Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Good Cop/Bad Cop

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
~George Orwell

I'm so tired of the cop bashing.

Too many people in the United States and around the world are putting our police officers into a box and labeling them evil. That is about as justified as labeling every German who lived through World War Two a Nazi or every person even resembling someone from the Middle East a terrorist.

Yet that, as a society, seems to be our mentality.

Do you remember after 9/11 how we revered our men in women in uniform? Police, firefighters, and our military were the heroes we so needed. But we also needed someone to blame so innocent people in our country were taunted, called names, threatened or were the victims of violence because they wore a head cover, spoke with a certain accent or had a skin color just similar enough to look like the men who crashed planes. I know this not from the news, but because some of them were my friends.

Some police officers recently have done some extremely unfortunate things. But I would put all of my money that in the same time period the majority of our sworn protectors have done just that, protected. I would wager for every mistake a cop has made there are at least a thousand who have done something amazing in that same second. We don't hear about them. Nor do we hear about every officer in the country killed in the line of duty.

I personally can't even imagine performing a simple traffic stop, walking up to a car not knowing if the person driving is hiding something much more than a broken tail light or traffic violation. Every police officer is amazingly braver than I ever will be. Can you imagine our society without them?

My son wants to be a police officer, but the recent environment makes him question that choice. Does he want to be in a profession where he is putting his life on the line every day and still people hate and disrespect him? It's a fair concern. How many other future amazing men and women are second guessing that career choice?

I know, we have racial profiling and a society that claims to be evolved but continually fall backward into conflict. But blaming a race or a profession on circumstances we personally can't even begin to understand is fueling the fire and solidifying that we will never be as smart or forward thinking as we so intently try to be.

I may not live to see a time when racial issues are completely out of our society, but I can definitely say we are going in the extreme wrong direction.  And I'm not a religious person but there is one part of my upbringing that would be great to start saying to everyone regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or occupation.

Peace be with you.

"Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity."
~Kofi Annan

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