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{Posted to Facebook, slightly edited here, with the following caveat: I’m going to say something tough to hear for many people. If you think the following means I condone cop-killing or excuse police brutality, you’re too dumb to be missed in my wall feed when you unfriend me. Knock yourself out. And if you think recent events are just plain good guys versus bad guys, I hope this will help you leave the kiddie table and take some responsibility for choosing not to understand some things.}

It’s becoming open season on cops. I knew it was only a matter of time and don’t understand why anyone is surprised. Well, actually I DO understand, and it’s the one-sided ignorance of so many people on both sides.

First, but in no intentional order, we have people who spend all day long on Facebook posting videos of cops beating, tasing, and killing people. Some are questionable as to what you are seeing and what was justified, while others are sadistic or cold-blooded murder. Regardless, my point is we are peddling the internet’s favorite currency today — outrage. To be honest, it boils my own blood. But it is this constant stream of outrage that manifests in a higher percentage of people being more willing and likely to act out that rage in (what they may honestly feel is necessary) violence.

It’s like posting photos and videos of dark-skinned do-badders all day long. How is this not meant to express, advocate, or promote prejudices? “Blue Racism” is no different from any other, and the result is the same — people see law enforcement as a monolithic group where the good fall under the stereotype umbrella of the bad.

Sure, I get it’s more than that — it’s about public servants holding each other (or not) to a high standard. But it’s not one organization, but countless ones, so if anything it’s a matter of culture that needs to change. Regardless, not all incidents are objectively investigated, but not all get off either. But the focus on the bad can go too far. As human beings, we are wired to respond to anecdotal cases as being far more real than statistics, so we buy the small percentage of incidents we are most exposed to as the general rule.

If you’re one of these people involved in that, as hard as this is to swallow, you have some small degree of responsibility in these deaths.

Secondly, we have people who will defend any police officer’s actions no matter how brazenly out of line. The rationalizations range from demeaning the victim for having a “shaded” past (somehow makes it their fault or they are not worth crying over) to the outright insane mental gymnastics in the face of clear facts, videos, and testimonial.

If you are circling the wagons and making a human shield around the “Blue Wall” which endangers good cops by protecting the bad, you are also not free of responsibility in these deaths.

Sorry, but if you want this to devolve further into a bloody mess, keep pushing the childish cops-and-robbers narratives. Keep assuming guilt on one side and innocence on the other and then sleep soundly while others feel the consequence.
Keep thinking “those people” are just looking for an excuse to riot, ignorant of a Dream Deferred where some children cannot help but grow up to have a totally different experience of the legal system than other children, from DWB to totally disparate rates of arrest, conviction, and sentencing.

Keep thinking and acting like police are out to get you. Keep “proving” that theory by disrespecting them when confronted and acting like a thug just because it’s your right. Step giving law enforcement a hard time in an already hard job. Don’t refuse to cooperate (within reason) just because think you don’t have to.

Step back. Put yourself in each other’s shoes and you’ll find that cops and citizens (especially of colour) are both fearful in a confrontation. They both want to come home to their families.

You may think you’re safe in front of your keyboard, typing away the unjust characterization against one group or the other. But this is the world you are helping create. This is the world your children and mine have to live in.

There’s going to be violence. There’s going to be injustice. This should mean there’s work to be done. It’s all of our problem, Black, Blue, White, whatever. We are all the same people, even if we live in different worlds by the way we’re treated. In fact, knowing the former will heal the latter.
We can fix this. Be gentle with each other. Demand justice without inciting hate. If changing the world starts with you, it means to do your damnedest to see the other person’s point of view and realize we all want the same peace in the end.