Are you, like me, wondering, “What else can we do to unify our community?”
Let’s try this.
One of the chants that can be heard at local protests is, “No justice, no peace. No racist police.” When I hear this, I think how easy it is to overlook that qualifier, “racist” and instead hear just “police.”
But that’s not what we’re fighting for.
Tensions are like a tsunami—high, immense, furious, determined. And rightly so. But it is easy to get swept up in the rage and miss some of the details.
One missing and pertinent detail is that we are protesting the actions of racist police, not all police. We are protesting the lack of action of our country, our judicial system, to protect its citizens against those that abuse their power. This is an issue that affects all members of our community, including, maybe even especially our police force.
There is a derisive, corrosive sentiment permeating through our community, a perception that it is us versus them, citizen vs “the blue wall.” This does nothing but further divide and erode our community.
The first step towards unifying our community is for members of that special sect of the community, those entrusted with a duty to serve, to join in this pursuit for justice. We need visible members of the police force to stand along side their community, supporting their community, joining their local protests.
I propose this: at your protest, hand out blue sheets of paper to the police. If they won’t or cant take it, set it beside them. On it, write something to the effect of, “Please join your community and show your support for justice. Please join us when you can, and hold up a blue sign or wear blue clothing so we know you’re here. Your fellow citizens need you. Your community needs you.”
I don’t know about you, but I really want a visual aid to help illustrate to the children in our community, “Some police are here to help, not hurt. See? There’s one right there.” Sometimes we all need a visual reminder.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Jenny Spitzer
Editor: Travis May
Photo: David Shankbone/Flickr