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Here we are again. We’re at the same place we’ve been so many times in the recent few years. The names and venues change, but the script is pretty much the same.

A grown man lay face-down, handcuffed, and suffocating under the rigid pressure of a knee in his neck. The bullies in blue watched calmly while he lay there dying — satisfied that their deeds would be approved. And it seemed that the only thing that the incapacitated man could do for comfort was to cry out for his dead mother. The apparent insensitivity of political leaders who saw what we saw but “saw nothing wrong with it” is sickening and disturbing.

This is what Colin Kaepernick was calling attention to when bigoted blowhards quickly changed the narrative from protesting a culture of injustice to disrespecting the flag. Their virulent rhetoric influenced shallow-thinking underlings to turn on the messenger. Kaepernick dared to declare that the emperor was not wearing clothes. For his courage and conscience, he was blackballed from his chosen profession. None of us can afford to consent by silence to such inhumane treatment to humanity … even if it is costly.

The ugly response by those who hijacked a peaceful protest and turned it into a looting frenzy (reminiscent of Civil War strategies) was grossly appalling. Again, the agenda-guided wicked influenced shallow-thinking underlings.

But this is the fallout of people who feel that they have no voice. They feel that elected officials won’t speak up for them; the judiciary won’t speak up for them; good Christian leaders won’t speak up for them; power brokers in the financial industry won’t speak up for them. And since they feel that no one will speak for them, they speak the destructive language of violence. They feel like they have nothing to lose. When people feel that they have nothing to lose, they tend to behave recklessly.

My hope is that there will soon be a major awakening within the spirits of citizens of comfort. As long as the suffering and oppressed are the ones who speak out, they are just a bunch of malcontented whiners. Only when those who are unaffected by the misfortune of class, status, poverty, and mental incompetence speak out will things change.

Our nation cannot continue to revisit moments such as this and maintain status as a world leader in championing civil rights. We must demonstrate to our children that we are better than this. It’s time to stop and look at what we are becoming.

Samuel R. Moore is a Huntington resident.