A Call for Unity

Our country has a history of racism. Let’s be real and honest by saying that has not gone away. The illusion from the perspective of the average white person is that it went underground because it was simply not polite to talk about for a while. The truth is, white people truly have no perspective on what it is like to be African American in this country and just because it is currently at the forefront of the news, does not overlook the fact these issues have been building for years.

The purpose of my blog is mainly to address women’s football, sports, and wellness issues but I am also very sensitive to cultural events. There are some events that cross over all avenues of life and are important enough to discuss from many view points. I am as passionate about human rights as I am about football. If there was a sport for it, I would be training every day.

I am going to show you a statistical study completed on police shootings between 2011-2014. It proves that you are more likely to be shot as an UNARMED African American by a police officer, than you are an ARMED white American.

“It is worth noting, that on average across counties in the United States, an individual is as likely to be {black, unarmed, and shot by police} as {white, armed, and shot by police}, with a median relative risk estimate of 1.04 (PCI95: 0.62, 1.61). The corresponding ratio for hispanics is 0.52 (PCI95: 0.32, 0.75).”

A Multi-Level Bayesian Analysis of Racial Bias in Police Shootings at the County-Level in the United States, 2011-2014

Now what does this data mean exactly? It means that police are assuming that an unarmed African American is a higher risk to them than an armed white American. The point is they are assuming the threat is higher, not because of tangible evidence of that person having a weapon, but rather by their race.

The key question is why? The answer is fear. There are some people out there with blatant racist views and others still that are subtle. The problem is, when you have a gun in your hand in a high tension situation, blatant versus subtle does not matter. Fear plus adrenaline makes it so that the officer is no longer seeing the actual situation for what it is and emotionally reacting to fear introduced to adrenaline.

In the Alton Sterling video, you can clearly see the assumption of him having a gun when he clearly had both hands pinned. There was no reasoning. Just reaction.

 

Similarly, in the Philando Castile video, Philando let the officer know he had a licence to carry and was reaching for his wallet and the cop assumed again that he was going for his gun. Again, no time to reason, just reaction.

 

Now, watch this collection of videos on how white people are actually armed are treated:

 

Clearly, there is a difference. The armed white people are reasoned with and the situation is assessed by the circumstances and not an emotional reaction.

This very country was founded on the idea that all men, and women, are created equal and should be free to be who they are and have equal opportunity to prosper. The problem is, that’s not what actually happened. We fucked up America. We have forgotten what our actual identity is and that is not a Trump version of great. What makes us great is not our division, it is our unity. We are the UNITED states of America.

Instead, of the beautiful idea of the melting pot and American Dream, we have created for some ample opportunity and for others a nightmare. We stacked the deck. We white people put down entire races and purposely limited their education. We chained them. We turned the word equality so upside down that it was unrecognizable.

We have made some progress yes, but progress is never done. The word progress is an ACTION word. If you do not move you do not progress. If you are stagnant, you are going backwards. We have so far to go in progressing in civil rights that is daunting.

Did I mention we stacked the prison system as well? I could write a book on that.

Now, I want to make sure to also address police. Most police officers are good. They take an oath to serve and protect. They put their lives on the line every day and night. They are mostly good people. The problem is, the good ones are not putting the bad ones in check like they should.

I love this passionate view point of a cop speaking on that very idea:

 

The fury and pain in her voice really got to me when I first watched this. This is what we have caused as a society.

Last night, I was checking the world out on Facebook and my friend posted the NBC Dallas page’s live feed of the Dallas shootings. I actually saw it only a few minutes in and could hear the gun shoots live and see everyone running around in chaos. My heart broke.

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Anyone with a logical mind could foresee that the tension would eventually give way to more violence against cops if not addressed. These cops didn’t have to die. The people who shot them need to be held accountable but truly you and I are just as responsible. We have created this problem.

We have chosen to cry, rant, and arm up but we have not chosen to actually address the issue itself.

Fear.

It is tearing our country apart.

We need to stand shoulder to shoulder and attack fear. White, black, citizens, cops, young, old, it doesn’t matter. We need to come together to love and understand each other. We all bleed the same.

However, white people, we need stand up next to our brothers and sisters. We need stand up against police brutality. We need to stand up against violence against police too.

This is everyone’s fight because we are all human and all American.

How do we attack fear?

We need better sensitivity training. Police forces need to understand the people they are serving. We need better situational training. Tactical training needs to be reformed. We need community outreach and discussion. Bridges have to be crossed and trust has to be earned back.

I once spoke with the wife of the US Ambassador to Rwanda who witnessed the massacre that occurred there in 1994. She spoke of the forgiveness tribunals that they went through to heal their country. It was such an emotional and beautiful thing and it was worth it so that they could remember they were brothers.

The power of forgiveness is best weapon against fear.

 

The reason I am so passionate about human rights is that I value humans. I am pro civil rights, gay rights, trans rights, gender quality, religious freedom, and anything else you can think of. We are all human. Our differences only make the human existence more beautiful.

Creation is creative.

I implore you to love each other. Reach out to your friends and family and let them know you are there. Hug a stranger. Hug a black person, a white person, a cop, a dog, a cat, even the lady at the DMV that defines the word cranky, hug her too.

We need to put down the guns, roll up our sleeves, and love each other.

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