Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, And Dallas
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Politics and Activism

Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, And Dallas

Because something needs to change.

Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, And Dallas

In the wake of the recent events in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas, the debate of how to hold police officers accountable has arisen again, as with every time this happened before. In America, we have a similar response to mass shootings as with cops shooting African-Americans: We are outraged by the events that unfolded, and shocked that this could happen. We mourn the lives lost, and hope that this will never happen again. And these are all good things, except the problem is that they keep happening. How we can prevent these things from happening, I do not know. Whether we need to train cops more, or better, have more or less cops, or arm citizens, I have no idea. Regardless, there are some things that I have realized after these tragedies that I hope will help.

What happened:

To briefly summarize the events that took place, two innocent black men were fatally shot by cops, and five cops were shot by a sniper. On Tuesday, July 5 in Baton Rouge, La., Alton Sterling was restrained on the ground by police officers, and despite surrendering to the cops and not resisting them, was shot and killed. The most terrifying part of the story is that the officer took a few shots, paused, and then shot a few more times. Not even 24 hours later, Philando Castile was shot and killed in Falcon Heights, Minn. by another officer. Pulled over for a broken taillight, he was soon shot four times in front of his fiancée and four-year-old daughter. His fiancée, Diamond Reynolds not only took video footage of the incident, but also live-streamed it to Facebook. These two events sparked outrage throughout the nation, as protests and marches throughout the major cities were held. Thursday night, one was held in Dallas, Texas. During the protest, a sniper shot 12 in Dallas, killing five officers in the process. And now, the big debate is between pro-police and the Black Lives Matters movement. I will give my thoughts on it, and hopefully reading this will help you in your processing of the matter.

All Lives Matter.

In the wake of these events, especially when retaliation is brought upon police, as well as other victims, the phrase "All Lives Matter" arises. I think that all lives do matter. There is no other argument about that, life is precious and every one does matter. However, the reason that "All Lives Matter" is wrong, and even racist, is because it devalues the Black Lives Matter movement. "All Lives Matter" takes away from the struggle that African-Americans have had to face throughout their history in America. The reason "Black Lives Matter" is important is because there was a time in American history that they did not matter. Saying "All Lives Matter" takes away from that, essentially arguing that everyone has suffered the same oppression and hatred towards them as the African-Americans have.

Pro-cop and pro-BLM.

I think that Trevor Noah said it best in his show last night: "Someone is pro-cop is assumed to be anti-black, just as someone who is pro-black is assumed to be anti-cop... In reality you can be pro-cop and pro-black, which is what we should all be." The fact that this situation has become polarized is tragic. I have seen everyone either defending all cops, or blaming all cops. Not all cops are bad people, just as not all cops are good people. The problem arises because in these situations, cops view themselves as a collective whole, something above the law, and that they do not have to account for their individual actions, because of how these situations have gone in the past. This mentality is wrong. And do not get me wrong, I am not anti-cop. I am anti-idiot with a gun who thinks that he or she can do whatever he or she wants.

What now?

Unfortunately, this cycle will probably continue. We will be outraged, and then forget. We need to hold police officers accountable. How? I don't know. We thought body cameras would help, but they just turn them off. We thought that the past would help prevent the repetition of events, but they keep happening. Something needs to change, I just don't know what.

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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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