It is the last day of December and at midnight begins a brand new year. However, I want to take the time to reflect on 2014. This year has had its ups and many downs. I’m pretty sure that somewhere out there, there are people cursing 2014 to pieces and hoping for the new year to begin. And that is okay. Everyone goes through rough patches in their lives.
It is how we handle those rough patches that define us. At this time, I would like to discuss some events that have transpired in the past few months.
I originally didn’t want to voice my feelings on the subject matters because I didn’t want to offend anyone with my ramblings. But I think that I am in the right mindset to talk about these issues with a clear and focused mind.
For the past month or so, my job had decided to have students voice their feelings in regards to the Grand Juries refusal to pursue a trial in the Michael Brown and Eric Gardner cases. Our students had very powerful things to say about it and I am so proud that they were able to speak about it. It is very rare to hear children speak about such issues that affect them. And I’m glad that they had a platform to discuss their problems.
What I find fascinating is the idea that no matter what race, gender, class, you are; everyone has been affected by this.
To say that I was surprised by the decisions, is not true. I, who was born in and raised in the United States and also come from a Caribbean background, knew that there was a high probability of the decisions being what they are. Before I continue, I want to say that I am not anti-police and never well be. I am fully aware that not all members of law enforcement are bad people. As well as, not every one person who may look like me or my friends, do bad things and/or are bad people.
However, I do think people have the right to protest their feelings, but not to spread violence as a result. I have watched some of the media coverage on these stories and sometimes wonder what is the sense in all of this violence? How is change going to occur by someone burning down a store or looting or even committing acts of violence?
That doesn’t make sense and only add fuel to an already tense situation. So many wrongs that have been done as a result of the deaths of these men, that it seems as though we have lost sight of what we are fighting for. Why is that?
Why are we so consumed with hate that we have to inflict it on others, just because we are hurting? What happened to these men was a downright shame, but I have the understanding that not every police officer is a bad. I have friends in law enforcement and they are really good people. In fact, I knew them for years before they ever stepped foot in the field of law enforcement. So, no. Not every cop is a bad. Not every civilian is a criminal or does criminal-like activities. Believe it or not, there are a majority of us that are hardworking people who are trying to provide for their families.
I believe that we need to stop doing the blame game and come together. Somehow remove the stigma that seem to live in law enforcement that every person of color is appeared to be a criminal. The profiling has to stop. Procedures need to be changed. Instead of civilians like all of us are the enemy. Civilians need to stop looking at law enforcement like all of them are the enemy and focus on helping communities grow.
Communities can march, establish funds and/or organizations that provide help for its people, young and old alike. It is a start, but a start nonetheless.
If we work together, only then we can achieve our goals.