Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarippa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Lorne Ahrens — these are the officers who lost their lives in an ambush in Dallas on Thursday
Alton Sterling Philando Castile
What have I been thinking? When was the last time I looked a police officer in the eye and thanked him or her for their service? Why does it take an unthinkable act of violence to wake me up? Why don’t I wake up every morning and say a prayer for the men and women in blue? Why don’t I go out of my way to let them know how much I appreciate the sacrifices they make to keep me and my family safe? I’m disgusted to my core over what happened in Dallas this past Thursday night.
God bless these officers and their families. My heart aches for these men and the entire law enforcement community. I’m certain the grief for their loved ones is too much to bear. These noble servants were doing their job Thursday night; ensuring a peaceful demonstration. They did their best to protect the demonstrators when all hell broke loose. They never had a chance. God rest their souls…
I’m also appalled at the shootings that took the lives of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling. I certainly don’t know the whole story in either case, however based on what I’ve seen and heard neither death was warranted. Just like in every walk of life, there are a few bad cops. I can’t imagine what could have compelled these officers to pull their triggers on these men. Justice must be served in these situations.
Anyone who doesn’t understand the premise behind “Black Lives Matter” needs to wake up. If you don’t think African Americans are unjustly singled out you may want to look at the facts (see footnote). The same applies for other ethnic groups. Or just ask an African American friend. They will tell you. It’s real. It happens every day and sometimes, as we’ve all witnessed, the end result is our worst nightmare. It’s unimaginable to me that a high ranking Texas government official blamed Thursday’s travesty on Black Lives Matter. What the hell was he thinking? These peaceful protesters did nothing wrong.
What am I going to do now? More importantly, what am I going to do in the days, months, even years ahead? It’s our nature as Americans, to take things for granted. We allow situations like this to fade from our memories. We seem to think there is nothing we can do about it. Or we say to ourselves it will never change.
I’m encouraging myself and anyone reading this to think in terms of the little things we can do to contribute to a better America. It’s simple yet hard. It goes back to an old adage, “Don’t judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes”. How often are we honoring this basic premise? Notice it specifically states a mile; not just a few steps. This means we have to invest the time to develop a clear picture of what it’s like to be the other person. If we can do this the result will be far less judgment and much more empathy.
If you’ve never been black or you’ve never been a cop you may want to think about this approach. If all us kept this in mind today, tomorrow and in the future the world would be a better place. Don’t you agree?
Empirical evidence confirms the existence of racial profiling on America’s roadways. At the national level, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that for the year 2005, the most recent data available, “[p]olice actions taken during a traffic stop were not uniform across racial and ethnic categories.” “Black drivers (4.5%) were twice as likely as White drivers (2.1%) to be arrested during a traffic stop, while Hispanic drivers (65%) were more likely than White (56.2%) or Black (55.8%) drivers to receive a ticket. In addition, Whites (9.7%) were more likely than Hispanics (5.9%) to receive a written warning, while Whites (18.6%) were more likely than Blacks (13.7%) to be verbally warned by police.” When it came to searching minority motorists after a traffic stop, “Black (9.5%) and Hispanic (8.8%) motorists stopped by police were searched at higher rates than Whites (3.6%).” The “likelihood of experiencing a search did not change for Whites, Blacks, or Hispanics from 2002 to 2005.”21