I was listening to an interview on NPR this morning with a girl who was among the peaceful protesters in Ferguson last night. She said that she was in college at the moment, studying law enforcement. Last night's verdict has made her rethink her law enforcement career. She said that she didn't see the point because there's no justice. I will not talk about what I think of the grand jury's verdict to not charge Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown. It doesn't matter what I think because this story, these events, are not about me. No one cares what I think about this verdict. It's just another verdict in a long list of un-just verdicts. I won't go into all of that. This message is for that girl in the interview.
You see, these events like the Michael Brown case is a regular event. Time and time this happens and all the children see are people of authority abusing their power. As an adult we know it's a little bit more complex that this. But if you look at this situation through the eyes of a kid in this neighborhood, it looks like cops kill black men and in particularly, unarmed black men. This is what they grow up believing. And because there's never any accountability, these kids grow up thinking that anyone in authority, most often the white guy, is the bad guy. What reason have we given them to think otherwise? How often do you think these kids have seen a police officer accost or gun down a white man? If you look at the news, it's the crazy white guy that opens fire on you while you're watching a movie at the theater or hanging out in the library, but it's never the one being gunned down by the police officer. Yes there is bias in the media and often the news is interchangeable with the word tabloid. But remember, we're talking about a child's mind, they things they see and what they learn from the things they are seeing.
So here is what I want to say to that girl thinking of a career in law enforcement. DON'T QUIT! A fire only needs a spark to turn into a blaze. You are that spark. You can make a difference. You can create change. You can be the voice of justice. You can. I know you can. You can be that person of authority that those kids can look up to and no longer fear because they know that you are there to truly protect and serve. Please do not give up on your dream. Without you and dreamers like you, we will just be creating an endless loop of repeating history. Stop the loop. Show these kids that there is fairness and justice. And while your at it, recruit. Tell your friends how great it makes you feel to be in law enforcement and making a difference. Just, whatever you do, please, don't give up.