Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"F*ck the Police" rallies may do exactly that.

Have we ever stopped to wonder what the world might look like if we got exactly what we ask for?  What would happen if those who participate in the "F*ck the Police" protests got exactly what they wanted?  Before I go any farther, I'm all for our rights to protest in this wonderful nation of ours but I think the nature and method of those protests go a long ways toward determining how effective they end up being.

It is no secret that we are a nation still healing from the long reaching effects of slavery.  As long ago as we might consider it to have been, we should remember the final Civil War Veterans died in the 1930's.  Children born as slaves would have been in their 80's in the 1940's.  Today we stand only a single generation removed from slavery as many who are alive today overlapped lifetimes with people who lived through and experienced those dark days of American History.

Many, many more today were alive to watch the Civil Rights efforts of the 50's and 60's.  As we have socially trudged forward since those days, one of the areas of great distrust has involved law enforcement.  Historically, the role of Law Enforcement has been a critical one, tasked with not only enforcing the law but also protecting liberty.  One need look no farther than the Holocaust to see the horrific effects of what can occur when line level law enforcers fail to ensure the liberties of those whom they are tasked to protect.

But, as a society, we also have a sad history of taking the actions of a few and projecting them on entire groups of people.  The fact is, most officers really are doing the job with the right intentions.  But when one officer somewhere in America does something controversial and then EVERY officer in the nation is subjected to "F*ck the Police" rallies, it can be a little discouraging for the majority.  So discouraging in fact, that the type of police officers you want to be out there on the streets taking care of your neighborhoods, might consider its not worth being accused of thoughts you don't have and blamed for things you didn't do.  If the officers who are really out there trying to make things better leave, who will fill those gaps?

I happen to know that most police departments are lucky to hire a single candidate out of every 100 candidates that apply.  ONE out of every HUNDRED!!!!  And that's just who gets hired!  That number shrinks even further when you consider the people we lose in the police academy and training to become an officer, followed by attrition.  Even through all that, a few questionable people still slip through.

It sometimes seems many of the people who tend to be most critical of the police also feel they could do a better job if they were officers.  And maybe they could!  But, most of them don't want to be officers.  It's hard to recruit high level, quality people who are capable of making significantly more money doing other things, to become officers.  It's especially hard, when they know they will have to put up with the emotional strains of dealing with the "F*ck the Police" type mentality.  "F*ck the Police" won't make bad police officers better...it will only make good police officers leave and potentially good officers never even apply.  As will always be the case in any situation where unrelated people pay a price for that actions of others for simply sharing a single attribute of their life.

In the end, this doesn't just apply to police, but any group of people.  Any time we decide to take the approach of blindly condemning an entire group of people rather than seeking to hold INDIVIDUALS accountable for their actions, we contribute to a world that is overall worse, rather than better.  So by saying, "F*ck (insert group of people)" we might as well just say "F*ck (insert our own name)" because that's what really ends up happening.