Call it “toxic positivity” (yes this oxymoron now exists), I don’t care. I still believe that truth, justice, love, and understanding can be achieved.
By now we’ve all heard about the killing of George Floyd, where police responded to a counterfeit call and an officer knelt on this man’s neck for nine minutes as he struggled and pleaded until he died.
The details piss most everyone off.
The #AllLivesMatter people
The #BlackLivesMatter people
The #BlueLivesMatter people
Because we get it. This is ridiculous and not the first time officers of the law have taken things too far. But here’s where most people divide:
Floyd had a criminal background, he had drugs in his system, and he is connected to one hell of a CIA scandal involving counterfeit money. (That is some deep conspiracy theory shit, but relevant because this may have been an organized hit).
None of that matters. And here’s why:
It is NOT the police’s job to administer punishment. Their job is merely to find potential criminals/suspects and take them into custody to have a fair trial.
A judge or jury is/are the only one(s) who can regularly administer/schedule any punishments if necessary.
This is what matters the most.
Everyone: black, white, brown, yellow, red, purple, every U.S. Citizen is entitled to a fair trial because that is what due process is all about. Drug addicts and past offenders are no exception (if that is their situation). They get the same rights as everyone else, or are supposed to.
This should be the focus. THIS should bring everyone together in the name of liberty and justice for all.
Here’s the next divide:
Police officers are allowed to defend themselves if a suspect becomes dangerous and violent. Some people think that police officers are supposed to be unarmed pacifists. Some people think they should be militant protectors.
Having been close to both officers of the law and those lashing out, I think we need to learn compromise and connection. When I was a kid police officers were required to live in the areas they patrolled. It gave them more stock in the community. It was their home. People are always more concerned about their own areas. Their block/street matters most.
When my mom was a kid, police officers walked the beat and knew the people they looked out for. People knew them by name. They were an integral part of the community. And in a few rare instances some still are, but it’s not the norm anymore.
Why did we change that?
No one should fear for their lives at a traffic stop, or any other kind of arrest. And no one should walk into work everyday risking their lives without public support.
We need more young black men and minorities to join police forces in their neighborhoods. We need officers to continuously train themselves in self-control. Hell, mediation and yoga would benefit their approaches. Sure it’s not what one thinks of when they imagine law officers, but why not? It would aid them in keeping clearer minds and making better decisions in tough moments.
We also need protests to be focused, organized, and present clear demands. The officer who killed Floyd was taken into custody 3 days after the incident. The others who stood by have now been booked as accomplices.
That is justice at work. And the protests made it happen. Not riots, not looting, not more senseless killings like the one in my home city where a retired black police chief was senselessly killed or the ones over the weekend.
There was a protest march scheduled 2 blocks from my home over the weekend. I live in the “poor” part of a nice area. My daughters had finished holding a lemonade stand, and when they were done we walked down the street and up the corner to hand out cookies and water to anyone who passes by. But unfortunately the route was switched, few people showed up and the march basically circled a closed mall and went down a back alley…
The city didn’t do that. Organizers who didn’t know the area didn’t do their homework. So they basically demonstrated a protest for some alley cats…
It was very disheartening.
I truly wanted it to be more. I told my children, “We want to show everyone that they are welcome in our neighborhood in the name of peace and understanding.” And with such a strange march, it was peaceful…
I will never support violent riots, but peaceful protests are something every American has a right to, no matter how or where they are organized. The 1st amendment is just as important today as it was a few weeks ago when people were protesting the lockdowns.
I see a lot of division. People arguing about how those were wrong but this is right or this is wrong but those were right. It’s ludicrous because we’re all missing the point. Coming together against unjust government/policing/military practices is always right. Always.
Instead of arguing with ourselves we need to stay focused. Get organized. Have clear, tangible demands. We need to put our specific issues aside and remember that everyone deserves due process. That everyone’s inherent rights are given at birth, not by any government or document, but by existence itself.
We need to show our leaders and the biased mass media circus that we are not pawns to be manipulated and toyed with. We are all very real, very caring individuals who can and will do great things when facing threats to our safety and freedom.
Justice is a dish best served for everyone.