I woke up this morning feeling a little uneasy, as did many Americans. I usually grab for my iPad to see if I have any messages, but I can also see news alerts that come up. The first thing I see is: “THE LATEST: Five police officers were killed and several other hurt in a shooting at the end of a protest Thursday night in downtown Dallas”. I shook my head in disgust at how people are trying to solve violence with violence. I had a little fear in my heart as well. I wasn’t afraid for my personal safety or anything but just afraid for everyone as a whole. The exact words that came to my mind were, “people are starting to go ape-shit and that’s really scary for everyone”.
I don’t usually follow the news or watch a lot of TV. I know that there are bad things happening everywhere, all the time. I know that we have a huge circus playing out right in front of us with this year elections. I see plenty of news feeds on Facebook and other social media that I follow. If something happens to grab my attention I will look into it but over all I just keep scrolling. Because of this, I really didn’t know much about the shooting that took place in Barton Rouge or Minneapolis. I got the general idea that two different black men were shot and killed by the police in two different circumstances. And then I saw the hashtag for Black Lives Matter all over my feed.
Honestly as soon as I see that tag or anything else the focuses on just one race, or nationality or anything else that singles out one human being I tend to have a deaf ear. Not out of disrespect for that group, but out of the fact that in 2016 we still see people as “groups” instead of human beings as a whole. We are all made up of the same things on the inside. The color of one’s skin should not define them as any different. We all feel love, loss, grief, happiness, and so on. We all come into this world in the same way; a clean slate. As infants we do not see color or understand what hate is. These are things that we are taught as we start to understand our place in this world. Fortunately, I was not raised to see or feel those things. I have, however, experienced them from other people but nothing ever changed who I am. I have always just seen people as people. Not colors. Not religions. Not sex. I do feel that All Lives Matter equally.
So in order for me to have a better idea of what was going on, I took the time to watch both videos of the latest police involved killings. Both were very disturbing and sad. Both also do not show the whole story. I am not saying that as a good thing or a bad thing but as the truth. Now that I have seen both videos I will remain curious to see what is pieced together as the whole picture. I do think that excessive force may have been used but on the other hand, I can understand, but do not condone, why police officers feel the need to protect themselves. Just as some people see different races as the problem, others see police as the problem. I think there are good and bad in all “groups” and I think as human beings we tend to make the wrong choices under pressure and without proper support from each other. We make mistakes under duress. We jump to conclusions. And we suffer as a whole from the bad choices made by a couple bad seeds. I do feel for those involved and their families. No matter who was right and who was wrong, all involved will suffer.
But violence is not the answer to violence. The suspect that was involved in the Dallas police officer shootings said that we was singling out white police officers; that he “wanted to kill whites'”. How is that going to solve the issue? Again the focus here was on one group wanting revenge on another group. Those officers were trying to protect all the citizens, as a whole, that had attended the protest. They were there to make sure nothing got out of hand and to keep the peace. They were even instructed not to be present in riot gear, so not to send off the wrong intentions at the protest. To be “political correct” in away. Now we have 5 officers dead. Five families that will never be whole again because someone was angry about something that didn’t even happen in the same state. This is not the answer. Hate and revenge will never be the answer.
Some people may read my opinion and argue that I am immune and/or ignorant from understanding why Black Lives Matter because I am white. I cannot argue what is; I am white. But I can say that I was not raised to see the difference between race, religion, age, or sexuality. And I choose to continue not to see the difference just because of what is going on around me. But I do know the difference between right and wrong. And all I see is that mankind is anything but kind. We can be so horrible to each other and to other creatures that inhabit this planet with us. We would rather destroy and rip apart ideas and each other than to learn how to live in peace and with love for each other. In the end we will be our own demise and that is what I fear. That hate will over come love and all will be lost.