We’ve all heard about the violence, the protests and the killings--they’ve been all over the news. I’ve tried my best to avoid it all but I’ve realized that no matter how hard I dodge those Facebook videos and those headlines, the issue is only growing. People are being hurt, both physically and mentally, and it seems that there is a sort of war going on in our country-- police officers versus African American citizens--and people on both sides are being injured. And while these situations appear complex, these incidents are actually not-so-complicated at all as they spawn from a lack of basic humanistic qualities.
It’s not fair to treat an entire population of people inhumanely. The color of one’s skin does not determine their worth or the respect that they deserve. You might be thinking, that’s so obvious. Well, based on the videos going viral, apparently it’s not. Racism is still prevalent in the world, whether or not you see it on a daily basis or not. And quite frankly, the fact that this is a reality in 2016 is insulting to us as a nation- A nation supposedly built on equality.
What’s also not fair is criticizing a single occupation. Police officers work hard every day to enforce the law in order to protect the general public. Yes, there are some police officers who have acted brutally and caused undeserved harm and they deserve to be punished. And there are people of every occupation who do that to people of every race, and they should be punished as well. But not all police officers are bad and thus, not all police officers should be persecuted for the actions of a small minority of their colleagues.
Here is my simple proposition: we treat each other with respect. No matter what. If you commit a crime, you are disciplined accordingly, but you are not killed. Nobody should have their life taken from them because of a minor infraction. These actions go both ways- police officers should be treated with respect too. Police officers serve an extremely important role in society and should be treated as such. People are people, no matter their skin color or what they do for a living. We need to get our acts together, America. Treating people with respect is something we learned in kindergarten. Please, for the sake of the younger generation, practice societal justice in everything you do. Because after all the killings, the protests and the hate, it’s respect that is the issue at the bottom of all this madness.
All lives truly do matter.