Just a short piece for today, but one with a message that I think is really important.
A public service announcement, if you will. After attending my second black lives matter rally the other day, I want to make something very clear: standing for liberty and justice for all is not anti-police.
At both marches I made a point to step out of the crowd on many occasions to say thank you for your service to the local police officers on duty. They responded by saying, ‘You’re Welcome’ and ‘Stay Safe’. I said the same thing to a state trooper who replied in a similar manner. My thank yous were sincere, as I was in fact grateful for their presence at the rallies. There have been reports stating the protests are dangerous. Both times I was a bit reluctant but felt it was more important to show my support and put aside my reluctance of safety. However, seeing the police made me feel safer, not to mention they assisted in both demonstrations by redirecting traffic making the marches more visible. One of the organizers gave a powerful speech prior to the march, instructing the participants and also called attention to the police that were present to thank them for protecting us. The crowd applauded.
Of course there are other neighborhoods with deep layers of escalated tension between law enforcement and the residents where this level of cooperation does not exist. There are reports of disorder and violence breaking out and overt disrespect to the police. I am sorry to hear this. There are thousands attending these demonstrations so the vantage points are numerous, but for me I appreciate the protection that the police give me and my family on a daily basis, and also with demonstrations. I appreciate their service in the same way I appreciate the service of healthcare workers and others who risk their lives to protect and serve the people. Now is the time to rise up. Attending these rallies and standing for justice is not mutually exclusive with a vision of peace. There is enough sunlight for all of us AND we must acknowledge the fact that people have been left in the dark, for far too long.