On Police Brutality and Racism

I don’t know.

I think these are some powerful words that reflect our collective knowledge on the goings on over the last week and two deaths of black men at the hands of white police officers.

On the surface, it seems to play into the narritive.  A white police officer is far too brutal (and ends up killing) with a black man.

Digging deeper though, what happened that led to that situation?  What happened before the cameras were turned on?  Maybe it was exactly what it looked like.  Maybe it wasn’t.  Maybe racism led to stupidity.  Maybe it didn’t.

I don’t know.

For some, it’s very easy to jump onto the bandwagon and call for justice for the victims.  “Police brutality has gone too far!”

For others it’s very easy to jump onto the bandwagon and call for more respect for law enforcement.  “If they had been respectful none of this would have happened!”

What’s the answer?

I don’t know.

Right now we seem to be on a knife’s edge as a country.  The moment a black man is killed by a white man (or black woman by a white woman, etc) it’s like the country explodes. That said, there’s no outrage when a black person kills a black person, and don’t get me started on the lack of outrage with hispanic or asian deaths.  Why is it that it seems like a black death by white hands > another death?

I don’t know.

What would happen if we took a moment to collectively catch our breath and then looked at all the facts once we are calm and rational?  Would we see the same things as we do when we are upset, frightened, and scared?

I don’t know.

With all that we don’t know, I would like to suggest that we react in a way that reflects what we do know, which is the character of our saviour.  Pray for the families of those who were lost in these tragedies.  Pray for the families of the officers who will be going through a tremendous amount of scrutiny.  Pray for the people investigating what happened that they will truly be able to determine what happened.   Pray that we have open hearts and open minds.  Pray for God’s justice to be done.

By Chris G. Clapp

Chris is a computer teacher at Horizon Middle School. He also works with Pathfinders and Adventurers in the Texico Conference as the English area coordinator for the Southwest Texico area. He is happily married to Aimée Clapp.

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