(Editorial note: this topic is highly controversial. it is not meant to be humorous or to place blame on any ethnic community or division of law enforcement. Together we can achieve more, thank you.)
The media. They see color...one color. Green. How does one get more green? Ratings. What is an instant ratings boost? Race. Why do I sound like a Kindergarten Teacher? It's important to break this down as simply as possible as to not confuse “The Stupids” who wander across my evermore visible website. It's true, I'm white...well currently I have a nice tan going. I have blue eyes. I'm not black. I'm not a cop. What could I possibly know about the ongoing racial crisis in this country? Here goes nothing...
Let's revisit the media before I discuss my background, I treat this whole situation like a boxing match. In one corner, you have the Black community, made out to look like the sole target of racism, beatings, oppression, shootings, just an absolute shit sandwich that the media cooks up and shoves down your throat, influencing viewers and then spreading like a bad telephone connection across the office, college campus and dinner table. A community of people whose growth has been slowed and exploited by the media, allowing the real problems to go unchecked, while politicians use the same tactics to push their bullshit agendas and achieve a higher seat for a larger paycheck.
In the other corner, you have the Police. A peace-keeping unit forced by local, state and federal governments to not only patrol these poorly funded and poorly educated neighborhoods, but then trained to enforce garbage quotas by writing chicken-shit tickets to regular tax payers who already have their paychecks stripped for mandatory health insurance, federal taxes and other crap that gets used for who the fuck knows what. In the middle, you have the media, TV, Online, Social Media. As a whole, they're raising the drama to a tipping point only to give themselves better ratings. Is it a gun control problem? Not really. Is it a racial problem? Not really. Is it a political problem? Yes. Is it a family problem? Yes.
Is it an education problem? Damn Straight.
Let's break down law enforcement, essentially a large number of small town kids (Black, White, Latino, etc) are sent through their local or state Academies and then placed in areas with much higher and more mixed populations...oh and they carry a gun. Like any company or group or organization, your going to have mixed results. I don't like when a kid from a town of 2000 people goes through the academy only to be sent patrolling into a population of 500,000. Imagine being a local comedian opening at a small night club in Portland, Oregon and then the next night...your headlining...at the Apollo in Harlem. Now times that by several thousand comedians...is this mic on?
Now you have the another large portion of the police force, former Military. We send these people over to hell on earth, their friends die in front of them, they're homesick, they'll go days without showering or proper nutrition. Their survival depends on quick, instinctive decision making, a tool that's sharpened by months of intense physical, mental and emotional training. Now your to ask these defenders of the free world, many with severe amounts of PTSD and social anxiety to return to the states and write speeding tickets to people driving Volvos? Are you fucking serious? They're heroes, not meter maids. Not only that, now they're also fodder for the media showing them as trigger-happy killers of black people. A smart cop trained to protect and serve will most likely do exactly that. A stupid cop trained to write parking tickets to meet their quota will do exactly that. A wreckless cop who uses PED's and is left unchecked will not only shoot a black person...he'll shoot anyone that misunderstands that officer's command. A heroic cop who rescued a wounded soldier in Afghanistan while under heavy fire will not only rescue a black kid from a burning complex...he'll rescue any kid from a burning complex.
As a common rule, I believe Law Enforcement should have stricter policies on the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. I will not comment on the foreign battlefield, but here, this domestic battlefield, I'm not a fan of a man or women in uniform patrolling the neighborhood running juice, for the simple fact that the chances of escalating an already delicate situation can be raised dramatically. I am, however in favor of Law Enforcement utilizing marijuana for it's medicinal purposes, such as relieving anxiety and depression, two traits commonly found in those wearing a badge.
My father was a beat-walking Narcotics Officer for the heavily saturated Burrows of New York during the 60's and 70's. A time of heavy protesting, another wave of ethnic integration, and the lack of stability within the city created, eventually forcing the creation of the Tactical Patrol Unit, also referred to as “Riot Cops”.
Imagine this, you and a dozen other officers are told to get on a transit bus and proceed 20 blocks up the streets of Manhattan, strapping on helmets, body armor and carrying body bunkers in preparation of large unruly crowds. Off the bus you all go, standing in front of hundreds of mildly peaceful protesters. However, as the Black Panthers and other organizations would do to escalate the situation, loud speakers were used to incite the crowds, more noise, more confusion...more chaos. In the front of the crowd, you could have seemingly normal and legitimate citizens, but hiding in the back out of view from the media were professional protesters, throwing objects such as the infamous Molotov Cocktail. A glass bottle filled with a flammable liquid and stuffed with a lit rag that would explode on contact. Not only were these landing on cops, setting them on fire, but there were also people on the roofs throwing them down on unsuspecting officers wearing several pounds of Riot Gear. As the Police begin to collide with the front of the crowd in order to disperse them, that is when the media gets their money shot. That is back in 1975, imagine this with today's media accessibility. With racial Puppet Masters like the Reverend Al Sharpton, these incidents are then given a voice on national television prompting idiot celebrities to voice their uneducated opinion; which then helps light a fuse for a potential situation where multiple cops are killed, causing their triggers to tighten for even the smallest traffic infraction.
Hearing my fathers stories, going for ride-alongs and reading about his world not only as a Patrolmen in NYC during the chaos of the early 70's, but as a Police Lieutenant who fought against the corruption of a local PD along with the County Sheriffs office gives me a unique understanding of just how much work needs to be done on all three fronts.
The media needs to be held accountable for what is and what isn't published.
Better instructors and more intelligent cadets conducive to heavily populated environments are required to approach the sensitive and growing task of public safety. Better education, properly filtered funding and more stable families are the true building blocks of a safer, more flourishing neighborhood. We don't need the media picking and choosing their stories in order to move the needle towards their ultimate goal, whether the agenda is financial or political. A shitty neighborhood with shitty inhabitants and patrolled by shitty cops giving shitty tickets is...a giant pile of shit.
...someone get a shovel.