I got into a debate yesterday with a police officer...and I won.
Granted, having grown up around police officers, I have gotten into many a arguments with a group that is notoriously more right-leaning. These back-and-forths usually end up in both of us agreeing to disagree and then taking the time to blow off the steam. But winning? That literally never happens. The win was not so much from a heated argument, just a conversation.
We were talking about the equality of people. It started with gun control. Many police officers will die to protect the second amendment. However, they also understand how civilians do not need and should not have access to military assault rifles. There is no need for sane and/or not sane people to have access to weaponry that is used to succeed in war. We agree that we need to ban assault rifles, and we need more requirements in buying a gun.
I actually learned how dangerous a handgun could be in the hands of a person whose goal is to hurt others. We then got into how no innocent person deserves to be hurt at the hands of a gun, which got into Black Lives Matter. There is such a stigma behind the naming of movement, but the gist remains the same: we need to focus on police officers killing innocent people, specifically people who are black. This man agreed with the gist, which is what is important.
The conversation turned into how everyone deserves to live with equal respect. I pointed out that this is the foundation of the feminist movement, and declared that this man was in fact a feminist. He of course made some joke about it being womanly or whatever, but what I noticed from this conversation is that there is a stigma about everything, including police officers. Of course, there are bad people and sometimes those bad people are police officers. However, there are good people who support the foundations of various movements without actually being a part of the group. In my opinion, it does not matter to me if an individual has the label that comes with the protest.
As long as they understand the gravity of the stance and stand by what is right, a label is not nearly as important.