100 To Life
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Politics and Activism

100 To Life

Unless you bleed a different color blood, breathe something other than oxygen, survive outside of food or water, aren't you human like me?

100 To Life

Doesn’t all life matter?

Recent events have summoned to the fore the ever important question of the value of human life. What is the true cost of safety? Does saving a life mean taking a life? Doesn’t all life matter?

“Don’t shoot my husband," she said as officers converged. Shortly after, as if taken from the new textbook being studied by current police officers, another man lay dead. The husband of another woman, the son of another mother, the coworker of another worker. Another life was cut short. But could it have been prevented? The answer is still forthcoming. Yet, another issue still presents itself – how will we solve this problem?

First, we need to acknowledge that this irresponsible taking of human life is a problem. The police have the awesome responsibility of protecting citizens and upholding the law. This process hinges on building trust with the citizens over whom they are given the responsibility of protecting.

It also requires that these men and women be strong in valor and that they demonstrate an incredible level of responsibility. These qualities are inextricably linked with being a defender of the law and life. Not demonstrating these qualities by the sometimes unjustified use of force – deadly force -- shatters the faith of citizens. This is a problem.

It is a problem not only for the fact that human lives are carelessly taken, but it's also a problem because it ruptures the very fabric of order and respect in our society. A badge will no longer be seen as a symbol of respect, rather, it will be despised, mistrusted, and feared.

Such bitterness will be soaked up by successive generations who will also come to have animosity against the police and the law. They will grow to see the police and lawmakers as selfish, cold-hearted, trigger-happy killers. In other words, a system of hate is being carved and will be properly etched in stone if this problem is not solved.

The demonstration of force shown across the country in support of victims and against the police have only seem to exacerbate matters. Racial divide has given way to citizen-police divide. In one way, that could be good. What has been speculated to be rooted in racism (and to an extent it still is), has now caused people of different races to unite.

The unfortunate byproduct of this union is that the explosion of anger has now been fully unleashed at the police, the vast majority of whom are just as innocent as some of the victims. “Then how can it be solved?”, you might ask.

The problem will not be solved by conceiving and enacting new laws. It will not be solved by politicking or bureaucracy. It will never be solved by secrecy, riots or force.

This problem is systemic. It is homegrown. Irresponsibility has spawned hate.

This hate has left the secret places of our hearts and made its ways to the halls of our homes. It has broken down the doors of our homes and spread into our neighborhoods. Not to be confined in our neighborhoods, this hate is now manifesting itself in our cities, businesses, schools -- indeed, our very way of life.

There is only one way to solve this problem. This problem is solved by people loving and respecting people. After all, police are people too. We are all men and women sharing the same air, water, and food within communities.

With this realization, we begin to see that the police need to be on our side as much as we need to be on their side. Until we realize the source of this violence, no life will matter. We will become angrier and angrier, vent more and more, cause the police to become more defensive which leads to more use of force and a perpetual cycle.

The police have always had a great responsibility to the people they serve. Let’s hold them accountable to maintain the law and keep us safe as much as they hold us accountable to keeping the law and making our communities safe. At the end of the day, both the police and citizens will realize that all life matters.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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