Unfortunately, we are living in a country where hate has become fashionable. It has become a fire that is fueled by ignorance, arrogance, selfishness, fear, and bigotry. I could go down a long list, but you get the point. Since the dawn of man, we have readily demonstrated our dark tendencies to hate each other. We have demonstrated, it is easier to subscribe to our lower self than to serve our higher constitution. Hate and love are our strongest emotions. Hate, by contrast, is like a parasite that lies dormant deep within most of us, active in too many of us. It not only destroys what it is aimed at, it also destroys the host. All human beings have the ability to hate. This is not to say we are all hateful killers. I am merely suggesting, this emotion is part of our DNA and can be nurtured and activated to come to the surface when called upon.
When something unpleasant happens over and over again, one tends to become numb to the stimulus. The constant killing of unarmed blacks in America is something that affects me like it happened for the first time. It saddens and angers me with the same intensity every time it happens. I just can’t get used to it. What motivates a policeman to unnecessarily kill another man with no regard for his worth as a human being? What is it that feeds his primitive impulse to watch another man die? How many ways are there to answer these disturbing questions? In my opinion, there’s is only one answer… HATE.
Cops are People Too
Who becomes a cop? The nerdy kid who is forced to help the bully with his homework or the bully? I would say both. People who become police officers come from all walks of life. In many jurisdictions, the only requirement for the Police Academy is reasonable physical health and a high school diploma. Just as some people are not cut out to be an engineer, a doctor, or a rapper, not all people are cut out to become police officers. While the prerequisites for becoming a police officer may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, a much more stringent and consistent vetting process, across the board, is in order when life and death hang in the balance. Without it, what we end up with, is a police force that readily adopts the ills of the very communities they serve.
Culture is a Powerful Thing
We have all been subject to peer pressure at some point in our lives. Peer pressure, good or bad, and surrendering to it, is the development of a culture. Law enforcement advocates argue, not all cops are bad apples, but they leave out the part that says "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch". What we are seeing today in our streets is the manifestation of a police culture that subscribes to brutality and racism. In my opinion, it is a case of the tail wagging the dog. It is the good cops that have to resist the ingrained culture of racism and police brutality. Being a good cop in today's police force especially in the inner cities is a tough row to hoe. Unfortunately, within the culture, the good cop is seen by his peers as the nerdy kid who is forced to do the bully's homework.
A Snap Shot in Time
This 50-year-old protest sign shows police brutality was as alive and well many years ago as it is today. I fear It has come to the point where it is time to shed the slogan, “To Protect and Serve” and replace it with something like... “Fear us cause we might be having a bad day”
Back then, there were no iPhones or Samsung Galaxies that had the ability to transform an entire nation into instant photojournalists. Because of this readily available technology, one would think, police would curtail their activity of brutalizing and killing American citizens. This doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, under this current administration and it’s “Law and Order” mantra, police brutality is encouraged, and on the rise, especially in black and brown communities. This practice is so ingrained in our society, police murders are openly committed with little fear of retribution or punishment.
The Real Tragedy
The cross-section of our society police brutality directly affects are the very citizens who don’t exercise their right to vote. With police brutality front and center in the news, the ensuing protests, and the positive momentum that is increasing day by day, we, the people, finally have the opportunity to start to reverse this vile practice that has gripped our black and brown communities for decades. I take no pleasure in saying, we, as Americans, have come to the crossroads in our colorful history where, on Tuesday, November 3rd 2020, your vote could literally save your very life.