Tag Archives: police

An Open Letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

On July 19, 2013, after George Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury of his peers of the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter relating to the death of Trayvon Martin, you said this:

You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.

There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator. There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.

Mr. President, with all due respect, the life Trayvon Martin led, like the life that Michael Brown led, are nothing like the super-privileged, star-studded, hyper-protected lives your daughters lead. Although you and your wife rightly keep your young girls from the public eye, it is no secret that the First Daughters attend a private school with a tuition to rival that of most universities, rub elbows with celebrities, and take luxurious vacations the likes of which the rest of us can only dream. No, Mr. President, if you had a son, that is the kind of life he would lead.

There are other parents out there, though. Parents who can point to the blood on the ground, Mr. President, look you in the eye, and say “This! This is my child, my son! Where is your outrage now, Mr. President? Where are your protests? Where is my son’s justice? Where is our peace?” These are the parents, the siblings, the husbands and the wives, the coworkers who, when you and your political hacks walk by will slowly but surely to a man, turn their backs on you.

On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, freeing the slaves. Between 1860 and 1865, 596,670 soldiers were wounded, captured, went missing, or were killed to prove that all men have the right to be free, regardless of their skin color. Constitutional Amendments 13, 14, 15, 19, 24, and 26 all acted together to level the playing field when it came to citizenship and voting rights for all, regardless of race, skin color, or sex.  Jim Crow laws were abolished fully with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

No, Mr. President, right now, in this country, the biggest problem you have is not a couple of teenage thugs who, most unfortunately, ended up on the wrong side of the law. It is not an extremely obese man who got caught selling loose cigarettes, resisted arrest, and died of the complications thereof. Were their deaths necessary? Of course not. As has been said so often in the last few days, life is precious, no matter whose it is. Mr. President, you have been complicit in inciting riot across these fruited plains, together with your soon-to-be-former attorney general, Eric Holder, and professional race-baiting lap dog, Al Sharpton, even in your silence:

Obama added that he “institutionally” could not say whether he thinks the grand juries should have indicted the police officers, because his comments may compromise ongoing federal investigations. (Huffington Post, 12/08/14)

“It is clear that I think that acts of violence threaten to drown out those who have legitimate voices, legitimate demonstrators, and those acts of violence, cannot and will not be condoned,” (Eric Holder, 11/25/14)

“What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” (Protesters at an Al Sharpton march, 12/13/14)

Well, Mr. Sharpton. You have gotten your wish. On Saturday, December 21, two members of the NYPD were assassinated while sitting in their squad car in Brooklyn. Their murderer took the coward’s way out and committed suicide before he could be arrested. Yesterday, a Florida officer responding to a noise complaint was shot and run over. In less than 72 hours, Mr. President, seven children are left fatherless. Three families will have to deal with an empty chair at their Christmas table. Where are the marches for their families? The protests? Those two policemen in New York were both of minority races – will you send Mr. Sharpton to eulogize and professionally mourn their deaths? The deaths that he called for?

Every day, those who walk that thin blue line go in knowing they might not come home. It is a thought they merely push to the back of their heads, as they will do what needs to be done, no matter what. Each of them chose to walk that line for a different reason. For some, yes, it’s a way to get back at the people who treated them like crap growing up. For others, it’s a true desire to protect and serve. For others, it’s a legacy, that thin blue line a family crest. Whatever the reason, they will step in front of a bullet, literally, for a stranger.

Mr. President, so often you speak of “hope” and “change”. You, sir, are the leader of this country. The change needs to start with you and your administration. Take them to task. No more words, sir. No backhanded support while communities burn themselves down. No more blanket condolences while allowing Dr. King’s dreams to come apart at the seams. No more silently condoning a return to “separate, but equal”. Start by looking at your Secret Service. They are your first line of defense. The local police are ours. They are MY family. MY brothers. MY friends.

Don’t let your ego or your legacy kill any more of them.

thin blue line

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Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

“I was watching the Weather Channel because I was going to fly down south when Hurricane Floyd was out in the Caribbean and so this is what they said, the information: Hurricane Floyd would be hitting the coast of the United States in five days and that it would hit somewhere, somewhere between Miami and New England. Why did they bother… why the f*** open your mouth? Why not just say Hurricane Floyd is coming… we’re going to go to a commercial.” -Lewis Black

If you have a statement to make, what’s the best way to go about it? Do you throw a temper tantrum, complete with curing, kicking, and shrieking like a ban-sidhe to get your point across? Or do you calmly present your points, provide examples and counter examples, to win your opponents over to your way of thinking? In an argument, which type or person would you rather deal with?

Last Saturday, 9 August 2014, two young men in Ferguson, Missouri were stopped by police. A scuffle ensued, during which eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer. At the time of the incident, those were the only facts that anyone -media, family and friends of the deceased knew for certain. As such, those should have been the only facts reported on.

However, the media chose to seize on the fact that the deceased was black and the officer who shot him was white. Despite living in a post-racial utopian society brought forth by the election of B. H. Obama, a candlelight vigil for the deceased rapidly turned into a violent free-for-all in which many citizens felt free to riot in the streets and loot and destroy local businesses in the name of “justice”.

Ferguson-riots-USA

 

Riots-in-Ferguson-mikebrown3

In case anyone had forgotten, rioting and looting are crimes. Yes, we have a Constitutional right to protest, but it must be done peacefully. I’m failing to see anything peaceful about arson, robbery, destruction of private property, et cetera. The gentleman pictured above must have an inkling of that as well, as he has covered his face from the security camera. The police responded in kind, using smoke canisters and tear gas to push back the crowds.

Here is the very, very simple reason why this post is entitled “You Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gunfight”. Ferguson is burning. These people, and for the ones doing the rioting and looting, I am using that term very, very loosely, are out for blood. We saw this in 1992 with the Los Angeles/Rodney King riots, and we saw it again in California in the 1990s when a group of bank robbers out-gunned local police departments. The robbers had Kevlar vests, AK-47s, grenades, mortars, you name it. The PDs had their regular side-arms and… that was it. They were hopelessly out-gunned by these bank-robbers. They were screwed. It took hours to get them properly armed. They needed that riot-gear, those heavier weapons, the armored vehicles. Those cops, because the local populace was afraid of their cops carrying an unnecessary show of force, were in serious danger when the bad guys (who don’t give a damn about unnecessary shows of force) showed up with a rather impressive show of force.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I started this with a quote from comedian Lewis Black. It illustrates the absurdity of the news these days. Even when there is nothing to report on, they will report on it, often whipping the populace up into a frenzy. That is exactly what happened in Ferguson. Various news sources took what little information they had, added every rumor they’d heard and a few they just made up, and spit it out for public consumption. A week later, we have everyone from the POTUS to Al Sharpton playing the race card (again), two police units that are having a very hard time getting their job done, and a city aflame.

One can’t help but wonder if all this couldn’t have been avoided if the news media hadn’t just reported on the basic facts and let the police departments do their job?

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