With everything going on lately (and by lately I mean for a while now), I think it’s time for everyone to hear my opinion on the situation of policemen shooting and killing people of color.
There is a rather graphic picture floating around on Facebook that is very, very unsettling to me. It is a cartoon that depicts a black figure, wearing American flag bandanas wrapped around it’s arms, behind a man in a police uniform. He is stabbing the policeman in the throat. Honestly, I was astonished that someone was cruel enough to even think up a picture like that.
Yet another post on Facebook has me thinking. Johnathan Gentry, from California, went viral in a matter of hours after a post he wrote that says:
“329 Homicides (this year alone) in Chicago. 64 people shot in Chicago just this past 4th of July weekend. 28 Homicides in Baltimore within the last 30 days (Source: Baltimore Sun). But the Black Community & Black Lives Matter only recognized 1 this week, from Baton Rouge Louisiana #AltonSterling. But they want America to "Stop killing Blacks". According to these numbers. Looks like the Black Community, beat America to it.”
Here is where I have a problem with the #BlackLivesMatter campaign. No, I am not racist — I do not think that a man, woman or child of color is less of a person than I am. No, it is not that I believe if it were between my life as a white female and the life of a black male that my life would be more important. Although those assumptions are made, considering my appearance and lack of color in my skin, those are far from true. The problem I have is this: the double standard some of the people behind #BlackLivesMatter have. Why is it that a police officer’s life is less important than the life of a black man’s? It is completely correct that the lives of black men and women matter. And I am horrified by the loss of any life, whether black, white, young or old. But when it is said that the lives of police officers are not significant enough, I believe that contradicts the entire movement. Why are you screaming, shouting, even rioting over the lives lost in the black community, just to turn right back around and say that these men should be killed as well? All of these lives have an equal amount of worth. The way I see it, racism is not just a one way street. How can anyone expect to be treated with respect, if they do not in turn respect others? A white person can not gain respect if they treat a black person with disgust. The same applies to a black man demanding respect from a white man as he spits on him. Why must there be a barrier between my community and yours? Can it not be our community, instead of a black and a white community? Can we not, together, mourn the losses of all members of our community? These are all questions I have constantly asked myself after reading post after post and article after article, about how police officers deserve to die.
My best friend’s father is a police officer, and so are both of her uncles. These are men I have grown to look up to. This is my second family. I have classmates who I graduated with, who have brothers and sisters who are police officers. My neighbor is a police officer. All of these people are people I am blessed to know and have in my city. These people wake up every single day and decide to go save lives. They risk their own lives and leave their loved ones, just to be able to have the chance to save yours. Maybe you can see where I had every right to be upset as I read a post where someone said that these caring people’s lives are worthless. How many white police officers have been shot and killed by black men and women, after giving them the chance to put their weapon down? Where are the people rioting for their lives? Five officers were shot and killed during what was suppose to be a peaceful protest in Dallas, Texas. As the shots were fired, they rushed to protect the lives of the very people who were protesting against them. According to Time.com, an officer in Valdosta, Georgia, was shot and killed after responding to a call to help a man whose car had been broken into. When he arrived to help this man, the suspect opened fire. These are only a few of the incidents that have happened since the the #BlackLivesMatter protest against policemen.
The loss of all these lives is senseless and cruel. I am truly saddened over the loss of so many people everyday, both black and white, men and women. I wish the families of every tragically lost loved one peace, and pray they will find comfort. I am not in anyway, shape or form trying to make less of their lives, for I know that everyone is worth something.
I also want to thank every officer who is serving a community and working to make everyone safe. Your commitment will not go unnoticed by me. I will keep your safety and your families' safety in my prayers.
I will gladly stand up for a person being treated wrongly, no matter their race, gender, sexuality or age.