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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blue Lives Matter, Too

I've been thinking a lot about all of the police officers ambushed and murdered recently. It really makes me sick to think of all these men putting their lives on the line being killed for no other reason than their choice of vocation.

I'm sure there are racist white cops, and I'm also sure there are racist black cops, but I don't think they are the majority. I think most cops try to be fair to everyone. Unless you are evil to the core, no one can remain unaffected if they kill someone. Any normal person would feel remorse for taking a life, even when justified.

The sad fact is that almost twice as many whites are killed by police than are blacks. In the first five months of 2015, 385 people were killed by police, 365 men and 20 women. 180 were white, 105 were black, 57 were Hispanic, 6 were Asian, 3 were "other", and 34 were unknown. Whites make up almost half of the total killed by police ... 47% to be exact. But no one talks about that.

There was a documentary on OJ Simpson recently. They interviewed a large number of people involved in the case, including prosecutors, defense attorneys, and jurists. One of the jurists, a black woman, was asked if the recent acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King played a role in their decision to acquit OJ. She said yes, she was sure it did. When they asked her if it played a role in her decision to find OJ Simpson not guilty, she nodded in the affirmative. Someone else, I can't remember who, said, "This is for Rodney King."

I remember the Rodney King beating. The tape of his beating was played over and over and over on the news. I had to turn away when they showed it. It sickened me to watch it. And I remember being shocked that the police were found not guilty. I didn't sit in the trial, and I didn't hear all the evidence, but to me, it sure looked like the police continued to beat that man a lot longer than could be justified. I can understand the outrage in the King verdict. I, too, was outraged, but how does allowing a double-murderer to go free atone for Rodney King?

Obama just fans the flames. He said "What black man hasn't heard the car doors lock when they walk across the street?" I find that ludicrous. If a black man dressed in "normal" clothing is walking across the street towards me, I wouldn't feel in danger. But if anyone, regardless of color, is dressed like a gang-banger, holding up his britches to keep them from falling to his ankles, that makes me uncomfortable. It's not the color of someone's skin that scares people into locking their doors ... it's their demeanor.

In all my dealings with police (all for traffic violations), I have never once felt threatened ... and neither did police. I treated them with respect. I didn't smart-off. I was polite. I didn't try to make a run for it. Every time I was pulled over, I had done something wrong. Sometimes I didn't realize the speed limit had changed, and so I was going too fast. That was my fault, and they had every right to pull me over.

Cops want to go home to their families after their shift. They're not out looking for a fight, but they are trained to fight if they feel lives are threatened. Fighting when lives are threatened is their job! Challenging authority, especially when that authority is armed, is just plain stupid. If you try to intimidate a cop, it's not going to end well. If you want a cop to think you're a threat, he's going to treat you as such.

The Black Lives Matter movement is getting out of control. They are exactly what they accuse the cops of being, and worse. Of course black lives matter. ALL lives matter ... which means the lives of those who put their lives on the line to protect everyone else matter, too.

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