I saw this on Facebook this morning (please forgive me for not crediting the source as I don’t know it) and found it ironic. As with everything else, there are many negative interpretations – it’s wrong because it’s mocking the Ferguson protestors; police are expected to die, it’s their job; only 105 officer died in the line of duty so far this year, they deserve to die; more people die at the hands of police….
Now, think long and hard about why none of that makes sense and the deep hypocrisy.
Police are mocked daily, memes and opinions are rampant. Someone decided to mock the protestors and compare them to the police. It happens. Neither groups concerns are any less valid because of a picture posted on the internet. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, right?
That’s the least of my concerns. I am more concerned about the rest of the hate spewed toward police. Let me try to break a few things down for you.
Police are not expected to die, that’s not in the job description. It’s a risk, not an expectation. While recently interviewing officers for my upcoming book, I asked some of them how they felt about the belief that it’s part of their job, I could feel their shoulders sag as I heard their voices lower when they said, “I don’t want to die. That’s not what I signed up for. I wanted to help people. Now I am just a target.”
Only 105 officers died this year, the year is not over. When you say only you dismiss them. They no longer count. Talk to the families of those 105 officers. Ask them how they feel, how they cope, where do they direct their anger and anguish? Not on the streets. They can’t, they’re not allowed to. The outrage is there, it’s more silent and productive. Yes, I said productive. There are groups and legislation. They do the same things non-police victims do, only quieter. Perhaps they should be louder, that’s what seems to get attention.
They deserve to die. For doing their jobs? I don’t think so. The person who says #blacklivesmatter, that blacks shouldn’t die because of their skin color, and condones violence against the police is the biggest hypocrite of all. People should not die because of their skin color or the color of their uniform. ALL lives matter. Including the police.
Why isn’t the death of the black officer at the hands of a white citizen just as inflammatory? He is black, doesn’t his #blacklifematter?
More people die at the hands of the police than police die on duty. That’s correct. Police are up against people who are often ill-intentioned and armed. Some of them will die. You will thank the police when it’s a rapist, bomber, armed robber or the person who is holding your child at gun point. You will persecute them when the victim doesn’t meet your very narrow definition of who “deserves” to die at the hands of the police. The problem is that there is no hard and fast rule, there isn’t always time to step back and check Wikipedia for the appropriate response. It will always be a gray area.
Many officers suffer terribly emotionally because of the trauma they see. They watch their partners head blown off. They are expected to deal with it. Yet they are human, and no one would expect the average citizen to “deal with it”, people jump in to help. Not so for police, people jump in to criticize.
The problem isn’t just with police. People die at each others hands every single day.
The fact is racism will always exist. People will always die at the hands of police. Police will always die at the hands of the people. Oppression occurs and will continue to occur all over the world.
We. Will. Never. Solve. It.
Do you know why?
Because we are human.
We are faulty. We are emotional. We can never stop it, ever. We would have to eradicate the entire planet and start fresh with a being of every color, with no bias and hope for the best. Even then, something will cause the next race of humans to judge one another and it will start anew.
What can we do? The best we can. We can make efforts, work together, forgive, understand and continually push forward. We stop blaming each other, find solutions, make amends and join forces. We don’t need to destroy the dreams of others to make our point. We don’t need to burn down our neighbors homes. Because whether they are black, brown, tan, orange, yellow, purple or white, #everylifematters.