Stop the divisiveness! Enough is enough! Let’s begin a real conversation. Set aside the misconception, preconceived notions and listen with our hearts.
There is a lot of controversy right now in regards to black lives matter, all lives matter etc. But the truth is there is real concern, real pain, real anger, real mistrust on all sides because we don’t listen to each other.
We have all had our own life experiences some good and some bad that have formed our impressions of the world and the people in it. There are conclusions being made every day without all the information because of our own world view. Maybe you had bad experiences with the police and have never really met a “good” cop, or maybe you have had bad experiences with white people or black people, or Latinos… Our experiences shape our expectations and our expectations frame how we view everything.
So we need to set aside the divisive language and come together as people and have a real conversation. We all know intellectually that a person should not be defined by the group they are associated with, but we do it every day without realizing it. And only by understanding our own thoughts and emotions can we make a change.
I can only speak for myself and my experiences and my understanding, but I would like to try and engage you all in an open hearted communication on making our country better by coming together and trying to understand each other’s pain, fear, and anger.
So this is how I see things, and I welcome all non-belligerent responses. I believe that black people and other minorities have experienced pain and fear that we as non-minorities are unable to fully relate too. We can sympathize, but we cannot empathize because we have not been in their/your situation.
But I believe this to be true of police officers as well. Anytime we are in a high risk situation, we are going to go into fight or flight mode which is in the part of the brain called the amygdala. This is a purely reactionary part of the brain. That is why counting to ten and taking deep breaths helps. It is giving us time to switch to our frontal lobe where our problem solving takes place. I think some situations make it harder to switch to that portion of the brain. Of course it doesn’t account for all of the problems we have but probably a large majority.
Now that being said, I realize there truly are some cops who just should not be cops. There are some that have anger issues and some authority issues that thrive on being in charge and some who are pure racists. But I believe that the large majority are good people trying to protect and serve in a scary world. We need to remember that they are just people prone to mistakes that aren’t necessarily due to racism.
My husband who is a white male had a situation with a cop one day that was very scary. He was in his work truck and had to stop because there was a fire truck that was blocking the road along with a police car and ambulance. Because they are blocking the road unnecessarily, this tends to irritate my husband who is always in a hurry. The call was for a person having chest pain or something like that. There wasn’t a fire or any reason other vehicles shouldn’t be allowed through. So when a fireman came over and said they would be out of the way shortly, my husband made some snarky reply about them not needing to block the road. The fireman then went and told the policeman about my husband’s reply. The officer came over and told my husband to move his truck because he was blocking the exit for the fire truck and ambulance. Now this was several years ago, so I don’t remember all the specifics, but due to construction my husband didn’t really have anywhere to go and told the officer this. The officer then told him to back it up. Now my husband had been on a business call at the time and had been taking notes etc. So with his hands full he was unable to immediately comply. The office began yelling, pulled his gun out and began yanking my husband out of the truck before he could even get it into park. My husband was arrested and charged with obstructing emergency vehicles or some such thing. By the way the emergency vehicles exited straight out the opposite direction of where my husband was pulled over. Now I think if he had been black, we would have thought that this was the reason. But since he is not we knew that he had a power hungry cop who disliked my husband’s attitude. So my point here is that many of us have had bad experiences. If we had already felt prone to being discriminated against, we would have attributed it to his being a minority. My point is that if you grew up knowing that people could dislike you due solely to the color of your skin, you might be a little hypersensitive to it too. But on the flip side in order for things to change you have to set aside your emotions and try and see if this is a fair assessment. And in some cases, I am certain that it is. I know some people that have a circle of friends that are not racist, and they feel that racism is virtually dead. But I know that is not the case. I still hear many derogatory things being said by handful of people, but I know there are still many more like them. But I would like people to know that there are many, many more of us who are teaching our children that racism has no place in our world. It is wrong and unjust.
The last thing I would like to comment about is the black lives matter movement. I would like to try and explain why so many people are against this. When someone hears the slogan black lives matter it gives a feel of divisiveness, like it’s an either or kind of thing. I know that’s not what it means. But if the goal is to bring attention and support to a cause then it shouldn’t use divisiveness to try and rally people together.
I hope I have expressed myself well enough to create a real conversation among those of us that would like to create change. If there is something offensive feel free to let me know, but please keep in mind that it was unintentional. I am open to learning and discovering a better way to live and think. Please be kind with your remarks. Let us create unity.