Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Letter from the other side

If you're seeing this, then I hit the publish button. Something that I originally wrote just for me, to get some anger out, to let off some steam & not go rogue starting Facebook comment wars in the process. But then I thought maybe people should read this. Maybe I should share. So, if you're seeing this, then I decided to be brave, do your best to be nice, this was a hard one to write // publish.

Please, before you read this (and potentially leave a rude comment on the Internet for all to see), make note of two things.
1. This is MY space. My corner of the Internet where I get to type things I want to type, and if you don't like it, there's a little red X button you can hit, and I'll be back on Friday with your normal Acquired Sass posts.
2. If you disagree with me & would like to discuss, but don't want to get into a comment frenzy, please, by all means, email me at TheAcquiredSass@gmail.com

I've struggled with what to say on these shootings. Philando Castille, Alton Sterling & 5 police officers in Dallas. I've struggled with if I should say anything at all, I have my opinions, they're mine & do I really want to get into a battle of opinions on the Internet? Not particularly. But, I've watched my Facebook newsfeed blow up with posts, mostly condemning these officers for shooting, calling them racist, calling them murderers, calling them all sorts of names.

We can watch videos, we can listen to interviews & we can ask questions, trying to extract the truth. The problem is, it will never be a first person account. How can you quantify or extract the fear that someone felt in a split second.

A cop has two jobs. The first is to interpret the law as best they can with the information they have at the time - the problem is, they rarely have all the information. The second job? Get home safe. These guys put their lives on the line every day. Every person they come across could be a threat, not just to the public, but to their own lives.

I honestly can't know what went on in these shootings. What I can know is in .001 seconds these officers had to make a decision. Was their life on the line? Were other people's lives on the line? If in that instant the answer was yes, than they acted as they needed to.

Why won't I jump down their throats?

Because these officers are going home safe, 5 officers in Dallas aren't. They're not going home to their wives, their kids, their lives. The world they try to protect betrayed them. Motive unknown. But that's the problem, you don't need a motive. One crazy guy in a movie theater, restaurant, school, & it's all over.

| side note | The thing that blows here is that it was one or the other, I wish everyone could go home safe, that these three instances had never happened.

Black people & cops? They're not all that different from where I sit. Living in fear? One for their skin color, one for their uniform, a uniform may come off, but the consequences of wearing it do not.

Cops? They're the ones you see sitting facing the door at a restaurant, so they can see people as they come through. In case they ever need to describe a suspect. They're the one sleeping close to the door, gun on the nightstand, to protect their wife, in case someone they once arrested gets a bright idea. They're the ones with concealed carry permits, always carrying, so they never have to say they didn't try to stop something. They're the men & women who suit up every day, weekends, midnight shifts, holidays. They put on a bulletproof vest & they go to work & they do their best to come home safe each night. They miss all sorts of events & milestones & they do it so you can rest easy, so you can close your eyes at night & feel safe in your home.

And just the way we preach against stereotypes for races, one white person should not speak for the entirety of white people, nor should one bad action condemn the others, so why do we do it to these officers. Why does one shooting, warranted or not (because we are NOT the judge & jury) make all cops the enemy.

We rush to judge, we're animal rights activists, zookeepers & parenting experts when a child falls into a gorilla enclosure, we're 2nd amendment & gun law ownership experts when a gun owner shoots up a night club, and now we're all criminal prosecutors, rushing to convict these cops.

Wracked with guilt, condemned by hashtags, millions of views on these videos & a relentless court of Facebook judge & jury.

Right or wrong - think about it from the other side.
And let the legal system do its job.

Linking up with Amanda as I think out loud.

11 comments:

  1. I actually thought of your boyfriend - anyone I know of that works on the force. What a hard hard time for them. My heart aches for them & their loved ones as there is so much to worry about now than usual.
    I'm proud of you for hitting publish.

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  2. You are so so right about this. There's two sides to every story and often times we focus on just one.

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  3. Jessie, I'm with you. I think it's so hard for people to step back and realize these things. It's a job I could never do, and I am SO thankful for the men and women who are strong enough to do it everyday.
    I'm so disgusted when I log on everyday and see people COMMENDING the officer shootings. Because regardless of whether the officers involved in the 2 deaths are guilty or not (and I agree with you - not my place to decide.) those 5 men WERE UNINVOLVED.
    There are good and bad versions of everything in this world. No one wants to be lumped all together with the bad ones, but people are so quick to do just that to other people.
    My heart breaks thinking about how wives and children and families have to grieve and learn to go on just because someone couldn't (or wouldn't) see the other side and the big picture.

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  4. I can about imagine the courage for you to push the publish button but I am so glad you did. Amen.

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  5. I live in my own happy little world of oblivion because I don't watch the news (too negative) or am on Facebook (too annoying). So I actually haven't seen or heard any of the things you're talking about. My husband gave me a summary, and that was enough for me. From what I know, I can't imagine why anyone would disagree with you, but I guess that's just my opinion too. Sad, very sad.

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  6. I agree - and even if I didn't, I'd be glad to read a well thought-out post like this rather than yet another ignorant Facebook rant :) Glad I found your blog!

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  7. Well said girly! I couldn't agree more with you!!!

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  8. well said love. i think it's a little too easy for some people to judge when it has nothing to do with them and they are safe at home behind a computer screen.

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  9. SO. So. right. It's so easy to just see a situation from one side, but I just talked to a District Attorney a couple days ago for the newscast that I help write, and he said that the first order of business is 'Come home safe', and it's really dangerous out there for police officer. I don't think I fully realized this a couple years ago, but now I realize it so much more. We need to not discount both sides and remember that all life is precious.

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