Dan Lopata

Live, Love, Listen

Archive for the month “September, 2014”

What are you willing to do?

What are you willing to do?

Listened to a talk yesterday (happened twice again today) about morality, accountability, punishment, systemic failure, “and”…

The question was put forth, “Yes Ray Rice is guilty and needs to be held accountable…and….?”

The “and” is in reference to the system, and our responsibility to it.


There is a graph circulating around social media with NFL teams and how many arrests there have been on each team. I’ve seen people say, “Well my team isn’t as bad as The Vikings” But let’s be clear, EVERY Team is on the list, and the need for the list at all is quite telling. Here is an organization that doesn’t pay its musical entertainment, is rife with concussions, domestic violence, drug scandals, dog fighting, alcohol related incidents, bullying to the nth amount inside and outside the locker room… and these people are paid OBSCENE amounts of money… why? because we keep watching, buying tickets, buying product from sponsors, saying “The bad apple is a bad apple” without recognizing that the soil the apple grew on makes it much easier for bad apples to thrive.

We can see this with regard to allowing concentrated poverty in our cities (particularly here in Rochester) which produce desperate violent people that recently resulted in the slaying of an upstanding Police Officer (don’t get me started on the problems with the Police system, this guy was a good apple).

We see it in companies who refuse to pay a living wage, yet reap the OBSCENE profits off the backs of these workers.

These are just a few examples of where the system or “soil” conspires to create bad apples. So how do we till this soil so it weeds out the bad apples? Well that is the question, “What are you willing to do?”

Are you willing to give up your NFL tickets? to stop watching your Bills or your Packers? No one says you have to, but would you be willing to give up your weekend sport to protect the next victim of financially privileged domestic violence or the next 9 year old’s concussion?

Are you willing to give up some or all of your guns so they don’t have the possibility of falling into the wrong hands? No one is telling you that you have to, actually it is your right… but it is a right that may not be the best one to exercise to the extent that we see it?

Are you willing to support the inner-city financially? or buy supporting the school system, or by creating a real transit system that provides access? Yes it will mean more in taxes, but it will mean less in the way of disaffected, desperate people who are systemically shut out?

Are you willing to give up your McDonald’s Coffee, your Burger King Whopper, Your Wendy’s Fries, and support businesses that pay their employees $15/hr or more? Will it cost you a little more? Sure, but it will also send the message that promoting in-humane business practices by underpaying employees is not a profitably business model.

What are you willing to do?

Me? I don’t watch the NFL or play Fantasy Football anymore, I don’t go to businesses that don’t pay their employees, I advocate for stronger city systems, and I don’t own a gun, so no one can obtain it from me.

Your turn…

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