O.K. Everyone, better sit down, light a cigarette, and take a deep breath! Somebodies going to be mad after this one!
First, let’s state some things that we can all agree upon:
- Killing People for any reason is wrong and tragic.
- The ambush and senseless shooting of the cops in Dallas was a despicable, cowardly, and stupid act that did way more damage to the #BLM movement than good.
- No matter how angry lawful citizens, black, white, or otherwise, become, they genuinely respect most Police Officers, and understand they do a thankless job that few are willing or able to do.
- If you break the law, yes, you deserve some kind of penalty. But that penalty must be appropriate to the act. In other words, you shouldn’t get shot because you had a cracked windshield, or were speeding!
Now, here’s the things we argue over for some reason:
I hear all the time from my friends on the right, “If he would have just complied, he wouldn’t have been killed.” That is the single most ignorant thing I can think of to say, yet they say it with such confidence, it’s like it’s the law. Basically, you’re saying that if you have an attitude, get angry with, run, or don’t cooperate in any manner, or if that cop doesn’t like the way you respond to him/her, you deserve to get shot! BULLSHIT! I’ve seen Cops, the TV show. There’s plenty of examples of people, and in particular black men, going as far as running from the Police, leading them on chases, in some cases fighting with them, yet they don’t wind up dead.
There are also plenty of examples of entitled, white teenagers arguing with cops, being physically and mentally abusive, and generally not cooperating, they don’t die, they even get called sir or ma’am!
Entitled white people think that the #BLM movement is trying to say that Black Lives Matter MORE. They come up with “All Lives Matter” as a counterpoint. Of course all lives matter, do you really believe that hundreds of activists are taking to the streets demanding that more young white men die? Of course not! They are trying to address a specific blight that is affecting our nation, that if you’re caught driving or walking while Black, then you are more likely to die!
Now, here’s the part where some are going to get mad.I’m going to try to address a couple of issues that, hopefully, gets someone thinking.
John Oliver did a great segment on his show about how a lot of municipalities are using their Police Departments as a de facto revenue collection agency. It makes a good point, and is funny to help get the point across. This issue is also tied to the Gun Control debate. I agree, but I’m not addressing that today. Here’s a couple more points I’d like to add:
- There is an overwhelming shortage in this country. It paralyses us, and causes great anger and misunderstanding. What is it you ask? Empathy, there’s a detrimental lack of empathy in this country.
We, as a “melting pot” have stratified to a point where nobody understands anymore what another might be going through. It’s like oil and water, together yet separated, and only when agitated, do they mix. But over time, the parts settle back to their own space in the glass.
It turns out, you don’t have to live the life of another to have some basic understanding of what they go through. You don’t have to be in poverty to imagine what it feels like to be hungry. But all to often, in our country, people just don’t want to think about it. It’s much easier to get angry with, make fun of, blame those affected, or simply ignore other groups than your own.
Now I say this knowing somebody will get angry. I’m not sorry, because it seems that only anger and discomfort can cause change nowadays.
I think, in this case, it’s OK to ask a Black friend. I’ve told others that before, and usually I get a mixed bag of responses centering around “isn’t that racist?”. Hear me out though:
There’s no denying that, in the U.S. today, the Black and White experiences are different! You can argue until you’re blue in the face about why, but in the end, they just are. Sad and unfortunate is that fact. I don’t think anything illustrates that more than interactions with the Police. Statistically, if you’re a Black male, you’re more likely to suffer some form of violent act at the hands of Police.
So you should do it. If you’re a white person, and just can’t understand what the deal is. If you think a lack of compliance is causing all these shootings. If you just want to know, ask! I promise, only a select very few will get mad about it, and less if you explain why you’re asking. (by the way, if you fall into the non-understanding category, don’t ask the friend that hangs around you all the time and tends to agree with your viewpoints, because we usually surround ourselves with persons who agree.)
I’m a Vet, and have had many jobs in my time. I learned early that color of skin doesn’t make much difference when it comes to job performance. Basically, a## holes come in all shapes, colors and sizes. And I’m aware the term “Black Friend” is stereotypical, condescending, and not very smart;but It’s the best way I can think of to get the point across to those who need it made, so for that, I’m sorry.
But if you’re really trying to wrap your head around this issue, make an exception, ask a Black man how he feels when he gets stopped by the Police. After all, there’s not an epidemic of white or Asian men being shot by cops over the stupidest of things!
2. The other issue is this: Some people are just not suited to be cops!
The Police Departments of the nation spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to train, prepare, and psychologically test applicants and seasoned officers alike. But there’s no test I’ve ever seen, that will tell you what is in the heart of a person. No test that tells accurately how someone reacts when faced with a perceived life or death situation.
Having said that, there are some pretty good indicators of how an Officer handles themselves in situations. If he/she has an excessive number of personnel complaints. If they have been disciplined, demoted, or transferred multiple times. If a supervisor observes him/her acting in an unprofessional manner. Sometimes, yes, there are “Red Flags” to call attention to, and warn the supervisors about, these Officers.Not every time maybe, but how often has an Officers discipline or complaint record come to light after an incident.
Now I understand the sentiment and history of the “Thin Blue Line.” But the point is this, this craps gotta stop. I don’t know what it will take to change the culture, but I do know this. The more they close ranks, and keep quiet about your bad ones, the more that the people you are sworn to serve and protect will see you as the enemy.
I saw a compelling meme today, it was a crate of apples with one rotten one. The caption stated how a farmer, when he finds a bad apple, gets rid of it to keep it from affecting the rest of the apples.
Now I know someone is saying,”But how can you attack the Police?” Before you spend energy typing a long, likely nasty, comment; I’m not attacking anyone. I’m saying that cops everywhere need to take a good deep and hard look at their own integrity. If the “bad” cops aren’t sent to jobs they’re more suited to (maybe as a fireman) and the one’s who slip by aren’t punished, harshly, swiftly, and accordingly, then things like Dallas will keep happening. And nobody wishes that!
P.S., As a side note, somebody said to me the other day, “Not all cops are bad though.” and “Why do black people assume that the cop they’re dealing with is racist?”
Well, first, Everyone knows not all cops are “bad.” However, when all you do hear about are the “bad” ones, its easier to just assume, maybe not right, but easier. Second, all cops wear uniforms so the “good” ones and “bad” ones all look the same. It’s not like they wear signs around their necks saying “Warning: I’m a racist, scared of black people, and likely to shoot you.” versus “Hello, I received an award last week for mentoring children.” I challenge you, come up with a way to tell the difference, I’ll publish it here! But I’m guessing in advance, you can’t until after the fact.Something else you might want to bring up when discussing #1 above.
The Cato Institute