I have been emotionally disconnected from the current events going on in our country in the past few weeks. I have been feeling hopeless about the idea of a positive outcome, so why should I invest emotional currency into the situation. I could only allow myself feel hopeless for a short period of time. I knew I had to deal with with those emotions, so that I could be a part of the solutions or by default, be a part of the problem.
Black Lives Matter
BLM is defined as an international human rights movement, originating in the African-American community, which campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. I was raised to respect authority. Meaning you show respect so that respect will be shown to you. I lived by that truth, and that’s how I carried myself. One night, I was with a large group of my friends (a group of young black males.) I was in high school, and there was a parking lot carnival at the Metro Center Mall in Jackson, MS. It was about 10 – 15 of us, and our intentions were genuine. We were teenagers out on a Saturday night trying to have fun.
We walked in as a group, and there was a group of police officers standing at the entrance. My friends made an attempt to avoid them, but I walked right by them and said, “hello officers.” They said hi, I continued to walk, then the officer said, “you all don’t get into any trouble.” I replied, “yes sir.” Another officer asked, “where are you all from?” I replied, “Flora.”
Flora, MS is a small town 25 minutes north of Jackson, MS. The population of Flora is about 2,500 people compared to Jackson population of about 200,000 people. We went to Jackson for entertainment because there was not many things to do in our town.
The officer said, “you all need to leave.” Thinking he was joking, we smile and said yes sir, as we continued to walk in. The officer started to walk toward us in an aggressive posture and said, “YOU ALL NEED TO GET YOUR COUNTRY A%% BACK TO FLORA.” There was no mistaking how he was feeling at that point. Someone from the group said, “we didn’t do anything wrong.” That’s when all the other officers start coming our way. They said, “you leave, or you go to jail.”
I was driving, so I told the ones that were with me, that we are about to go and I started walking to my car. A few others argued with the officers and were removed with force. No one was arrested, but all of us were mad. Mad at the fact that we were maltreated by the people who should be protecting us. I can see how that anger could fester and develop into rioting and chaos. But I made a choice then to be the change that I wanted to see. 5 years later, I became a police officer in that same city of Jackson, MS.
Blue Lives Matter
This is a countermovement in the United States advocating that those who are prosecuted and convicted of killing law enforcement officers should be sentenced under hate crime statutes. I have been in Law Enforcement since 2007, this year makes 13 years. I got into Law Enforcement to gain a better understanding of police officers. I wanted to work with them and not against them. My goal was to do three years in Law Enforcement and then find a career that pays really well. Three years turned in 13 years because I fell in love with the job and the people I worked with. I got the opportunity to serve and protect my community. Now this is not an easy job, but it’s a rewarding one.
I have seen a lot in my 13 years in Law Enforcement; there is evil in this world with a thin blue line putting their lives at risk to keep it under control. I have worked with bad cops, I have got the pleasure to serve with good cops, and I have also known cops who made the Ultimate Sacrifice. We are not perfect, but we have a job to do and families, friends, hobbies, and dreams to get back to at the end of the shift.
So, what do I do when I understand the anger and fear of my black brothers and sisters. When they feel like their life could be taken by those who are placed in charge to protect them. At the same time, I know the pain and frustration of my brothers and sisters in Blue. Whose jobs it is to serve and protect, but their cities are being burned and looted while their hands are tired because it could be seen as excessive force if they try to enforce the law.
This verse comes to mind, “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your path straight.” I have to give God what’s in my heart, the anger, the fear, the pain, and the frustration to God. I have to trust that He will take those emotions and give me HOPE. My understanding of being harassed while being young and black can’t be what I focus on. My understanding of Law Enforcement can’t be what I focus on. I have to submit all my ways to the Lord, so He will make my path straight. He will show me the direction I should go, and He will give me a vision of hope to focus on.
Yes, Black Lives Matter and yes, Blue Lives Matter because ALL LIVES MATTER if we trust in the Lord and have HOPE for a better future.
You Find Wisdom when you Trust in the Lord.