There’s a ROOT.

Tonight in Community Policing.

I didn’t want to go to class tonight, but it’s the last one of the semester.  I knew that Baltimore would come up because every time someone gets shot by the police or there is an injustice we usually go over what happened and what the issues are (not just the high profile cases).  My professor used to be the chief of police of a department that he says had a lot of racial tension, and he made every effort possible to fix that…and was successful.  So, here I am sitting in the front row as usual…and I’m randomly picked to read a slide about the Kansas City Preventive Patrol (this was one of the efforts to bring the community closer to police departments  after riots in the 1960’s).  I read the slide, and he says this was a result of the riots of the 60’s…what do you think will come of the riots of the 2015’s (lol)?

I cringe inside, because I have made up in my mind at this point that I don’t want to talk about Baltimore yet.  I had came up with a creative way to address my feelings about it and it’s not complete.  This is a class where normally shootings are blamed on the person who was shot because “if you don’t run, you don’t get shot,” or “if you just do what you’re asked you won’t get shot,” or “if you aren’t looking like a suspect, you won’t get shot,” or in the case of Baltimore “if he wasn’t doing something wrong, he wouldn’t have gotten arrested to die in jail in the first place.” Get the point?

In this same class about a month ago, media and the police were talking.  Someone says “The media fuels the fire..it all started with that Trayvon Martin kid.  If the media didn’t talk about it, it wouldn’t be an issue.”  *Blank Stare* I say, “It didn’t start with Trayvon Martin.”

So today…I said “What will come from the riots in Baltimore? I feel that the city officials need to LISTEN.  The rioters are saying something, and their frustration is not driven by this single incident, it is frustration that has a deep foundation with layers to it.”  *Crickets*

My professor to my surprise says: “Absolutely!”

Here’s my position, what I can put into words any way. HISTORY is fueling this fire.  I’m in the process of looking up history from a biblical foundation because I’m writing a poem about it, but for this piece let’s just look at the history of America.

You have slavery, the first form of policing in America being that of SLAVE patrols.   Fast forward, you free slaves and declare segregation unconstitutional, but some of these people still have prejudice attitudes towards Blacks.   Now you have police officers who are policing communities with people they don’t necessarily care for populating them.  Then you have the reform era of policing that’s trying to break the tension between the police and blacks in neighborhoods…but now there is a HISTORY of bad relationship and communication between police and Blacks. Just like stereotypes of black people have been passed down, stereotypes of police officers have been passed down.  However, that doesn’t mean that all cops are bad, and that all black people are bad.

My point: There is a ROOT to the issue of rioting.  Let’s not just look at the result, but what caused that end result. You can’t just cut a branch off and expect a tree to fall.

Prayer: Has to be done from the root.

Justice: Has to be done from the root.

Restoration: Has to be done from the root.

This might end up sounding like rambling, but I just had to get SOMETHING out.

(For a look at a more constructive look into what I think, take a look at my post on Eric Garner, and Mike Brown, and Tamir Rice, and Trayvon Martin, and many others here….  https://peaceofmyheartandmind.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/too-much/


Too Much

I will start off by saying what I’ve seen one of my fellow writers say, just to be clear: I do NOT hate the police, and I understand that not ALL police officers have not used excessive force. I have pretty much kept silent on the Michael Brown situation since August in order to make sure that I respond intelligently, and not emotionally.  However, it is almost impossible for me not to respond emotionally. With that being said, I’ll tell you how I feel and then as I work through that I’ll let you in on what I’ve personally learned.

I am not surprised that no one is being held responsible for the shooting of an unarmed person, especially an unarmed black teenager.  America has clearly shown their view and value of black men (google: “black men killed by police”).  Contrary to what others have expressed, I do NOT believe that this has any reflection on “black on black crime,” or how the black race values themselves.  I say that specifically based on the statistics that 84% of homicides that have killed a white person have been at the hands of another white person, and 93% of homicides that have killed a black person have been at the hands of another black person.  Homicides are usually intra-racial because most people live around people of the same race.  So, I feel like this is an excuse to try to get us to excuse the fact that MULTIPLE unarmed black men have been killed by police.  In response to the outrages that have come against the protests, I want to say that while violence is absolutely unnecessary people have to realize that maybe these people are TIRED of seeing injustice when it comes to situations like this.  I wonder how it would be if the tables were turned?  I am literally OUTRAGED that people could be so ignorant to see this event reoccurring OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again, WITHOUT doing something about it. So, this sums up my feelings about Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Sean Bell, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Trayvon Martin…should I go on? …ok, Kimani Gray, Kendrec Mcdade, Timothy Standsbury, and in my own hometown Milton Hall.  My point is this: there are many more of these names, and no one is being held responsible.  In studying this issue, white men are much more likely to be apprehended and given a chance at trial whereas black men are executed on sight.

What I’ve learned:

When the prosecutor in Ferguson said that the officer would not be ignited, I was angry, hurt, and angry some more (I still am).  Moved to tears I couldn’t believe that this had happened…again.  The people that are close to me texted me and told me to be the change, even asked me if I wanted to take a road trip to Missouri.  I had lost hope.  I heard God say: you need to pray for the officer.  I didn’t want to, but I did.  The next day I was in my car and I heard:  you and I know that you are an advocate for the underdog, pray.  I still didn’t want to but I did it.  Advocate: a person who pleads for or in behalf of another;intercessor.  Later, I was scrolling down my fb homepage and someone was talking about prayer helping the situation.  Doubt clouded my mind, and God said: “when did you stop believing that I can do the impossible?” So…while still being angry I’ll pray.  I’ll pray that there is more unity in America, I’ll pray that we would not see the police as enemies, but that pictures like these will be seen more:

Tears again. Tears

I’ll pray for my heart to be more compassionate, I’ll pray for the eyes of the ignorant to be opened on both sides of these circumstances, I’ll pray that division and barriers be broken so that we would be able to live peacefully.  Most of all, I’ll pray “help me to believe that you can do it , because my faith isn’t there right now.” Will you pray with me?

As far as literal action…I don’t know where to start.  I DO believe that I’m equipped to change the system, and I’ll do it by being a positive influence  to one person at a time…until my voice can reach more.