Sunday, August 14, 2016

Violence in Milwaukee; Bridging the Divide Between Police & Community

It’s truly unfortunate and sadly tragic that facts cannot even be gathered and disseminated before the most extreme responses from all sides rip apart, pour forth, and become unleashed in our country. 

Violence in response to any action done by the police or government is simply unacceptable. Yet again, protests after a police shooting of an allegedly armed man in Milwaukee turned into riots, arson, and property damage.
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Nearly everyone seems to either immediately go on offense or defense. The ones that do so to the extreme probably should shut up and listen to a different perspective already. 

If you think you have all the answers . . . you don’t. I know I don’t.

More then our increasingly erratic and hostile responses becoming more ridiculous and not conducive to actually moving any conversation or discussion forward, it’s becoming more difficult and dangerous for both police and for the public.

Policing in rural areas is completely different from policing in urban settings. Both are very dangerous jobs, and yes, police sign up for these jobs. It’s not the most dangerous job in America or the world, but none of that takes away the actual realities of that difficult and necessary job.

Life for both communities and minorities is wholly different in rural and urban settings. Most people don’t get many choices in where they’re born and where they live. If you have choices, consider yourself blessed.

If you think choices for people you don’t know are simple, you likely haven’t spoken to many people from different walks of life. 

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At this early stage, who knows what the actual facts are in Milwaukee. At least there was a body cam during this police action. Why can’t people allow the facts to come forward before jumping to extreme positions and conclusions?

When people see the extreme reaction on city streets, one group points at the violence as proof that all protestors hate cops. When one cop shoots and kills any citizen, others see that as proof that cops are out to kill members of their community. 

Believing those who commit violence are the same as those who peacefully protest against broken trust between police and community is mistaken. If we applied that same mindset to when a cop shoots an unarmed man, we could believe all police do that. Neither of these mindsets make any sense at all. 
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As a society and as individuals we can judge one action by one person and apply that judgment to all similar people, but all we really are doing is supporting behaviors that tear each other down and apart instead of finding solutions to our problems and relating to each other as fellow human beings. 

If we stop seeing each other as the enemy, we at least have an opportunity to find some common ground. And yes, some people are the enemy, but we’re all Americans. And, yes, life can be difficult, but our problems aren’t impossible to solve. We just have to work together in order to tackle them together. 

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