After the events and deaths of the past week, and seeing the hate and accusations and finger pointing on both sides, I wanted to present a different way at looking at Black Lives Matter and Cop’s Lives Matter in a loving a spiritual way...because GOD knows there’s been enough hate spate out on social media.
I think the biggest threat to a peaceful coalition is the using of the title American...with a nationality before it...for instance: Italian American, Irish American, and African American etc. etc...We are proud of our heritage and rightly so, but maybe we need to start thinking in a different way. Maybe, we should just identify ourselves as Americans. Does this sound a bit radical to you? Good! I’ll explain why it’s pertinent to unify as one.
Them vs. Us
The Native American Tribal Nations who are and will always be the original people of this nation are the only ones that can rightfully brag that they were here first and that we are all unwelcomed immigrants. That said, all of us inherited the rights to freedom in this country because our ancestors braved the dangerous travel to the shores of this great nation to escape religious, racial, social and economic prejudice. As each new fraction stepped off the boats at Ellis Island, they were considered the outsider. After years of blending into the proverbial soup of becoming Americanized, they went from the designated “Them” to “Us” status.
Black Americans and Police Officers are hurting and it’s because they are looking at each other as “Them.” Yes, there is a long history of bad cops using the power of the badge to harass black people, but there are way more good cops out there who risk their lives each and every day to keep all people safe. I read a report that said that there are way more “Black on Black” crimes that result in a death than there are from encounters with police. Is it true? Why has it become so easy to kill each other? Why do we tolerate hate?
Experiment in Universal Understanding
Let me say this upfront.
If you are a criminal, and you are breaking the law, then don’t act surprise when the police officers are called in to cart you to jail. You broke the law. Take responsibility for your actions and don’t fight the police who were most likely called in by your neighbors because you were acting like a fool.
If you are an onlooker to a police officer attempting to arrest a man who is suspected of a crime, don’t stand on the sidelines shouting insults at the officers that were called in because that fool was robbing a store in your neighborhood. Keep quiet. Your shouts are only inciting fear and it causes people to make mistakes. If you suspect police brutality, use your cell phone to quietly collect evidence and to call the local news station.
If you are pulled over, and this goes for any race, please turn on the interior lights inside the car and roll down your window, then place both hands on the wheel. I guarantee you that small act will lower the tension on both sides.
Police Officers should get proper training on crowd control, but more importantly, there has to be a desire to know the people on your rounds. You can’t do this from a patrol car. We need to bring back the “Beat Cop.” When I was growing up in South Philly, the police officers walked their route. They got to know all the people in their district and, the people got to know them. When you get to know the stranger, he or she becomes a friend and during a crime or life and death situation, that officer is your best ally. Body cameras are an important tool of recording an event and so are street cameras. We need more cameras on the street to insure that citizens and police are both behaving respectfully to each other.
Any officer that has a problem respecting people because of race, gender, or religion, needs to leave the job. There is no place for bigots on our police force.
Nerves are raw right now and people are too angry to listen to one another.
Here is the experiment
James is late for work because his infant son, still adjusting to the world, has kept him and his wife up all night. He’s thinking about the bills that have to be paid that week and he’s worried about his elderly mother who is now exhibiting signs of dementia. The sirens pull his attention back to the present. James pulls over. Did he just go through that red light? James, who is black, begins to sweat as the white cop orders him to lower his window. James’ heart is thumping wildly.
John, the white police officer, is a new father also and like James, got little or no sleep. John always wanted to help people and that’s why he became a cop. His heart beats rapidly as he approaches the car. Is the man armed? The driver looks scared. Is he hiding something...a gun?
Two humans, both young fathers, both good men...are at that very moment frozen in time. Neighbors who see the car pulled over begin yelling out “Police Brutality” like a chorus in some musical. John and James are now forced to play the roles assigned to them with only two possible results.
1. Even with the onlookers taunting, everything goes smoothly and John gives James a ticket for going through the red light. Both men go home to their infants and their wives.
2. Due to the onlooker’s taunts, John reacts to James refusing to exit the car. Both men size each other up as the enemy. Backup is called and things get out of control...
Too many people have died in this country due to violence. We need to address the racism in this country. It exists on both sides of the fence. We need to fix this problem now. We need to start thinking of ourselves as American Citizens. We need to think of ourselves as comrades and, we need to unite against the real bad guys who encourage this inner fighting because it keeps us from seeing them dismantle our government piece by piece.
Yes, there are problems between the police and the communities they are assigned to protect, but we can fix this if we work together. We need to look at each other not as black or white, but as souls temporarily inhabiting a human vessel. We need to respect each other because we are all worthy of proper treatment by a fellow traveler on this big spinning marble. We are Americans! We are many colors; we are many genders; we are many beliefs, but we are Americans first and foremost. Each and every person in this country deserves to be respected and, respectful of each other. The time of profiling is over. The time to bring about peace is now. Who will step up to the plate and perform this act of valor...is it you or me?
I am extending my hand out to you. Will you take it as a sign of peace?