the commitment that society’s institutions have to justice. When people feel cheated by the economic, political, and legal systems, they begin to question the legitimacy of these institutions.  Chief Judge Timothy Evans is implementing a potentially productive program to reduce crime and violence. click

Understanding the Role of Breaking Points

In developing a strategy, we should do a thorough analysis of the root causes of pervasive cultures of violence. We must resist the temptation to instinctively blame violence on mental health problems. This allows members of the legal system to label people and deprive them of justice. Instead, we should be aware that people have breaking points. Breaking points, although different in each person, they are not usually induced by one event, but by a culmination of various contributing factors.

Breaking points are often reached in seemingly unresolvable situations of financial distress. These points are also reached when people experience emotional trauma, or when people believe that they are being disrespected, disparaged, or condescended. The result is the emergence of a culture of resistance and rebellion where people instinctively lash out. This culture is prevalent among young people, particularly in communities where the sentiment is that they are being denied justice.

How Ego and  Expectations  in Society Relate to Violence

mental slavery in societyWhen young people believe that they are being disrespected, disparaged, condescended, or denied justice, their egos are threatened. Often times they react by building a psychological wall and enacting rebellion as a defense mechanism. This includes rejecting the values, morals, and principles of previous generations. As a result, generational conflict occurs. The rejection of universal principles, particularly by young males, is a significant factor in cultures of violence.

Many young males, driven by machismo, develop a socio-psychological need to express frustration. This frustration is often manifested in violence. Machismo-induced violence is a social disease driven by psychological pressures to conceal feelings of fear, hopelessness, or inadequacy. Being that these sentiments are the antithesis of masculinity, they are often hidden by men who have been socially conditioned to mask weaknesses and vulnerabilities. This causes pathological machismo (a pseudo-toughness that is often demonstrated in an ostentatious pretense of manhood). The paradox is that it is an expression of fear and insecurity rather than the masculinity it is intended to demonstrate.

The perception of being denied legal or socioeconomic justice is a powder keg for pathological machismo. In many people it brings about a feeling of powerlessness. This causes anger and frustration that can boil into rage. Rage is often expressed by those who lack the emotional maturity to resist social pressures. These pressures can be exacerbated by a socioeconomic hierarchal system that uses materialistic gauges to measure esteem, social status, and success. Pressure increases when opportunities for upward economic mobility are scarce.  This often causes frustration, anger, and resentment. When these emotions are not managed and they penetrate a culture, the probability of violence increases. The anger and rage can be alleviated by giving young people opportunities to boost their self-esteem.

Violence a Badge of Shame

It is important that young people resist the temptation to normalize violence. In recent years, there has been a troubling tendency of young people from Chicago to embrace the reputation of being a violent city (Chiraq) and wear it like a badge of honor. This badge of shame produces a destructive mentality that hinders growth, wastes talent, and leads to a dead end (death and destruction). It is in our best interest to embrace a more mature mentality.

Providing Young People with Alternatives to Violence

strategies for reducing violence in societyInstead of relying solely on government, we should look to the private sector to sponsor youth programs and constructive activities. Businesses, colleges, and trade unions could partner with public schools to implement programs centered on community and career development. If more of these types of programs were available to young people, it would provide positive alternatives to gangs and other criminal organizations. The intent is to provide hope for the future, particularly in cultures where frustration and despair are endemic. When despair and frustration are replaced with hope and realistic opportunities for future success, young people are more likely to place a higher value on their futures. As a result, they will be less likely to jeopardize that future. In addition to reducing the likelihood of young people engaging in violent acts, sponsorship of positive programs provides organizations with public relations benefits and a connection to a multi-cultural segment of the youth population.

Being a Part of Something Important

Being part of something important has inspired young people throughout history. People like to feel empowered, and joining a movement gives them a sense of power. The first step in convincing young people to participate is to emphasize the importance of action in fighting for a cause. They must also understand how it affects them. However, we must be careful that we don’t allow a spirit of rage to consume the movement. With the proliferation of various hate groups, we must keep young people informed, so that they will be able to distinguish between constructive organizations – those that promote justice, peace, tolerance, and prosperity and destructive organizations – those that incite hate division, intolerance, and violence. In this age of threats, negative influences, and moral challenges, it is important that we give young people the proper guidance and provide them with the tools to succeed, feel empowered, and live principle-centered lives.  To join a discussion group on methods of reducing violence in our community, click the following link

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