Memphis, the city of my youth, is now lost. The attack at a Krogers grocery a few days ago a little over a mile from where I lived has now been followed by a street attack in my wife’s old neighborhood.
We’ve cancelled our plans to attend her 50th high school reunion this month. We won’t be going there. Probably never again.
The core of the problem is revealed in the following quote from someone who lives there today.
It’s not the money. It’s not the opportunities or lack thereof. It’s not race and it’s not class or economics.
It is, pure and simple, no sense of right or wrong, no respect for fellow human beings, and not even for themselves.
In civilizations, people respect boundaries.
A civilized person would say, “This is my stuff and that is your stuff. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours.”
We might say this more politely but it boils down to the same. I won’t mess with your stuff and you won’t mess with mine.
Without that, without respect for those boundaries, without respect for each other, there is no civilization.
There is only jungle. Tooth and claw, knife and gun, stealth and speed rule. You are food for me and my progeny, or I am for you and yours. It’s very simple.
Looking in from the outside, I am reminded that you cannot fully domesticate a wild animal.
Oh sure, you can imprison it, you can train it to do tricks, and you can even dress it up in a fancy costume and have it dance in the spotlight.
But you must never turn your back on it.