"Don't Talk To The Police, They Are Bad Guys"

"Don't Talk To The Police, They Are Bad Guys"

I pray for you.
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Last week I was at a public place, I was grabbing a bite to eat and I overheard something that physically made me sick to my stomach. I heard a man tell what I assume was his son to "never talk to the police," because "the police are bad men and he should never talk to them."

I instantly became numb with what I heard. I actually got physically sick to my stomach after hearing those words come from that grown man's mouth. I could not believe what I had heard, but better yet, I couldn't believe that this is something a man was telling his son, who looked to be no younger than 5 years old.

I put a lot of thought into this because when you hear something so devastating, you don't let it exit your mind.

I thought how dare he tell his son that the police are bad men and that he should never talk to policemen? I thought, how dare he tell his little son that the police are bad men, something this little boy will now never forget. I thought, how dare he put his son in a position where he feels that the right thing to do is to not like the police and to never talk to the police.

I also thought, what if this little boy ever gets lost and he needs to go to a police officer to help him find his family, and now because his father told him to never talk to police, this little boy will live in fear of the police and he won't approach them when he is in dangerous situations?

The police are bad.

You should never talk to the police.

This is what people are telling their young children.

The police are bad.

You should never talk to the police.

Two sentences that will now haunt my mind. Two sentences that will now haunt that little boy's mind and mentally scar him for the rest of his life.

This little boy will now grow up with the understanding that police are bad men. That he should never talk to the police. This little boy will now live in fear of the police. This little boy will now never call the police when he is in need. This little boy now only knows and understands that the police are bad people and that he is never allowed to talk to them because his father, someone I am sure he looks up to, told him these awful things.

Now, there is nothing I can do to help what was said. There is nothing I can do but hope and pray that this little boy will one day meet an incredible police officer, who is a mommy or daddy themselves, and they will give him a good reason to understand that the police are good people. They are heroes. They save lives. The put bad people behind bars. They take awful drugs off the streets. They assist people when they feel unsafe. They respond to calls and never know how dangerous the situation may become, but they respond because they have devoted their lives toward the safety and protection of their community.

There are some people who should never have been police officers, and there are some people who should have never been mommies or daddies. But unfortunately, we can't do anything but pray for the future and hope for a better one.

With that being said, don't tell your children that police are bad people. Don't tell your children that they should never talk to policemen. Don't be a reason why your child will grow up in fear and resentment toward police officers. Because just like there are unfit people with the title of a policeman, if you tell your children these awful things, you are unfit for the position of parent.

And to the man who I overheard, I pray for you and I pray for your son. I pray that he never gets into a life-threatening situation where he needs a police officer's help. I pray that he doesn't live in fear of police officers. And I pray that you become a better parent. Because you ought to be absolutely ashamed of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: i.ytimg.com

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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We Need To Call the Waffle House Shooting What It Is: White Terrorism

Ignoring the racial and political aspects of recent shootings only treats the symptoms, not the root cause.
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In my Environmental Ethics class, we talked about the idea of a "non-place" - industrialization leading to places that are the same no matter where you go, where you know what to expect each time. You walk in and each is a carbon copy of the last.

The core idea behind making each identical is that no matter where you are, you know what you can expect. Its familiarity is its comfort – you are home, even if it's somewhere you've never been.

But the effect only stands part of the time: as we've seen recently, many public places have been the setting for mass murder.

One of the most recent shootings covered to varying degrees in the news took place at a Waffle House in Nashville. While the shooting has been covered in basic terms, objective reporting removes an integral degree of what this violence means for its victims.

Everyone involved in the Waffle House shooting was in their 20s. Everyone shot was a person of color.

The shooter had a history of supporting Trump and his ideologies, in addition to a record of both racist views and run-ins with the government.

The AR-15 that was used in the shooting was previously taken from him in one of the run-ins, though the government returned the rifle to his father with the promise that he would keep the gun from his son. He gave the gun back to his son sometime between the run-in and the shooting.

The Waffle House shooting exemplifies white privilege and white terrorism in how the shooter has been treated and how people of color, especially black people, are targeted both by civilians and by enforcement.

The shooter's bond, which was later revoked, was widely publicized in contrast with the release of rapper Meek Mill two days later, who was not given bond when he was originally arrested last year for a much lesser charge than murder.

Multiple acts of white terrorism, including the Charleston church shooting, the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and the Waffle House shooting, were curtailed with the perpetrator arrested and unharmed.

Cops can nonviolently restrain, but only do so when the arrestee is white.

If the person is black, they will be targeted for living. They will be targeted for golfing too slowly. They will be targeted for giving change to the poor. They will be targeted for standing in their own backyard.

Racism and police brutality go long before the past few years, but the increase is unignorably tied to the current administration.

One of the Waffle House shooter's previous government run-ins was because he wanted to meet Trump.

Multiple other recent terrorists, including the Stoneman Douglas shooter, expressed wide support for Trump and his beliefs. The president himself said he could shoot someone and get away with it.

Taurean Sanderlin, Joe Perez, DeEbony Groves and Akilah DaSilva have their names remembered with love because they victims of this tragedy.

The two injured - Shanita Waggonerand Sharita Henderson - are remembered because they survived.

James Shaw Jr., who wrestled the gun away from the shooter, is remembered as a hero, even as he was humble in the aftermath: saying in an interview, “He was going to have to work to kill me.

He is remembered as a hero because he kept more from dying, but in another situation, another non-place, he could've been the men who were arrested in Starbucks.

It doesn't even have to be a non-place.

He could be any number of names from any number of places that have been carved into remembrance for fear of forgetting what #BlackLivesMatter stands for.

Multiple articles following the Waffle House shooting have said that the main detail unknown about the event is the shooter's motives. I don't think that's something we'll ever explicitly find out, but it doesn't take a detective to see the trail.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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