Brother Marine speaks out on Scott Olsen, calls for Peace
I am Jay Gentile, the man from the “brother” photo and this is my message to you.
My Dearest Occupants,
I’d like to start, briefly, by thanking the staff at Highland hospital in Oakland, CA, for the help they have given Cpl. Scott Olsen. From what I hear, his condition is continuously (albeit slowly) improving, and we owe them our full gratitude for the work they have done, and continue to do. To Cpl. Olsen’s family, I offer my sincerest apology on behalf of anybody that has yet to apologize. What happened should not have occurred, and I am deeply sorry for what you are currently going through. Know that he, undoubtedly, has great determination, and I hope to see that realized further as his condition continues to improve.
Now is not the time for further anger or violence. Now is the time to hurl logical thought, with rational minds, and calm demeanors. Yes, a lot of us are angry, but that anger can be directed in very productive ways. There is no changing what has already occurred, be it in Oakland, New York, or any other city across the globe. Instead, we move on, more rational than ever. The police, as a whole, should not be blamed for what has, unfortunately, already occurred. The individuals responsible, and their chain(s) of command, need to be held accountable — not the organization(s), themselves. If the anger that we all feel is directed at the police, in general, then it is misguided.
We need to police our own. We need to be better men and women than those whom we think currently oppose us. If fire is fought with more fire, then you end up with nothing shy of an inferno. Stones and insults hurled from your side of the line need to be cut down before they reach the other. If we are self-policed, then the need for police officers to do it is lessened. They will be thankful, have room to breathe, and time to think about things for themselves with clear heads, much as you all started doing long ago. Have patience and let them have the clarity required to see how any actions they are taking may be hurting you. They are human beings and, whether they display them or not, have feelings that just may include not wanting to see their fellow human beings suffer.
I have seen a lot of quoting of John F. Kennedy lately. Specifically, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” I urge you to be better than this quote and, I assure you, peaceful “revolution” is not impossible. Stand your ground, and stand it firmly, but do not turn to violence. For every violent act, hurled object, insult, or generalization that is lobbed in one direction or the other, another brick is stacked on the wall that currently separates us. Cool heads, collected thoughts, and rational minds can tear down this wall. The American police, during this time, are our Egyptian military, during their recent revolution, and we need those uniformed men and women on our side.
With insults currently flying around, I want to discourage our use of them. Please try to refrain from unintended and inconsiderate soundbytes full of foulness. Foul language paints a bad picture and, for the most part, isn’t usable in most broadcasts. I know for a fact that we are all better than this. Do not be reactionary; we are in this for a much bigger picture than immediate reactions and overgeneralizations. Take a few seconds to collect your thoughts, and find a proper response before giving it. We must provide the artists in the media with no option other than painting us as a logical, rational group. Do not give them the ammunition, for which, they beg.
As children, we are told that we can be anything we want to be. If we work hard, our wildest dreams can become realities. If anybody tells you otherwise, let them, but keep this in the backs of your minds. I want to be a man that encourages change and reform, and encourages it happening with no further injuries. If you want to turn your dreams into realities, you have the power to do so.
Dialog and debate are two very different things. Encourage dialog, especially with people that disagree with you. If you don’t let them tell you their side of the story, you can’t expect them to be willing to listen to yours. Know that they are not against you just because their opinion differs from yours. Hear them out and, respectfully, ask that they hear you out. Have a fair and peaceful exchange, not a battle. To quote a man much wiser than myself, “Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress. When you’re pissed off at someone and you’re angry at them, you just haven’t given them enough time. Just give them a little more time and they almost always will impress you.”
In the end, he or she who speaks loudest does not always win. It will the voices that resonate the most, and the longest, that prevail. I implore you, be part of that voice. Let your message echo for eternity. Be the better people.
Jay C. Gentile
As an aside, I have recently been speaking with people at Occupy Trenton. They are in need of cold weather gear, including gloves. If you’re unable to donate your time, please consider reaching out and donating gear to your local Occupy protesters, especially with the fast-approaching unfavorable weather. If you don’t agree with what they’re protesting, that’s fine — but it doesn’t mean they should suffer. Thank you very much.
140 West State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608
- Scott Olsen (occupyblogosphere.wordpress.com)
- Police chief visits Scott Olsen in hospital (SF Gate)
- ‘We Are All Scott Olsen’ – Occupy movement’s new battlecry (occupyblogosphere.wordpress.com)
- Oakland mayor sorry for clash that injured Scott Olsen (guardian.co.uk)
- Marine Scott Olsen Will Undergo Brain Surgery, And OccupyMARINES Are Making Demands (businessinsider.com)
- Marines Storm Reddit After Occupy Oakland Shooting of Scott Olsen (colonel6.com)