Stop it. We are better than this. We are better than hate. We are better than segregation. We are better than racism. Over the past few months, I have spent a substantial amount of time reading the comments under news articles or Facebook posts. In a world where everyone is eager to utilize their civil liberty of freedom of speech, we are utilizing it wrong. Don’t get me a wrong, I know there is a silent majority reading the same comments and choosing to remain quiet but there is a very loud minority misrepresenting us as a whole. This isn’t a one sided argument either. There are human beings on both side of the fence that are being awful to other human beings. There are human beings who have forgotten that you can’t fix the problem by becoming part of it. It’s counterproductive. It’s empty and fruitless. Simply, it’s wrong.
Yes, I am a police wife. Yes, I love my family in blue. Yes, I will stand with them forever but I am not so naive to say that there isn’t a problem. I’m not so naive to say that there isn’t a gross prejudice that feels ever tangible in the air. I am having trouble with our desire to over-compartmentalize one another. I am having a difficult time understanding why we are so desperate to label and persecute one another. In an interview with Oprah, Raven Symone set social media on fire with her response to labelism. I have to say that, out of everyone’s views on how America was intended to be, I felt more connected to her response than anyone elses. She was tired of being labeled. She was tired of being compartmentalized and she wasn’t going to do it any more.
“I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American,” Raven said.
“Oh, girl, don’t set up Twitter on fire,” Oprah said. “You’re going to get a lot of flak for saying you’re not African-American.”
“What I really mean by that is I’m an American. That’s what I really mean,” Raven replied. “I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with caucasian. I connect with Asian. I connect with black. I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture,” Raven said.
“You are a melting pot in one body,” Oprah said.
“Isn’t that what America is supposed to be?” Raven declared.
And, she’s right. We are settling for mediocrity. We are allowing ourselves to not expect more from one another. In fact, we are blatantly setting ourselves up to expect less. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t embrace our cultures. I’m not saying anyone should be ashamed of their skin color or deny their history. I’m saying that you can’t hold an entire group of people accountable for the actions of one. You can’t assume that all Priests are pediphiles. You can’t assume all teachers are uninvested. You can’t assume that all black teenagers are going to rob you in the parking lot. It’s unfair to label every police officer a racist. It’s even more unfair to label a black officer an Uncle Tom. Why are we persecuting people who are signing up to make the world better? Why are we criticising those who are trying to make their lives better?
Yes. I’m a police officer’s wife that believes their lives matter. I believe that they are grossly underappreciated, misunderstood, and villainized in the courts of public opinion. But, I also believe that black lives matter. I believe that all lives matter. When you create an environment where people are wearing t-shirts that say “I Love a Dead Cop” or you see people holding up signs that say “All my heroes kill cops”, how is this helping the issue? How is this helping the race relations in America? We are creating an environment where we are raising up black teenagers to fear and hate the police. We are creating an environment where officer’s are going to fear for their safety more quickly than they might have before people started murdering them while they sat in their patrol cars or ate lunch in a restaurant. We aren’t making anything better. We’re making it worse, America.
I turn my eyes to the little boy who is playing on my living room floor and my eyes will instantly begin to water. Why? Because I so desperately want more for him in this life. I want him to grow up with love in his heart and an understanding that people are just people. They aren’t black people. They aren’t white people. They aren’t Asian people. I want him to be the kid who stands up to the bully on the playground and the child that takes the misfit under his wings. I want him to be good and kind. I want him to not be hated simply because he is the offspring of a Police Officer. Even more so, I don’t want anyone to hurt him to hurt us. And, that’s the world we are creating. There are people calling for his death. There are people calling for me to be raped. There are people calling for the murder of my husband. And it’s not just my family specifically, it is the families of the entire police community.
When a road construction worker gets struck by a vehicle, people don’t minimize it by saying that it was just part of the job. When a nurse gets stuck with a hypodermic needle, people don’t rally in the streets proclaiming their happiness for her misfortune. When a firefighter succums to his injuries he attained on the job, you most certainly won’t see people holding up signs that say “The only good firefighter is a dead firefighter.” They don’t try to justify it by saying “they signed up for it.” We aren’t going to fix our brokenness by trying to honor the loss of life by creating more loss of life. You can’t fight perceived injustice with more injustice.
My heart is heavy because I know that our only options are to self destruct or move forward in open dialog. My heart is heavy because I don’t want to hand a broken world over to future generations. I’m tired of the hatred. I’m tired racisms and prejudices. I’m tired of waking up to another story where an officer has lost his life for simply doing his job. So, that leaves me to ask….
How do we make it better?
Sound Off, America.