I have always had an affinity for civil servants. Growing up, I wanted to be a fire fighter like my father and uncles and grandfather. To help people while wearing a cool uniform and riding in cool vehicles was very attractive to me. Although I took the fire fighter test (to see if I could do it), I never actual did the job. Broadcasting came a calling. But, my level of respect for those who put on police and fire uniforms, no matter their race or ethnicity, has only grown. To make the decision to fight crime or fight fires is potentially heroic. From case to case, fire to fire, these brave souls don’t know if they’ll make it home at the end of their shifts. It’s something most of us will never face in our work.
Do my feelings on the job they do affect my ability to see when someone in uniform does wrong? Not even a little. Was there a history of unequal treatment of minorities, especially Black Americans, in our country? Yes. Has that practice been absolutely, 100 percent eradicated? No. Is it world’s apart from the way it used to be? Without doubt. What I don’t understand is the outcry for revenge coming from some in our country. I squarely blame this on race-agitators like Al Sharpton, AG Eric Holder and even our president.
Before I continue, it’s important you know (and you already do if you listen to my show) that I believe George Zimmerman should have stayed in his truck that night. Had Trayvon Martin NOT circled back to the truck and attacked Zimmerman he would be alive today. Michael Brown should have made the decision NOT to strong-armed rob a store then pick a fight with a cop INSIDE of his police SUV. Had he done that, he would be alive today. And, I think the way Eric Garner was taken down was unnecessary and crossed the line. Had that hold not been used, I believe he would be alive today. The races of those involved nor my race play a role in my feelings on these cases. Sadly, I can’t say the same for the men I mentioned above.
On Trayvon Martin, the president said if he’d had a son, he would look like Trayvon. He never said that if he had a neighbor, he would look like George. On Michael Brown, the president sent three representatives to his funeral and talked about the distrust communities of color have of the police. The top cop — chief law enforcement officer in the USA, Eric Holder, actually echoed that. He said that he too in his life has had a distrust of law enforcement. He never said he understood what officers like Darren Wilson faced everyday nor that he was waiting until all of the evidence was in to decide his opinion on the case.
Al Sharpton has shown up and race-agitated every situation where he felt he’d get his face on television. He’s offered no solutions and, in fact, has been extremely one-sided in his desire to rile up those in communities affected by these stories. I have yet to hear any of these “leaders” talk about how we’re ALL American brothers and sisters or how we need to work together to make this a better land for all. Their focus, sadly, is always only on making up for past ills or pushing the flawed idea that we’re still in the 1960s and that all authority and Whites in America somehow feel superior.
Fast forward to today. Two NYPD officers were ambushed and executed in Bed-Sty/Brooklyn. It is being reported that the shooter, a Black man, had posted on his Instagram account that he was going to put some “pigs in a blanket.” He also added hashtags #RIPEricGarner and #RIPMikeBrown obviously to give a reason for the “pigs” comment. After the killing of the two officers, both Americans — one of Asian the other of Latino descent, it’s reported the murderer took his own life.
Sick people do sick things. The vast majority of us will never ever understand what makes a person who would do such a dastardly thing tick. What sickens and saddens me to my soul is the reaction of others to what happened. Almost immediately, there was what appeared to be sarcastic joy over the deaths of these two men who were simply on the job trying to protect a neighborhood. The social media glee and celebrations show there’s an underbelly in our great land of people who don’t want to make things better — they simply see us as an us vs them country where one is to mourn every person racially like them and wish death on everyone else. This is an issue in which this administration had the unique ability to affect positive change. The choice was made not to.
Fortunately, those making celebratory posts about the executions of two law enforcement officers are on the fringe and do not represent the good people of all races in this, the greatest, land. These fringe racists and race-baiters will never change no matter how much one tries to reason with them. The rest of us CAN, however, make a great difference.
We MUST get to a place where we actually see individual stories and situations for what they really are. We MUST stop making any assumptions based on race, ethnicity or gender. We MUST get to a place in our land where we see those involved as Americans first and weigh the evidence and information presented. Our history is just that, history. If someone is being mistreated because of some sort of prejudice or bigotry, let’s notice it and make it part of the issue. But, we MUST get to a place where we do NOT assume that first then hear the details later. Our president, attorney general, this administration, Al Sharpton, the New Black Panther party and others subscribing to the same outlook have hurt this process when they were all in a great position to help.
Is it too late? No. The president and AG and Sharpton, et al should hit the public airwaves immediately to tell us how they mourn this loss of life. The president should send White House representatives to their funerals. The AG should be there in person and implore people to NOT target police and Sharpton should organize a march in NYC in outrage over the senseless killing of these men in blue. Don’t hold your breath.
Rest in peace officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. I pray for your souls and for your families.