I’ve always been bothered by the ease of crying wolf. The act of misdirection, the ability of someone to change the conversation, the simplicity of lying. It’s a weird need of people at times and it’s something that bugs me.
But in times of crisis like we’re currently experiencing, it really gets to me. Fake news. Protesters labeled as “not real.” Quick labeling of a gathering as violent. Claims of just cause. The use of the word terrorists.
I have never doubted that being a police officer isn’t the easiest job on the planet. But it’s also a choice. A job you take because you believe in a higher purpose. Not a job you take because you get a gun and a badge to back you.
But you killed a man. I don’t care if he resisted. I don’t care if you feared for your life. I don’t care you didn’t know you were choking him.
You. Killed. A. Man.
And here we are, still saying that the protesters are fake, they’re all ANTIFA, they’ve been bussed in. Is some of that possible and probable? Yes. But it is not an absolute truth. Those people will always show up. We are ok stating there are a few bad apples in the police force (PS I am not ok with that), but we’re quick to blanket the protesters with negative labels to justify our own fears. Police force is only a few bad apples, but all of the protestors are bad apples? That’s not the way that phrase works. That’s not even the way math and statistics work.
I’ll never fully understand police violence or rioting and looting. They’re not things I’ve ever taken part in. (I have however joined very vocal protests.) They’re not things my brain immediately jumps to. I won’t pretend that I know why these things happen.
But we need to find solutions to both. And lots of other things too. I don’t care what went through the police officer’s mind. The only thing anyone should have thought was “I can’t kill this man and I need to do whatever I can to save him from that.” That goes for any man. Any woman. Any child. Killing someone is the problem. Let’s start there and as we work our way through the mess of issues that this has brought to the surface, maybe we can finally start to act in a way that is consistent with the simplest of truths: don’t be an asshole.
There will always be areas we need improvement. But the devaluation of life, of anyone’s life, particularly a black man’s life at the hands of a police officer,…well, you don’t need to be a genius to figure it out. That shit has to stop. Let’s start there: let’s stop killing each other. (And don’t you dare start arguing about “well what about the crime and killing that goes in…,” shut the fuck up. No more misdirection. Just stop watching people die and doing nothing about it.
We’re better than this. Some days I’m not 100% sure of that, but it’s true and I know it’s true. We can do better. Put down the rhetoric and the hatred, put down the misdirection and the blame. It’s time to evolve.
PS I’m sure I’ve said something wrong in here. I’m sure I’ll piss someone off or make someone feel like I just “don’t get it.” I don’t claim to know it all, but I do know what I feel. Killing a man is wrong. That’s all there is to it.