If there’s anyone in the world who could say they understand both the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements, it should be me.
My husband is Black, our son is biracial, and my dad is a (white) retired police sergeant, with 25 years on the force.
Still, I stand with Black Lives Matter. Here’s why.
The number of times my husband has been pulled over in the past few years is more than quadruple the number of times I’ve been pulled over, and I’d venture to say that he’s a much better driver than me. In the times that he’s been pulled over, he’s been told that his car is too nice for someone “like him,” and he’s been given a ticket every. single. time.
When I get pulled over, I’m annoyed. When he gets pulled over, he’s terrified.
Based on things my dad said while he was on duty and things he says now, I believe that he was a cop for the right reasons – one of the good ones. That being said, I don’t believe most cops fall into that category.
Are there good cops out there? Of course – but the current system is so corrupt that it doesn’t allow them to speak up when something is wrong.
There’s no simple way to turn things around when it comes to law enforcement. Cops who get into the field and what to make a change find themselves stuck, unable to speak up if they want to move forward in their careers. Cops who get into the field for the wrong reasons find that racist ideals are supported by decades of racist policies.
I believe that awareness is the first step in creating social change, and bodycam footage is a tiny nudge in the right direction. We have to say their names every time a murder is committed – and refer to it as murder, not a case of mistaken identity or a traffic stop gone wrong. Police need to be held accountable for every murder, every time, in the same way they would be if they weren’t in uniform, or if the victims were white.