Wheww, what a week. Last week we were celebrating the greatness of this country, its independence and freedom and equality, and now, 7 days later we wonder if there is any greatness or freedom or equality left.
I don’t know about you, but as a mother, I can not watch ONE. MORE. VIDEO or read one more story, one more headline of violence coming from police officers toward innocent civilians of this country.
Don’t know about you, but I have had enough!
And I don’t know about you, but I will always stand up for the underdog, I can’t help it. My daddy taught me to always look out for the undefended. Nothing can change that and nothing brings out the “Mama bear” in me more than this: seeing acts of violence and injustice committed against a certain “underdog” group or race of people.
We’ve all seen the videos. Three, four, even SIX cops rushing a single black male and pinning him down while shouting and making derogatory comments at him. We’ve seen the brutality, we’ve witnessed the excessive force and squeezed our eyes shut at what’s coming next, because sadly, we know all too well what THAT IS.
It’s injustice. And it’s racism. Pure and simple.
It”s another nail in the coffin of our country’s freedom and most of all, it’s another innocent-until-proven-guilty life cut short at the hands of someone who was supposed to protect them and their loved ones.
Now we all know there are dangerous criminals and there are people who are just flat out evil who must be stopped and detained. But even then, shouldn’t they be treated with some dignity and as a human being capable of change, not as a worthless piece of trash, flippantly disposed of and left without a chance to speak or defend themselves??
I am all about getting ‘bad people’ off the streets, but more than that, I am about justice and being fair. And when there’s four of five of you (big men, at that) pinning down and then shooting ONE helpless unarmed man, I’m sorry. I will always stick up for the unarmed man. I don’t care what color he is or you are, I don’t care if he has a busted headlight, or even IF god forbid, he broke the law and was in the wrong section of town at the wrong time, you are abusing your authority and you are not playing fair.
Our system is broken, I get that. There are many good cops, such as the ones whose lives were taken in Dallas while they were doing what they should be doing: PROTECTING innocent people. I get that, and I mourn and pray for their families.
I also get that there are no easy answers at a time like this.
There never are.
But still we must start.
We must begin to talk and to scream and to say “no more!” To listen and be heard and demand something different. We must be the change and begin the long way back to healing in this country.
I get that it’s too little too late, and the world is in a rage now, and there is so much more that needs to be done.
I get that there is terrorism and mental illness and all kinds of complexities that come with running this real-time, modern-day ship, and so much of which we are ill-equipped for.
But we’ve got to start somewhere. And this is where…
It starts by getting angry enough to do something. By not shutting up and not shooting back, but to show the way in love.
It starts by holding our officers to a much higher standard, and providing much better training for them.
It starts by abolishing prejudice and immunity from within our justice system and at the very least demand that officers be held accountable and tried in court the same way any other person in this country is.
It starts by electing and supporting the good ones and firing the ones who are not fit for the job.
It starts by defending the defenseless, and crying out for the voiceless in this nation.
It starts by not putting up with racism in ANY form on our playgrounds and in our schools, by not allowing mean or derogatory comments from one clique or race towards another, irregardless of the color of their skin.
It starts by catching and calling out the “bullies” who perpetrate this kind of race-calling and holding them accountable for their actions.
It starts by teaching our kids to respect human life and that we are all ONE…made by God, in his image.
It starts by standing with our mothers and brothers who are vulnerable, especially our black mothers who are terrified every single day, that their son will be next.
It starts right here, right now.
When you, when I, when all of us are fed up and finished with the atrocities and we finally have the guts and the grace to say:
Not on my watch. Not in this country. NOT the world that my kids will grow up in. Not any more!
Because in the words of Benjamin Franklin,
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
Well, consider me “unaffected” and outraged.
What about you? Are you fed up with racist cops and/or the current state of law enforcement in this country? Share your thoughts and comments below.