These marches are not only about recent cases. Some of us have been all too conscious of police abuse our entire lives, and it has been underway for generations. It's just that we have, as a country, come to a different place.
Thirty years ago today the inviolate right to self-defense and the battle over firearm civil liberties were joined in one of the unlikeliest of battle zones -- New York City.
I pray for unity in the city, as pain runs deep in many communities. But, we will no longer tolerate those, like Pat Lynch, who want to create more pain by attempting to divide the people and those who have taken an oath to protect and serve them.
Senseless crimes are destroying families and taking innocent lives, yet today we live in a society where many are hungry for change, but fail to realize we must first become the change we desire to see.
And especially for all those who risk their lives at night to keep us safe, warm and comfortable, we should all say a special thanks and prayer for safety. Because being up all night is interesting, and sometimes profitable. But it's almost never preferable. And I speak from experience.
What is needed now is calm and thoughtfulness, and a real willingness to engage in dialogue on both sides. But respecting law enforcement is a critical part of that equation.
Black lives matter, and our justice system must become more fair and just. I hope many others concerned about these injustices will stand up to support policies and reforms that will create a fairer, safer, and more just America.
This is not a political post. This is not a divisive post. This is not an inflammatory post. This is a simply a post to show that when a bullet kills a police officer it reverberates, not just in the public sphere, but for generations.
What we need in the United States is not division; what we need is not hatred; what we need is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country.
I realize that many factors play a role in the examples I cite above, including the judicial system itself; official versus real life police attitudes, not to mention the law and recent questionable policing techniques implemented in New York City and elsewhere.
As a dispatcher, there is a script that you follow, and while I am talking to a caller, I'm typing (I type as fast as you can talk), I'm keying my mike and sending units and I'm connecting you to the paramedics if you need them.
It was a weekday afternoon and things were pretty quiet in our house. I was tidying up with the beats of my cleaning music in the background when I glanced out of the window and saw a police car parked in our driveway.
We will not move forward as a society until we can bring ourselves to listen and respond to the cries of those whose spirits have been crushed by the chokehold of poverty and racism.
There has been much discussion about what citizenship education should look like in the 21st century. This was an outstanding example of young people becoming activists, raising questions with adults, searching for answers, and sharing their ideas with a broader audience.
As we wrestle with two Grand Jury decisions not to indict police officers for murder, I am reminded of anti-lynching advocate Ida B. Wells. Wells, an African American journalist who often sent detectives to investigate individual lynchings and published their reports.
Soldiers, officers and police that fought against each other two decades earlier are now working together in UN and NATO operations to keep or deliver peace.