Bridging the Divide
Let me start off this post by saying to indisputable things. One, I have a lot of friends and family in the law enforcement space. All are good and gracious people who perform a thankless job and treat all those they encounter with class and dignity. Two, I have many friends of a darker skin tone who, if seen driving around the kind of vehicle that I currently own, would probably be stopped by an officer of the law and forced to endure a barrage of frivolous questions from them.
This divide is nearly as old as the nation itself. It seems like every decade we get stories in the news of tensions between police and minority communities boiling over to a breaking point. In the 60’s there was the Civil Rights Movement, in the 70’s there were issues between the Black Panther’s and members of various policing agencies across the nation. Everyone remembers Rodney King and the ensuing riots of the early 90’s and now we’re dealing with the aftermath of a horrific shooting in Dallas that has seen several uniformed officers killed in the line of duty.
Predictably, instead of everyone coming together to do the right thing, extremists and ideologues on both sides of the debate are coming out to fan the flames of tension and divisive hatred.
Former Illinois Congressman and noted Deadbeat Dad Joe Walsh tweeted that the President and Black Lives Matter “punks” should “watch out” and that “Real America” is going to come after them. He later deleted the posting and subsequently claimed he wasn’t calling for violence, but come on. It’s a little hard to do that when your writing also states that this is now a “war” dude.
On the liberal website Daily Kos, commenters on various postings equated police officers to various terrorist organizations and said that they kill with impunity. Obviously a little less high profile than a former member of Congress, but the point is the extremism is still there on the left.
These people are not helping. Plain and simple they contribute to the problem continuing and never being resolved or significantly minimized. When a crisis happens, the answer to the question of what we as a society should do should not be to entrench, but come together.
Love him or hate him, rapper and occasional actor Snoop Dog led the way in this regard by leading a peaceful march of men of color to the LAPD’s headquarters with the aim of reintroducing the community to those who go out onto the streets each day to protect it.
This is the right way to go about solving this problem. Each side of the issue has legitimate points, and with more communication and interaction, we can make our world safer for all.
People of color have every right to be angry when they see a man in South Carolina shot whilst fleeing a police officer and having a weapon placed near his body by that same individual.
And officers of the law are correct when they say that most of them are doing good work and have unjustly been painted as racist individuals out to hunt down and destroy a minority.
You know, maybe I’m a little incorrect here, but it’s almost like both sides could relate to the other if they took a closer look at the issue. But what do I know? I’m just an avid blogger.