A Few Thoughts...
Last week was such an intense week, with several significant incidents taking place across the country. I have given myself time to not only process the recent events but to reflect on a larger issue that is taking place, obsessive police brutality towards minorities.
Police brutality is such an icky phase. It is a term we should never have had to discover and use. It is something none of us should ever have to encounter, especially being that the premise of having police and law enforcement is to protect and serve the community in which they serve. It’s frightening to think that those protecting us are the ones also harming us. Who is policing the police and when will they become accountable.
The recent police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both of which were caught on camera and went viral on social media, are the latest in this growing epidemic.
Social media has been a catalyst in publicizing these incidents, which once was covered up by police officers and officials. The fact that more people are aware gives us all more of a reason to start searching for solutions. Often, the focus is the reaction and not the premise of the problem and how to move forward.
You see the Twitter #hashtags, the post on Instagram, and the protesting and but nothing long lasting. I question the endgame, the results in which these participants look to achieve. Is it awareness? Equality? Self-gratification? What’s realistic, I asked?
I spent a week thinking about how to do we involved and what’s feasible. I came up with a few suggestions:
1. Educate: There is a lot of information out there, some, of course, isn't right or any good. However, there is enough to make informed opinions about the issues. Make yourself familiar with incidents and the parties involved. Also, be familiar with the how the local police department and government operate.
2. The sense of Community: Police officers once were embedded in the neighborhoods and communities that have now been replaced by out of town implants and strangers. Police departments should not be mimicking military policing tactics. In other words, the community should not be afraid of their Police Department and vice versa. They are there to protect and serve.
3. Vote in all elections: don’t just vote during the presidential election but all the local ones. Know and understand the people that represent you and will defend you. The judges, chiefs of police, town council members, etc., these are all critical positions that impact and represent the people directly. To be accurately represented, we must participate in all elections.
4. Speak Up and Speak Out: as the old cliché goes, an injustice to one is an injustice to all. Also, if you see something, say something. Hashtags and post are nice, but showing up to a town meeting and writing your Congressman can be just as powerful.
5. Spread Love: during difficult times it's easy to spew more hate, but that doesn't resolve much it may even become volatile. Violence only begot more violence. The major issues are the difference in cultural backgrounds and police not being comfortable in the communities they serve. The process has to change, and it starts with love and empathy for one other.