There is a war occurring in this country, and the body count is growing. It is a conflict borne of racial and societal strife; sown in the depths of economic and class disparity, and, quite frankly in my opinion, tacitly encouraged by the highest offices in the land. It is misguided and irresponsible, and tears at the very fabric of our nation. And we need to loudly rise to stop it.
In the last 9 days, 4 police officers have lost their lives in the line of duty. There have been 22 law enforcement officers killed on the job this year. Some of them, such as last week’s execution style slaying of a Texas deputy, were clearly targeted and murdered simply because they wore a badge. They died not because of what they had done, but simply because of who they were.
Ironically, it is the rhetoric of people objecting to exactly the same phenomena that seems to be driving these senseless crimes.
This week in Minnesota, protesters for the “Black Lives Matter” movement were filmed chanting “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” during a march at the Minnesota State Fair. This was not a singular incident from that group, and incendiary rhetoric such as this only encourages people who would commit heinous crimes against those who are charged with maintaining order in our society. It is important to note that peoples motives may not always be as they appear. Most of those arrested for rioting and looting in Ferguson, MO after the shooting death of Michael Brown did not actually live in Ferguson. They were opportunists who came for different reasons; the least of which might have actually been the death of Michael Brown.
The fact that our President and his (now former) Attorney General seemed willing to roundly condemn police departments and their officers without the benefit of full investigations only added fuel to the fire. Today, President Obama’s silence on the officer deaths is deafening.
Yes, we have racial issues in this nation that need to be openly addressed, but honest comprehensive dialogue seems to be severely curtailed on the matter. Recently, when Democrat presidential candidate Martin O’Malley suggested that “all lives matter”, he was roundly booed by many in the audience. (Honestly, who in their right mind would condemn a notion that everyone’s life matters?) There has been much talk of sensitivity training for police officers, and teaching them to understand cultural differences. Not really mentioned in that conversation is teaching our young men, regardless of their race, to obey simple police instructions. To not do so, to encourage behavior that defies societal norms and expectations, simply leads to anarchy.
If a policeman targets a person because of the color of their skin, there should be legal mechanisms in place to address that. The middle of a traffic stop is not the place in which to do so. People die that way.
Ultimately, the war on law enforcement is not about race. It is about anarchy versus order; chaos and confusion versus standard societal structure. We see this in the faces of the murdered law enforcement officers themselves. One of the four killed this past week was black. Several of the 22 killed this year were black or other minority members. Anarchy, you see, is colorblind. It does not care about the race of those it kills, it is just the disruption of order that matters.
For the people committing these crimes, racial angst is merely a tool facilitating the greater disruptions some would like to see.
I, like many Americans, am very disappointed to see where we are regarding the state of racial relations in our country today. In 2008 this country elected its first African American President, an historic event that should have heralded in a new era in race relations for our nation. Unfortunately the actions of his administration have done little to improve the environment, and racial tension is a huge obstacle today preventing our country from moving forward.
All lives matter. Policeman’s lives absolutely matter, and we need to stop the public war on law enforcement. President Obama, when you are done renaming mountains, perhaps you could travel back to reality and try to move this one a bit further down the road. Leadership on the issue would be greatly appreciated. The alternative, for Americans of all colors, is unacceptable.