Friday, July 8, 2016
It's My Birthday and My Heart is Heavy
Last night I went to bed with a heavy heart...eleven Police Officers in Dallas had been shot and the number of them dying kept climbing. I watched the videos of the brave officers rushing towards the shooter's location trying to protect the BLM protesters, news crews and innocent bystanders and trying to protect one another and take out the threat. I saw them shielding people with their own bodies and trying to get them to safety. As others ran away from the threat, these officers put themselves in harms way. Five officers have now died and I pray that the other injured officers make a full recovery, as well as the civilian who was shot.
We have sadly become a society where people make a snap judgement without knowing all the facts. We no longer take the route of the justice process but revert to vigilantism and target and kill innocents who had nothing to do with the perceived injustice. Our leaders in this country are some of the worst offenders of not waiting for the facts to come out and instead whipping up anger and ruining even more lives. They too need to be held accountable for their actions and for contributing to the violence that is plaguing our country and stop using tragedies like this to push their own agendas. It irks me to no end when our president makes a speech condemning the targeted attacks but also says we need to wait for more information. Why did he not "wait for more information" before condemning other police officers who were involved in tragic shootings and instead choose to pass judgement upon them and say the shootings were racially motivated before he had all the facts and thus stirring up more anti police sentiments which directly led to this tragedy in Dallas? Yes, there are bad cops out there and yes, they need to be held accountable and charged with murder, but the majority of police officers are good people trying to do their jobs and protect all of us as were the officers in Dallas who were protecting those very people who were protesting against their brothers and sisters in law enforcement. The officers who were killed and wounded died because of misplaced anger being fueled in part by ignorant and irresponsible rhetoric coming from the top on down.
Why you might ask do I take this so personally? I have 2 sons that are good and honest police officers who care about their communities and the people in them. They put themselves in harms way to protect and help people, including people who have helped contribute to the racial division and anger in our country instead of trying to help heal it. As a mother, I know that at any time my sons may become an innocent target, like those brave officers in Dallas were, just because of the badge and uniform they wear. I also know that they may be killed responding to a traffic stop, domestic violence situation, or any other scenario. They know this too and yet they continue to do their job with compassion, integrity and continue to try to make a difference in this world and save lives. My heart aches for the families of the officers who were killed and injured and for their fellow officers and friends. Their lives are shattered and will never be the same. Children will grow up without one of their parents, spouses no longer have their loving partner in life, mother and fathers will have to bury their children and brothers and sister live with the grief of knowing their sibling was murdered. The other officers who were there have to go on and do their jobs while mourning the loss of their brothers and sisters in blue all the while knowing that they too may become the next victim or this senseless vigilantism. One of my son's police departments was already a target of a deranged shooter and a brave officer was lost. So yes, I know that the fear all too well.
So here is my birthday wish. On a personal level, please thank a police officer for the dangerous job they do. On a greater level, hold our politicians who contribute to this toxic situation by speaking before they have all the facts, accountable for their actions. We need to work together to hold the few bad apples in the law enforcement community accountable and we need to support the ones who are just doing their jobs and find themselves in a life or death situation and have to make that horrible choice to take out the threat before they or someone else is killed. And finally, we need to work together to help heal our country and stop letting people with their own evil agendas divide us further.
Thank you and be blessed.