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Black Lives Matter (TOO)

I am white.  I grew up in a small town in Iowa and didn’t meet a black (or Latino, Indian, Asian) person until I went to college.  I then played football with black guys.  Sure they acted differently than me, but so did the white guys from New York and California. They were different, not better not worse.

When I graduated from College I taught in a predominantly black high school, and played semi-pro football. Omaha, NE did not realize that a school that was 90% white 10 blocks from a school that was 95% black was a bad thing.

Here are some things that happened during my high school teaching years:

  •  One night after leaving practice, a teammate and I were each stopped for doing a rolling stop.  I am sure the black player was more polite than I was, because that was the way he was.  He got a ticket and I got a warning.
  • I coached wrestling.  I took the freshman team to a meet and because of a scheduling problem, we got there 4 hours too early.  My wrestlers were polite and quiet. They were all black  We were all getting bored.  One young man asked politely if we could watch the local school’s varsity team practice.  They had some of the best wrestlers in the state and it would be a good learning experience.  The coach he asked yelled at the young man and said we always had a problem with you “YOU PEOPLE”.  He still addressed me nicely every time we talked.  I am still embarrassed that I did not stand up for my player.
  • I had a friend in Bloomington,MN.  He was black and lived 1 block over from me.  One night he was walking through the neighborhood and got stopped by the police.  He was questioned for about 15 minutes.  If I would not have walked by with one of my children, I do not know how long he would have had to stay there.  I verified that he lived in our neighborhood.  Also, he was a Dr. at our local clinic.
  • I was in the car with the same Dr. one day and got stopped for a broken taillight.  The policeman then made sure that the Dr.  kept his hands on the wheel and talked very rudely to him.  I have never been talked to that way.

See http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/ct-nvs-being-black-naperville-america-st-0715-20160714-story.html

Here is a snippet from that article.

When we say “Black Lives Matter,” understand what that actually means. We aren’t saying that ONLY Black lives matter. We’re saying “Black lives matter TOO.” For the entirety of the history of this country, Black lives have not mattered. At a minimum, they haven’t mattered nearly as much as White lives. If a Black person kills another Black person, and we have it on tape, the killer goes to jail. If a White police officer kills a Black person and we have it on tape, the entire judicial system steps up to make sure that officer doesn’t go to jail.

That is why Black people are in such pain right now. The deaths are bad enough. But having the feeling that nobody will ever actually be held accountable for the deaths is so much worse. And then watching as the police union, the media, and conservative politicians team up to imagine scenarios where the officer did nothing wrong, and then tell those of us who are in pain that our pain is wrong, unjustified, and all in our heads just serves to twist the knife.

2 replies on “Black Lives Matter (TOO)”

Karen Asfeld sent me this comment
No, I did not see the letter to the editor but I do read all the papers and not sure which paper it was printed in. Did you see the post I reprinted on facebook? If not I have attached it here. Get so tired of people want to make it a race issue when so naive and have no understanding what officers are going through today. With so many stops someone on drugs and quick to the trigger they have only a few seconds to make a decsions. There are actions the general public can do to show the officer he is approaching a “safe” vehicle/person. As a mother of an officer and already receiving that one phone call that he was involved in a fire fight; I thank God he was not injured and pray for his safety each day. And another kid who graduated a few years different from Clarissa-Eagle Bend involved in fire fight in the same county. You drive around these streets like you have nothing to worry about, when they see the ugly in our little towns of Sauk, Alexandria, long prairie. And this is in our little towns and the scale is so much large in the bigger city.

You can see why I also sent the post around on fb to empeach gov dayton for being so quick with his mouth regarding the latest incident in the cities was trying to blame the officers referring to a raciest issue when the officer that pulled the trigger not even white. OH MY GOD!!!! THIS HAS TO STOP AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC NEEDS A LITTLE RE-TRAINING

It’s not the police who need to be retrained, it’s the public. We have grown into a mouthy, cell phone wielding, vulgar, uncivil society with no personal responsibility and the attitude of ‘it’s the other person’s fault’, ‘you owe me’. A society where children grow up with no boundaries or knowledge or concern for civil society and personal responsibility.

When an officer says “Put your hands up,” then put your hands up! Don’t reach for something in your pocket, your lap, your seat. There’s plenty of reason for a police officer to feel threatened, there have been multiple assaults and ambushes on police officers lately. Comply with requests from the officer, have your day in court. Don’t mouth off, or fight, or refuse to comply… that escalates the situation.

Police officers are our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. They’re black, white, brown, all colors, all ethnicities, all faiths, male and female, they are us. They see the worst side of humanity… the raped children, the bloody mangled bodies of traffic victims, the bruised and battered victims of domestic violence, homicide victims, body parts… day after day.

They work holidays while we have festive meals with our families. They miss school events with their kids, birthdays, anniversaries, all those special occasions that we take for granted. They work in all types of weather, under dangerous conditions, for relatively low pay.

They have extensive training, but they are human. When there are numerous attacks on them, they become hyper vigilant for a reason, they have become targets. When a police officer encounters any person… any person, whether at a traffic stop, a street confrontation, an arrest, whatever… that situation has the potential to become life threatening. You, Mr & Mrs/Miss Civilian, also have the responsibility of keeping the situation from getting out of control.

Many law enforcement officers are Veterans. They’ve been in service to this nation most of their lives, whether on the battlefield or protecting us here at home. They are the only thing that stands between us and anarchy in the streets.

If you want to protect your child, teach them respect.

One person out of this country willing to shoot a police officer is too many. Also, 1 bigoted police officer out of 100 is too many. The people that I know in Black Lives Matter do not wish to kill police. They want to be treated like I am when stopped. With the respect that is due them. This is not what happens in many cases, especially in the cities. Black Lives Matter is portrayed as anti police, just like, by some, all police treat blacks differently. We know that is not true, but we must weed out the bad ones.

In MN, when was the last time you remember a policeman shot by a person of color? 53% of all police deaths are caused by white people. Most of those come from a domestic dispute call.

I fell for every policeman killed in the line of duty. I respect them and they do not deserve it.
John

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