A policeman’s mindset and our forgetfulness

An expandable baton: the latest in law enforcement tech.  Simple to use and quite efficient when wielded properly.  Every American should have one.

An expandable baton: the latest in law enforcement tech. Simple to use and quite efficient when wielded properly. Every American should have one.

In the swinging door that is human nature and bearing in mind the respect and consideration that such a fusion of characteristics should be making us afford each other, some young men-both black and white but more times than not, black-are creating a dangerous disservice to themselves and to their respective communities.

It’s a bunch of big nice-sounding words that mean simply one thing; that many of us in the black community have forgotten the history that policemen and African-Americans share.

Furthermore, they’ve forgotten that policemen are people too-black, white, Latino, Asian-and as such, want to go home at the end of their shifts.  Frankly speaking, it’s their right to do just as it’s the right of any working stiff in America.  It’s a precept that needs to be remembered especially since failure to do so will more than likely land you either incarcerated, in the hospital or worst.

Policemen in America are taking a lot of heat these days; there seems to be one altercation after another and most of them end in the death of a young, allegedly armed black male.  Collectively, we wonder what happened to the whole “protect and serve” thing that they supposedly so espouse?  I think we forget about that third component of their edict; to defend.   It’s what they do for us in times of trouble; they defend us sometimes at great risk of their own safety.

We forget that but more importantly, we forget that policemen will also utilize all training at their disposal in order to defend themselves.  That means that once they’re faced with what they deem as an attack on their person, they may use deadly force.    And deadly force is as the name implies; sufficient lethal power to stem or halt an attack that could leave an officer injured, or worse.

It must be that we forget a very important aspect of living in America, i.e. that we’ve given a segment of society the right to assert control over us as a necessary component of self-government.  How else can you explain why people so routinely refuse to obey an officer of the law when given lawful instructions to do this or that?

Mistrust notwithstanding, it’s absurd to disobey a cop, period.  It’s even more ridiculous and irrational to physically confront or attack one yet, some are doing just that and then throwing themselves on the court of public opinion for sympathy.

It’s time to stop this madness.

People and police are each a community and people continually and violently confronting law enforcement damages the relationship that exist between the two.  If for no other reason than to maintain the peace, there should be more self-control exhibited by those in the neighborhoods with those big, fat chips on their shoulders.

“A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I would task those touchy individuals with an assignment of respect and remind them that in order to get it, you must first give it.  Even if you doubt that you’re getting what’s rightfully due you, don’t let such notions bow your back to the indignity of violence that many in America will see as your only resource for change.

In other words, don’t act like you can’t do any better.

Stand up tall and look law enforcement in the eye when confronted, respect them and answer their questions when queried.  Add the kit of kindness to your tool box of materials used to circumnavigate the perils of the police, real or imagined.

When I think of policemen and African-American’s interactions with them, I almost immediately think of our entwined and violent past.  I see images of police dogs biting and ripping young blacks who were guilty of nothing other than protesting their lack of civil rights.

I see pictures of patrolmen with billy-clubs swinging them madly at young women, caught between the safety of their peers and a department store window.  And these young men and women were doing everything in the correct manner.  I think many young people in America either don’t know about such happenings or have conveniently forgotten them altogether.

Moving forward, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about everything, including protesting.  In many instances, we’re stuck in a black hole of doing things the wrong way.  Let’s change that.

Above all, let’s hold fast to the truth that like anybody, cops will react when attacked; so common sense dictates then that we stop attacking them.  And maybe if we can accomplish that we can then create an atmosphere of trust and communication where they stop killing us.

“21 ASP Baton” by Original uploader, Dmgie at en.wikipedia – Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:21%27_ASP_Baton.jpg#mediaviewer/File:21%27_ASP_Baton.jpg

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Filed under Justice, Life and Society, Opinion, Race

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