What I say is, undoubtedly, going to upset some people. It is controversial. It is a hot topic right now.
I’m quite certain everyone at this point has heard about what happened in Minneapolis with George Floyd. If not, here’s a brief recap: On Monday, May 25, at approximately 8:00 pm, four officers from the Minneapolis Police Department responded to a report of a possible forgery. When they arrive, they locate George Floyd in a car. The officers handcuff Floyd and pull him out of the car. At some point, Floyd ends up on the ground, beside one of the officer’s patrol vehicles, and an officer has his knee on Floyd’s neck. Approximately 5 minutes into this, with Floyd stating the whole time that he can’t breathe, Floyd looses consciousness. From what I understand, the officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck for another 4 minutes. Floyd was then taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead (Source).
Since Floyd’s death, yes, there have been some peaceful protests against the injustice. However, there has also been rioting, looting, shooting. One of the MPD substations was set on fire. The riots have spread from Minneapolis to New York–where molotov cocktails were thrown at police cars,–to Salt Lake City–where rocks where thrown at businesses and cars were set on fire (Source.)
Now, I hope that, no matter where you stand, you can see the absurdity in this: fighting violence with violence. Were the actions of the officers in Minneapolis acceptable? Not even remotely. They committed a crime, they need to be held accountable. But what is creating a larger divide within our nation going to solve? Is destroying the lives of others going to be the solution to the hate? The intentions of the whole cannot be judged by the actions of the few. This holds true not just for law enforcement, but for ALL.
Guys, my heart breaks. My heart breaks for George Floyd and his family. My heart breaks for all the business owners who are having their businesses, their livelihoods destroyed due to all the hate and unrest. My heart breaks from all the law enforcement who truly want to protect and serve, but are fearing for their lives each time they put on their badge and go to work.
Yes, I back the blue. I support law enforcement. I also know some of those in the position abuse their power and they take it too far. Yes, this needs to stop. Police brutality needs to stop. But so does the racial divide that is being caused within our society. Rioting is only increasing that divide and creating more hate.
What Actions Should We Take?
If we want to fix the problem, fix the unrest, we need to take different actions than we have. So what can we do? Obviously, changing years of history, years of bias, years of racism, isn’t going to happen over night. But below are some actions we can take to start repairing the damage.
- If you want to protest, go right ahead! We are granted the right by the Constitution for PEACEFUL protesting. But, leave the innocent out. Looting, rioting, destroying businesses, that is not the way to get your point across. That is not the way to fix the hate.
- Love one another. Yes, this sounds dumb, cliche, but it’s true, it’s needed. We can’t fix hatred by doling hate out to others.
- Give others you may initially judge the benefit of the doubt.
- Try empathy for a change. This, of course, goes along with number 3. But if you see someone who is different than you, or doing something different than you would, or someone whom you would normally judge for their lifestyle, put yourself in their shoes. Try to see life from their eyes and maybe you’ll realize why they do things the way they do.
- Be the change you want to see. If you want the world to stop hating, do the opposite. If you want people to stop judging YOU for who YOU are, stop judging them for who they are.
In The End
At the end of the day, I know that my ramblings aren’t going to change the world. I can say that all of law enforcement should not be judged based on the actions of the few. Nor should all of a specific race or religion be judged on the actions of the few. Everyone should get a fair and equal chance. But maybe, my opinions will inspire change in another. Or, at the very least, I have put my thoughts and feelings out into the universe.