Heartbreaking week of national loss, seemingly civil war, lines drawn, I wonder how we are going to find healing? Deep sorrowful cries from African American communities across the land cannot be ignored, but how to act? Friends who wear that blue uniform, who make choices every day I will never be faced with, how to support them? I am a conscientious objector to this war. I will not take sides, I love both too much. The battle I will fight is a different one.
This year alone, 500 people have been killed by police, 94 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty. In Britain, police killed 1 person IN THE LAST 4 YEARS. Last year, they discarded weapons 6 times. David Remy of the Economist shared these numbers on NPR, stating “It is uniquely dangerous to be a policeman, to interact with the police” in America. He noted the population differences are 5:1, which still doesn’t account for the spike. Ready access to guns does. America has a gun problem, not just a police problem, not just a race problem. For those on the side of “Blue Lives Matter” fight for gun control to keep your men and women out of harms way. Those on the “Black Lives Matter” isn’t it clear you need to do the same?
The rest of us peace loving hippies can join together, a third party, to read to intercity kids, make sure they have food, mentor in the schools, do the same crafts and activities the white kids get. Karate, soccer, ballet. Children matter. Invest in the children, grow adults who have a reason to live. Employers, hire felons. Give a second chance to someone leaving prison, it may be their first chance. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men. 2. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.
Ultimately, the news of this week is bound to be the news of next week too, maybe worse, until we decide all lives matter. Until the violence gets close enough that we can’t ignore it. It is that close now for me.