Friday, September 23, 2016

Blue Lives Matter / Black Lives Matter

That Blue Lives Matter is not in dispute. Unjust killings of police officers are met with outrage, demands for justice,
systemic support for victims' families, and an effort to decrease these incidents in the future. We honor such victims as heroes. This is as it should be. Unjust killings should never be tolerated in a civilized culture. When I hear of an officer killed in the line of duty, my reaction is sympathy and appreciation for the officer's sacrifice. Criticizing or blaming an innocent officer for her own death would be vulgar and repulsive.

That Black Lives Matter is in dispute. Black people are being shot to death while shopping, or playing in a park, or seeking assistance for a broken down vehicle. Video evidence of innocent, unarmed, black people being shot to death is somehow met by otherwise moral people with complete indifference. Worse yet, these otherwise moral people blame the victims and become enraged when black people complain.

No one believes that all or most police officers are bad apples. On the contrary, most people appreciate law enforcement. However, just as a teacher, truck driver, or bricklayer must be prosecuted for criminal behavior, so must police officers.

Like teachers, police officers receive low pay for an extremely responsible job. Unlike teachers, police officers must be prepared to manage life and death situations on a regular basis. Also unlike teachers, who must complete a Bachelor's degree and an internship to be certified, basic law enforcement training in NC requires only a HS diploma or GED and 620 hours of training. To put that in perspective, cosmetologists must complete 1500 hours of training to be licensed in NC.

Innocent American citizens are being killed by police officers on a regular basis. Instead of black people, imagine if these executions were being perpetrated against people with blue eyes. Because a 12-year-old in a park had blue eyes, police felt threatened and shot him to death. Because a stalled motorist had blue eyes, police shot him to death as he held his hands in the air. Because a father had blue eyes, police shot him to death in Walmart when he picked up a toy gun to buy for his kid's birthday.

For any moral patriot, shock and outrage should be the appropriate responses to
these events. This is not an issue that should be debated. It is an issue requiring immediate action! How could anyone think otherwise!? Accountability and increased training are obvious places to start.

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