In equal parts, I feel that the blame for the most recent and ever-increasing attack on law enforcement in this country can be laid at the feet of President Barack Obama and the national news media.
But in full measure, I thank God daily for the Madisonville Police Department and Madison County Sheriff’s Office, for being the professionals that they are, and the county for being advocates for law enforcement.
That’s not to say that some disgruntled transient might come through here looking to kick up dust. And therein lies my opening statement.
Throughout the last year, where violence against the police has become a national embarrassment, as well as an issue on the forefront, the reaction of the president and his media lapdogs has been telling.
And, yes, I realize I’m — again — condemning the very industry I work in, but to my way of thinking, who better to wag a finger?
How many times have you seen supposedly objective supposedly journalists putting groups like Black Lives Matter on a pedestal, while simultaneously vilifying the police? Ferguson, Baltimore, Minnesota, Baton Rouge, all of those police officers have been hammered into the dust by the media, and all of it done before there was one stitch of fact present.
Used to be that journalists dug into matters and reported those findings. But now, in searching for ratings and trying to impress that 18-35 demographic, news stations start braying any and everything salacious and sensational. Consequently, the facts are wrong, the damage is done, riots are started, and the general public that still cares about what the news has to say, armed with partial information and frothy emotions whipped up by cherry-picked interviews, begin the same process of destroy, condemn, understand, still don’t care.
A perfect example of this is the incredible statement by actor Mark Ruffalo that there should be an executive order defunding police.
There’s journalism, and there’s responsible journalism. Much of the world’s ills can be helped with a little solid information.
Our commander-in-chief, though, what to do about that?
If there ever was a tale of a wasted opportunity to bring a country together, this has got to be it. Yet what has happened is we get a man more interested in getting his moment in the sun that solving the issues that have been plaguing this country for hundreds of years.
For the most part, Obama’s first reaction has always been against the law enforcement, especially if the cops were white and the victim was black. His first words have never been about extending an olive branch; they have been about condemnation, accusation, excoriation. And that’s going back to the beginning of his presidency (anyone remember the beer summit? That he brought about with his “the police acted stupidly” statement?).
To me, it’s real simple. When you stop stoking the fires of ignorance, and continually caution people to get all the fact before stampeding toward judgment, you’ll get a better outcome.
If you stop singling out a particular group for its failures, or its undesirable qualities, you’ll get quite a bit more harmony.
Because there’s a few things no one seems to be pondering here, but I’ll point out for argument’s sake: we seem to have forgotten that because we’re human, and are prone to failure, that there is a need for police departments. Why aren’t we working toward becoming the best people that we can be?
Since we’re not there, though, here’s the other thing: what would things be like without police and law enforcement at all? Imagine someone breaking into your home, or abducting a child, or beating a spouse, and there was no one to call for help?
While I’m not saying that there isn’t room for improvement on the part of law enforcement everywhere, to automatically treat them as an enemy only makes the job harder, when we all need to be working to make their jobs not only easier, but unnecessary.