I came across an article on Facebook about “all the police officers killed in the line of duty that no one makes a big deal about”. I am assuming this is in response to the protests in Ferguson over the shooting death of Michael Brown and the “big deal” people are making about an officer killing of an unarmed man. I also assume, perhaps erroniously, the poster of the article does not have a full grasp of the situation and is in fact insensative to the sometimes fatal racism people of color face in our country every day or they wouldn’t feel the need to bring that up right now.
First of all, yes people do talk about police killed in the line of duty, as they should. It is tragic and horrifying when it happens and generally does make headline news. My father was a police officer and he told me if you got the call, “officer down” you dropped everything and went to the scene. Everytime my father put on his uniform and stepped out our front door he put himself in harms way but he did so by choice. There is assumed risk to being a police officer. He knew it and he did it anyway. That is one of the reasons police officers are heroic and that is also the reason any comparrison to Michael Brown’s shooting is irrelevant. My Mother worried every day my father might not come home but she never worried her children wouldn’t come home because of the color of their skin, their size, or the fact they were wearing a hoodie and someone thought they looked shifty while eating Skittles. It’s different. For every Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin there are thousands of young black men and women killed either by gang violence or the police no one is making a “big deal” about. And sorry to break it to you dear poster and Fox news pundits it is about race. I don’t have any answers as to how to solve the problems with racism our country faces but I do know we can’t even begin to fix it if we don’t admit it exists.
I hurt for Michael Brown’s mother and at the same time I think, “Thank God my son is white.” I don’t want to be in her shoes and the fact that I am white means I probably won’t be. How is this not about race?
I am sorry this post isn’t full of my usual clever and hilarious turn of phrase but there is nothing funny about this. Perhaps my next post will deal with important issues like my weight and how those darn rats are eating my tomatoes but today I am saying a prayer for peace and tolerance and that is no joke.