Imagine for a moment, that you are a good-hearted, hard-working person who has chosen to spend your life in true service of the public – not with words, but with actions. You are willing to give up your own life at any moment of any day to save the life of another. Now imagine being spit at as you drive down the road by some of the very same people you swore to protect. Imagine having to stand in a “peaceful” protest as “peaceful demonstrators” spew horribly rank and humiliating language in your face, and chant “die pigs”. Imagine reading news about officers being attacked, ambushed, and killed, as you button up your uniform, polish your badge, and kiss your family goodbye knowing any day – that could be you on the news.
Now imagine that happening day after day, every single shift, without an end in sight. Put yourself in THOSE shoes.
I know some of you already have. I know some of you are spouses and partners of police officers and you see their hope, their belief in humanity, fading. You see them questioning why they even put on the uniform anymore. Who are they protecting? Who are they serving? People who hate them? People who won’t take a supportive stand because they are afraid to be labeled a racist? Blue is a community of color too. In fact, it is quite a diverse mix of race, religion, and gender. Please pass this message along to those who need to hear it.
Change will not happen by bashing the innocent. You will never experience peace by spewing hate, filth, and violence toward the peacekeepers. You will never feel respected by disrespecting others. You will never feel safe by dismantling law and order.
I honestly believe Dr. King’s words that people should only be judged by the content of their character. It seems silly for me to state that I do not tolerate discrimination in any regard—because I live my life that way. But remember, and please pass it on: You can support law enforcement AND be against racism in All forms. It does not have to be, as some politicians or the media would have you believe, one OR the other. Actions should be taken to combat discrimination wherever and when ever it exists.
Look at the law enforcement statistics in YOUR state. Particularly all you mask wearers (of which I also proudly wear, because as part of the blue community, I believe in protecting others). There are problems that need to be addressed in law enforcement –YES. ABSOLUTELY. But they are not equal in all states, cities, or towns. You want lasting change? Then stop stamping your feet and spewing nastiness. Stop spreading hate. Stop doing nothing. Start looking up REAL robust, reliable data – you know, like the science stats we use that tell us to wear masks-- and tell politicians to use that data to make sensible, thoughtful, considerate, lasting REAL change in the places that actually need it. Don’t let knee-jerk, political pandering screw things up further. Action is important. The RIGHT actions are paramount.
All communities of color matter. We should stand up for ALL of them. And Let’s be smart about it. I am asking you to take two simple actions. First, please use your circle of influence, your voice, your heart to reach out to those who are tasked to protect us. Let them know without a doubt, that they are still appreciated. Because, trust me, morale is at an all-time low. Second, send a clear message to politicians that actions need to be taken based on the history of each department. Not on what they and other politicians think will satisfy their voters or quell the violence.
Through kind-hearted and intelligent actions, let the world know you will not stand by and tolerate discrimination in ANY form – class, creed, race, religion, or color—brown, black, or blue.