Tag Archives: gun violence

And then there is hate

I start each blog here on Mondays with the intention of being interesting or funny or at least sarcastic (if only to amuse myself) but it’s been difficult lately. I don’t have the words to express my sadness and anger and frustration the state of the world currently requires.

Rape isn’t funny.

Murder isn’t funny.

Bigotry isn’t funny.

Politics? Well, that ceased to be funny a while ago. While one side is decidedly headed by a profoundly hilarious clown, I can’t laugh when I see how many people think he is a valid example of a world leader, especially when he pulls out his favorite Lincoln-Douglas debate retort: I know you are but what I am, you loser. (Now that I think about it, maybe PeeWee Herman deserves a write-in campaign this year.)

And then there is hate.

And then there is violence.

And then there are tears and wailing at walls and for walls.

And then there is pointing fingers and demanding answers and assigning blame.

And then there is a call for retribution, blind though it may be.

And then there is a reminder that we do not yet have all the answers.

And then we fold in when we remember black and white are just for words on a page.

And then we sift through the grey particles of our grey matter as we search for truth and meaning.

And then we bury the dead and we bury our feelings.

And then we wait.

We wait for something to be done. Surely something will be done THIS time, right?

I am tired of counting the dead. I am tired of having to prove the worth of a woman. I am tired of explaining the self-evident concept of “all are created equal”.

I join a chorus of women – of people – who call (yet, one more time) for something better.

Your right to hate ends at our right to live in peace.

rainbow heart

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Filed under Feminism, Sexism, and Equality, K.M.'s Soapbox, Violence Against Women

We can do better

THIS was a badge of honor!

THIS was a badge of honor!

I am the daughter and granddaughter of police officers. I was raised to believe that the police had our best interests in mind. The police were the good guys.

And mostly they are.

Police officers are the first to put themselves between the people and danger. For that they should be honored and rewarded.

But they are not above the law. They do not get to have their behaviors dismissed because they carry a badge and a gun.

That badge is not a get out of jail free card.

My father was a southern cop during the Civil Rights movement. He saw sides of people that some of us will never see. He watched people stand up for what they believed was right. He saw men and women cross lines that they knew would lead them (and him) into dangerous circumstances. He believed in equality. He believed in the law. He believed that everyone deserved fair access to the system he served.

I think he would be appalled by what this country is experiencing today as we watch one police officer after another get absolved for their sins, for breaking the laws they vowed to uphold, without so much as a slap on the wrist.

My father always told me a police officer uses force only as a last resort. You treat people like human beings first. You give them a chance, a pause, a moment to think about their choices. You hope for the best. You never draw your gun unless there is genuine danger. You never pull the trigger unless you are in a kill-or-be-killed situation.

My father told me that taking a life should bring you pain. It should hurt you to do it. You should do all you can to do something else. The badge is not a license to kill. It is a license to protect.

My father was a cop. He was in actual dangerous situations with tangible violence, vicious criminals, and people with a history of terrorist aggression and access to dangerous weapons.

Real crime. Real danger.

A man selling illegal cigarettes on a New York City sidewalk or a misguided juvenile delinquent with time to change his ways or a boy playing with a toy gun in a park deserve a better end than the ones they received at the hands of police officers with too much power and not enough compassion.

We should expect better. We can do better.

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Filed under Politics and Religion, The Media and Pop Culture