I have tried to stay positive when writing my newsletters, which has been easy most of the time with all the good going on. Today I cannot muster the positive feelings. There has been too much hate and vitriol unleashed and I will not be silent.
Until we can get past the "blame game" our wounds will never heal.
Here is what I mean by that. In the 70's and 80's it was very common the blame a rape victim for the hate and violence done to them. If the woman hadn't been in a bar, wearing a short skirt, late at night, she wouldn't have been raped! Fortunately, we have grown as a society and this is no longer a defense for rape. Neither is a woman's past sexual experience.
Why then do we as a society accept the defense of blaming a victim of police brutality? Why do we look at the victims and dredge up their past to try to justify a thing that cannot in any manner, be justified?
According to the article
, Mapping US police killings of Black Americans
Black Americans are two-and-a-half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by police officers." Why is this still happening? Why are we as a society still allowing this to happen?
In the article
U.S. Police Shootings: Blacks Disproportionately Affected,
Black Americans account for less than 13 percent of the population but they are shot and killed by the police at a rate that's over twice as high as for white Americans."
This is a real issue and cannot be allowed to continue!
Police departments across the country must look at their policies and procedures and make changes. Now! There must be a fundamental change in how police look at the people they are supposed to protect and in the way they deal with people of color. This systemic racism that has been allowed to flourish in the “public safety” arena has no place in our country.
No one should be surprised that people of color are tired of the death and destruction happening to them. Make no mistake that this in not just about the people who have died by the hands of the police, it is also about the families that have had their loved ones brutally taken from them by those sworn to protect and serve. It is about the mother who must bury her child or the child that will no longer have a father growing up. It is about the loving partner who must fine a way to go on with only half their heart.
As with any group, there are many good officers out there doing the job correctly and then there the bad ones who tarnish those that are out there doing the right thing. I recognize the job of protecting our cities and towns is a tough one and that the decisions made on a regular basis also protect the lives of the officers who also want to go home at the end of their shifts. For those officers who have taken a knee in solidarity, thank you, however we need you to do more. We need you to break the blue line when you see those bad apples as they do not deserve your support.
For those individuals that are taking advantage of the peaceful protests to loot and vandalize, you are as bad as the people who took lives. You are killing the message of peaceful protest and allowing for more violence.
Finally, for those community advocates and supporters of organizations like Black Live Matter, keep working toward the goal of coexistence and ending the racial divide that still exists in the land of the free and the home of the brave. You have allies and supporters that will not stay silent.
As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Stay well and stay safe.
Commissioner Julie Fishman, District 3