I want to make two T-shirt purchases which will anger the entire this polarized country.
First I want a Black Lives Matter T-shirt to protest the senseless killings of black males by police officers who are always found not guilty by jurors.
And I want to purchase a thin blue line T-shirt as an act of support and solidarity to the great police officers that serve and protect us in daily life. That would anger folks who believe all police are out to murder blacks when they get a chance.
That simply is not true.
I write this today because another police officer was found not guilty of a murder when Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of the shooting of black passenger Philando Castile in Minnesota. The officer claimed he had no choice but to shoot him because he reached for his pockets. The girlfriend who shot the video claims the officer told him to produce identification.
I believe Castile would still be alive if he were white.
There are two sides to every issue. Unfortunately we live in a society that only looks at one side and stands doggedly on that side. There is no room for compromise let alone take a peek on the other side of the fence.
People get upset at the term Black Lives Matter. Here is my take on it. We already know that white lives matter and blue lives matter. I believe society does not put as much value on black lives as it should.
When someone is killed whether they are black, blue or white we must remember that someone in the world loves them which places value on that life.
We are either Democratic or Republican and make flimsy excuses for our party’s positions no matter what. We are either liberal or conservative and can never reach across and try to understand the other side.
We either believe that all police officers are murderers or that every black male that is murdered by a police officer deserved it. That is our divisive society.
I want to do the impossible. I want us to come together on one issue before more black and blues are killed.
When somebody murders a police officer, they are celebrated by some who say justice was served. When a black is murdered by a police officer I hear from folks who say: “He looked like a threat to me. I don’t blame the police for shooting him Well if he didn’t commit a crime.”
We are blind as a nation.
Police work hard and place their lives in danger every day. But you can’t tell me there should be a zero percent conviction rate in these often video taped murders.
The Black Lives Movement fell short after a sniper killed five Dallas police officers last summer.
“Black activist have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it,” the group said in a statement after the shootings. “Yesterday’s attack was the result of the actions of a lone gunman. To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible. We continue our efforts to bring about a better world for all of us.”
The statement did not go far enough. There was no remorse for the victims and their families.
The gunman Micah Johnson, a 25 year old military reservist, said he was not a supporter of Black Lives Matter and said he had problems with the group. He also said he wanted to kill white police officers.
I spoke to about a half dozen members of the Oakland County Sheriffs Department last year who told me they were upset about some of the shootings also. They said they respected all lives and would not shoot unless they deemed it necessary to protect their lives.
They admitted that in some of the cases that the officer’s lives were not in danger and that a more peaceful resolution was possible.
So I may order my T-shirts.
One day I might anger black folks who will call me a sell out. And the next day I might anger white folks who will call me an ungrateful militant.
That’s OK. I simply want folks to reach some type of compromise and reach across the aisle on an important issue before more black or blue lives are lost.