I just saw a post on Facebook that was a picture of a cop with a kid and the statement was something to the effect of thanking police and everyone who puts their lives on the line every day, and letting them know they still have someone out there supporting them.
I am sick of seeing shit that’s polarizing like that. The reality is that you can support the police AND be pissed when the police abuse the power entrusted to them. Police have a LOT of discretion in their jobs – whether they approach someone is probably the biggest one. Without an approach we don’t tend to end up with devastating results – Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, etc.
Think about it. A cop can decide whether to pull someone over for a broken taillight. For the failure to stop at an intersection. They make those decisions and others like it hundreds of times every day. They make the choice about how to approach someone. Obviously their safety is paramount, but the safety of the person they’re stopping matters too.
I’m also tired of people thinking that we can’t care about more than one thing at a time. Cecil the Lion and Black Lives Matter. I can be concerned about both the extinction of wildlife and the extinction of human life.
What people are apparently not seeing is that they’re all related. Someone who doesn’t care about wildlife probably isn’t too concerned with a lot of people on the planet either. When we disrupt the natural world it affects people, not just animals. People who aren’t thinking that far ahead in that regard probably don’t see past themselves either.
I was also recently involved in a discussion about the disruption of Bernie Sanders’ rally in Seattle by Black Lives Matter people (whether it was really BLM, I don’t actually know – not the point). Someone said that racial equality and justice isn’t the only issue and suggested that it shouldn’t even be a top issue. After all, there are things like healthcare, education and the economy to focus on.
That made me laugh. While I sort of appreciate what that person was saying and agree all of those are important, you can’t address racial equality and justice without addressing all three of those in the process. When we correct racial inequality, education, economics, and healthcare HAVE to be part of the discussion. They will be worked on as a part of that process.
Also, I don’t think it’s possible to have a great economy, decent healthcare, and world-class education in the United States while racial inequality is the status quo. It’s logically impossible to do.
It seems to me that people aren’t looking at the forest AND the trees. I suppose that we tend to focus on what matters to us individually since a lot of us are in survival mode.
But perhaps if we thought more of the big picture, we could effect change that takes us out of the need for survival mode and we could go more into thrive mode.