I'm sure most people are aware of what has been going on in America lately: a whole lot of violence and devastation. This calls for a necessary discussion. Too often, when there is any sort of violence, people tend to generalize, clump groups together, and blame an entire race, ethnicity, gender, profession, etc. for the act of one person. This is never OK and should not be acceptable. Unfortunately, with the way our media works, this is what is normal, and how races, ethnicities, genders, and professions are stigmatized.
I'd like to focus on the recent acts of violence involving police. On Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas, Texas, twelve police officers were shot in an ambush, resulting in five deaths. There are four suspects in the shooting, three of which are in custody, one who has been shot and killed in a stand-off with police early Friday morning. According to an article from NBC, this ambush was the deadliest attack on law enforcement since the devastating acts on September 11, 2001. The sad irony behind this attack is that the police officers who were injured and killed were working a peaceful protest of the recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana. These police officers protected the very people who protested against them, and that shows their unbelievable honor.
This is not a matter of race, or a war between people of color and people in uniform. This is a matter of humanity, and seeing what is so terribly wrong in this world. The suspects in this tragic case targeted a peaceful protest against police-related violence with only more violence. When will people really realize that two wrongs do not make a right? Hate has no color, and neither does love. In this time of true devastation, we need to see past all of the differences that we divide between us. We are all people of God, and we are not meant to hate. Life is too short to hate, and we need to be respectful of each other. Police officers take a lot of heat when one bad cop makes a mistake. And absolutely, the officers with “God complexes” and those who abuse their authority in inexcusable ways do not deserve to keep their badges or any of their privileges. But honest, true, and courageous officers do not deserve hate for the actions of bad cops.
So please, before you are quick to assume that all cops have bad intentions and that all cops are out to get you, take a moment to think about what they do every single day. Take a moment to think about the sacrifices they make. Take a moment to think about the worry their spouses are overwhelmed with. Take a moment to be thankful that they are there to protect you, even if that means they risk their lives. Understand that they took an oath to protect and serve people they do and do not know, and they sacrifice their entire lives to do so.
Thank you, police officers and first responders. I support your selfless efforts to serve and keep our communities safe, I respect your daily sacrifices, and I pray for your safety.