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America Must Unite and Respond to the Murders of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, and the Dallas Police Officers

Updated on July 8, 2016

I've been doing a lot of thinking....and crying.

At first, I thought "I am going to take a social media fast. I need it, or I'm going insane."

Then I realized how self-indulgent and cowardly that is. In times of distress between fight or flight, I have always chosen fight.

I'm a fighter.

But I have no weapons in this fight. I have no troops in this fight. I only have a desire to effect change. So last night, I tried to put myself in the shoes of black families who have lost, or fear losing their sons, to bad cops ---I imagine their fear of losing their loved one is the same fear families of good police officers feel every day.

There is a common ground, there. But to stand steady on it, we must clear it.

  • For any person to say all men murdered by the cops should have listened, complied, or had a rap sheet to justify their murder--you are part of the problem.
  • For any person saying all cops are pigs and deserve to die? You are part of the problem.
  • For any person saying all white people are devils and need to die? You are part of the problem.

You all are contributing to the hatred that is fueling the divide between races and citizens.

Its OK to admit we have a police problem--that doesn't mean whites have to take blame for the actions of (multi-race) cops. It doesn't mean all cops should have to pay for rogue murderers hiding behind badges.

It's OK to admit there are good cops, too--it doesn't mean that the murder of innocent men is justified because good cops exist.

When we admit and acknowledge, we can find common ground. Common ground increases the power of the good ones. Us. We all want justice.


Cop Shoots Compliant Black Man

Cop Shoots Unarmed White Man: No Charges Filed

Source

The Media's Ripple Effect

I started doing a little Googling last night. When I searched "black man shot by cops", I found an abundance of videos with the media title "Cop shoots black man".

Then I searched "white man shot by cops" and none of the titles included his race.

Then, I scoured the comments on the latest murders of both black men and cops. I saw so much hatred. So much fear. So much racism. It was very clear the ripple effect the media has on our thoughts, actions, and beliefs.....

It brought me back to a course I took in college about the early stages of Colonial America.

Black slaves, white indentured servants and slaves, and Indians shared common ground--they were being oppressed, beaten, killed and used by the elite. Wealthy powerful white men saw the common ground between these people. They feared they would see it, too. They made it their priority to keep the oppressed servants, slaves, and Indians separated. When white and black slaves married and reproduced with one another, and black slaves and Indians began talking to each other? The wealthy white men feared what may transpire....so they made new laws so it was illegal to marry between races and then moved the Indians west along the trail of tears to separate them from the blacks. They made it illegal for them to gather in groups....You know why? Because wealthy white men realized how much power these three groups had TOGETHER. So they did everything they could to separate them physically. Then they made clear distinctions between classes of whites and blacks to further divide the races within themselves.

Do you see the similarity? Media, politicians, and social media are the new-age 'wealthy white men'. They are driving a wedge between us so we cannot unite and have power. They fear us uniting.


Source

Stand in Solidarity and Demand Justice

Rational minded people must acknowledge we have a police problem, but not all police are guilty--and that good police do exist. We can come together.

  • We have to acknowledge this together.
  • We have to stop being afraid to admit problems as if it requires us to accept blame as a race.
  • We must stop using race of the victim as a determining factor of whether or not we support something. Both blacks and whites.

We must DEMAND recourse for abuse of power. That is what is absent here.

Five INNOCENT Dallas police officers lost their lives as revenge for the deaths of two INNOCENT men. How is that solving anything?

The men who pulled the trigger should have to pay.

I'm not seeing our government requiring they pay for their actions for any of the unjustified shootings against ALL races.

That must change.

I'm not seeing police reform after all these years.

There is a bill that was introduced in May called Preventing Tragedies Between Police and Communities Act of 2016. It was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. While we press our nations court system to deliver justice, we can also voice our support for this bill, which has strangely not been viral in its circulation by media....wonder why....

Most importantly, we must stop allowing them to separate us because we have more power together.

I am reaching out to all of the good guys, the people teetering on the fence of hatred, even the individuals who claim to hate one race or all cops....please don't be the media's puppets. Look at the facts, acknowledge others' pain even if you cannot understand it. Find humanity in it.

So what is the answer?

We must put pressure on our politicians to move this bill through and actually enforce it. We must see cases of murder by bad cops through in the justice system and demand retribution. We must demand answers and actions--not through violence but through solidarity in thought and action.

We are stuck in a cycle of hatred, and it is working out really well for the people who want us to stay divided. Let's not make things so easy for them anymore.

We must first start by coming together and uniting.

‪#‎AltonSterling‬, ‪#‎PhilandoCastile‬ ‪#‎DallasPD‬

Bill referenced: Text - H.R.5221 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Preventing Tragedies Between Police and Communities Act of 2016

Who is at fault for these deaths?

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    • junko profile image

      junko 10 months ago

      Tara you are on to something in your recent thinking. We do learn through our ears more than through our eyes and mouth. We are definitely overwhelm by 24/7 news tailored to anybodies liking. Modern Technology has brought about all kinds of games and entertainment for the unemployed and underemployed. If you become bitter or angry with what you see on TV that divide the races, there a game for that too. Their are billion of dollars invested in trillions made in 24/7 news. Their isn't enough real news happening everyday so news becomes pure speculation and lies sprinkled with truth. There is one truth and many lies. What you offered up here is the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth as far as you know. That's all you got to give to anybody with the ear to hear. If every American in America could here what you wrote a few million would be enlighten. You are not a coward you are more than brave.

    • Tara Mapes profile image
      Author

      Tara Mapes 10 months ago

      Junko, Thank you for reading and sharing your comments. You're so right about the media and its impact on us. I wish more were like we are so our voice could be louder.

    • junko profile image

      junko 10 months ago

      There are many more like we who know right from wrong but, since it haven't affected them personally yet they are among the silent majority.

    • Tara Mapes profile image
      Author

      Tara Mapes 10 months ago

      You're so right Junko--if they cannot relate to the issues due to lacking experience or being a different race, it is just another hashtag? ...Something they may gloss over and move on with their lives because it doesn't affect them. Or worse, they get defensive because they feel like the admitting the reality of what is happening to our Black men by Police is somehow an affront against their race or profession as a whole. And this newest targeting of officers by others across the country....so very sad....maybe we could avoid it if we all saw the truth and stood against it. I wish we could all see..... Outrage, compassion, unity.....it is missing from the voice of the people as a whole.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 10 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      I also feel that the media plays a huge role in playing on racism which divides the races. To them I think it's all about ratings but it keeps the world in a constant turmoil. I know there are good as well as bad cops out there, but honestly I think the training of the officers plays a role in it as well. Too many black lives are being destroyed by the hands of Police officers, and I don't believe they are doing it because they want to kill black people, but get into a situation where they become afraid and think irrationally. I feel so bad for the officers who lost their lives and personally I have a lot of respect for police officers. But I also feel sorry for the Black Mother's who are victims of police brutalities, whose son's died in a senseless death. That first video of the black gut being shot while his girlfriend video taped it was very disturbing.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 10 months ago from Oklahoma

      Lives matter.

    • Tara Mapes profile image
      Author

      Tara Mapes 10 months ago

      Dana, you and I share the same thoughts. It is heartbreaking, and I'm not afraid to admit that I see the problem.

    • Tara Mapes profile image
      Author

      Tara Mapes 10 months ago

      Larry, I don't disagree that 'lives' in general matter and I don't think saying Black Lives Matter indicates no other lives matter. To me, it's like when someone goes to the hospital with symptoms of a heart attack and receives treatment immediately (his health matters) No one in the waiting room with a broken finger would say "Wait, I was here first, MY health matters, TOO". That's obvious it matters, but the heart attack needs attention now. Black Lives are being taken at an alarming rate (and disproportionately in relation to their overall population) by officers either abusing their power or making fatal mistakes based on fear of their race. The Black Race is having a heart attack...It needs attention (now)....make sense?

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 10 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Makes perfect sense Tara, and thank you for not being afraid to tell the truth. So many people do not care if it does not affect them personally and this is why police are still getting away with being "trigger happy" even after so much controversy and the police force having to settle so many wrongful death suits. Our human race has grown numb but of course if it affects them personally then they feel and expect others to feel their pain as well.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 10 months ago

      As a member of the media back when we were taught integrity and fired if we didn’t use it (c. 1980), I think today’s media practices are reprehensible. Before cable network news, we had only 5 minutes to report the news per hour in radio, and TV had about 30 minutes two or three times a day for news. The difference today is that with cable, certain channels have to fill time around the clock, so they keep fanning the flames to keep news alive, be it Donald Trump or the latest police shootings. I’m afraid they are going to cause some real race riots.

      You are right that people should unite against injustice against any race committed by police of any race. Your second video is a good example. I also saw where a white police officer tased a white teenager unconscious and dumped his unconscious body on a sidewalk. I guess he was still alive, but I don’t know. The caption was: Where is the outrage? And the person who posted the video had a point.

      I live in North Little Rock and work in Little Rock, and I’m proud to say that we have good police officers in both cities. Perhaps that’s because we have good leadership in both.

      However, the worst case I’ve heard about occurred in 2013 in Pine Bluff (Arkansas) when a 107-year-old man, Monroe Isadore, was shot in bed and killed by a S.W.A.T. team. He pulled a gun from somewhere when he was being moved to a nursing home. When he fired a shot, local police called in S.W.A.T. What occurred was pathetic, vicious, and downright nasty. Please google “police shoot 107-year-old man” or “Monroe Isadore”.

      If you want to really be shocked by this incident, the police were given Medals of Valor for this. However, this has been protested so effectively to the PB city council that the officers have been ordered to return the medals, and a civil suit has been filed by the man’s children. Mr. Isacore was black. I have not been able to find the races of the officers, but I believe there may have been multi-races involved.

      This is a good article, Tara. I hope other people start to speak out.

    • junko profile image

      junko 10 months ago

      MizBejabbers I goggled "Police shoots 107 year old man" and I got very angry and the justice rendered only showed a should be illegal association. The Prosecutor The Police and The Police Unions should not be the only people involved in any type of wrongful death investigations of The Police. When unions were allow in America's workingclass they were for work benefits and earning. Most Prosecutors and the police associate to bring criminal to justice they fraternize with each other. Police association and unions fight for good and bad cops, more bad then good. MizBejabber When I thought about how I got this madding True story and all lies die when the Truth is told, I felt a little hope because you are spreading the true as you know it and there 1 truth and many lies. Those with ears to hear know the truth when they hear it but some people love a lie. Newt Gingrich told the truth Chief Brown of Dallas told the truth and Donald Trump read the truth today. MizBejabber this is not the first time you spread or told the truth but the spreading of such evidence of the truth by the Great Grand Daughter of Nathan, a Confederate General during The Civil War is reason for hope. The NRA seen some truths. So I'll be hopeful and not anger.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 10 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sadly, we have ben in this state of affairs for a long time now, especially in the Southern states, who have traditionally focused on keeping minorities and women in their places. Then when we get a politically demagogue that is encouraging this kind of behavior, it only escalates. We must rise above what is going on around us, and accept one another as people.

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