Once again there have been shootings in the United States that threaten to set the nation on fire.
We have black legal gun owners shot down by police in what is utterly indefensible circumstances. Clearly there is a problem that exists beyond a single or a few isolated individuals, but one that requires a real good internal cultural change in many police departments. This is a real problem, and requires real world, not politician sound byte, level solutions, and long term leadership on the police professional level to see through.
We have good and worthy officers gunned down at their post for the crime of being white officers doing their job. This is the way to begin a war, not the way to get social change. This is murder, this is not even revenge because these particular officers are good and worthy servants of the public, attacked simply for their uniform and race. It is not revenge, it is not justice, it is a deliberate attempt to provoke further shedding of black blood by police. This action is not just a single murder spree it is an attempt to make every cop more likely to react to armed blacks as a real and credible threat to life, to actually create more shootings. This is Black Lives Matters ultimate goal? To increase the number of people shot by police by teaching the police they are absolutely right to treat any armed black person as a real and imminent threat? Wilful promotion of hatred, its a crime up here, but I guess its OK when BLM does it.
Courage and Honour
I am a white Canadian veteran, looking at the insanity that is gripping the nation that is the closest to my own both geographically, and in our hearts. I have seen two shootings of black legal gun owners, apparently shot for being armed and black. I have seen five police officers gunned down while doing their duty to protect protesters and the public by doing riot duty, which I have done, and I really can’t say I met anyone who enjoyed.
I say this to you now. Courage and Honour.
I say this first as a blessing to those who put on the uniform every goddamned day, and go out and do a job that largely consists of seeing people on the single worst day of their lives, but this is every hour of your day, every day. I salute your courage, and acknowledge that you have acted, and will continue to act with honour although few will bother acknowledging this.
I say this to those who see a systematic abuse of their people by those who are charged with their defense. Yes, I say to those who are holding the police responsible where they are not following their own training or use of force procedures when dealing with the black community. You are acting with honour to demand the rights of all citizens be observed, have the courage to do what is right, not what is easiest.
Now the gloves come off, and I will tell you what no one has apparently wanted to hear for quite some time. USA is pretty close to not meaning United States of America, it is pretty close to meaning Unbelievably Syria Again.
That is right. You are working on turning your nation into a third world bombed out shithole like Syria, and you are doing it because as a nation you are systematically choosing to embrace your guns rather than growing the fuck up and dealing with each other.
To the police, I know some fine men and women in uniform, serving with honour all the citizens of their land. You know me, and I know you. Now let us speak the truth here. I served in uniform and well do I love my service, but I know my brothers and sisters, warts and all. Let us speak the truth here, not every person wearing the badge and uniform you do is brave enough to deserve it.
To walk as a keeper of the peace is to walk a line. You carry the tools and training of a killer, for you wield the power to take life in the name of the state. Your symbol is not the sword though, it is the shield. You are the shield of the state, the defender of the folk. You walk bearing armour and arms for a reason. The shield of the state is expected and required to be brave, and sometimes to risk the blows of others rather than use deadly force where it might not be justified.
I have read our own troops being criticized for taking fire in the streets as we rolled through in convoy and not responding. Choosing to continue through and dismount, working our way back through town seeking the shooters, unwilling to exchange fire without a clear target and viable sightline. Sometimes you take fire without returning it because your job is not to shoot up the cities but to engage hostiles and eliminate them as threats. It requires more courage to hold your fire until you have a clear understanding of the situation, and a confirmed target, than it does to simply pump rounds downrange and let the gods sort out the breakage.
To the police I charge you twice. First have courage, courage to be sure that you are under attack before you reach for force, as once violence is chosen by one side, all other options are gone from both. Secondly, remember your honour. The honour of your badge and your uniform, of your service and your state is not just in your hands but those of your brothers and sisters. If they are not living up to those standards it is you, and not the media, you and not the legal system, who I expect to defend the honour of your service by CLEANING YOUR OWN DAMNED HOUSE. You know there are those treating their badge like a hunting license, using their position to harass those they look down on, and who look at every single citizen who is not wearing the same uniform as enemy.
That is not good enough. If that is the way you look at those you are sworn to protect, take off the badge before you foul it further. You got lost somewhere, and until you remember why you took up service, you serve best by walking away.
To the “Black Lives Matter” protesters. You are responsible for so much violence, so much hatred, you are not part of the problem, oh no you are a brand new problem all together. You want to see what a civil war looks like? Go enlist and serve in one. Go see what third world shitholes look like when people who couldn’t decide their issues with words turned to guns and shattered the lives of millions of normal people just trying to get by.
Have the courage to own your own shit. You are angry? Suck it up buttercup. That is not a license for violence. You are determined to start a war. You don’t have a clue what the high cost of your rhetoric is, but I do. Soldiers clean up the messes of speech makers, protesters, slogan chanting morons whose feelings are more important than the consequences of their actions. Have the courage to look in the mirror and own what you see, understand that when you provoke a confrontation, all the blood that follows is on your hands.
Honour: Remember yours. To those who cry out for justice, have the honour to stick to that demand and I will join your call. Choose instead to seek vengeance, and you have become a threat, a danger whose true cost will be far higher than you can guess, and far more terrible than you will ever bother to accept.
The United States used to have a motto, E Pluribus Unum. From many come one. In the 1950’s, you decided to change the words on your bills to “In God We Trust”. Well the god that your founding fathers fought so hard to keep out of the government of the Union they forged is not about tolerance, accommodation, or reason. It is no coincidence that since that time the “us/them” thinking has been the constant of the United States.
Canada is racially and culturally diverse, we frequently don’t get along. Our police are not shining examples of virtue all the time either, but we are not one match away from civil war. You people are.
Black lives matter, but the movement is a mad dog running in the street biting everyone it sees. I see Black Lives Matters protesters blocking the Gay Pride Parade demanding the police be barred from having floats. Wow, such an amazing grasp of intolerance, you really have identified the best way to make it clear that what you mean is “ONLY BLACK LIVES MATTER”.
Blue lives mater. The police have a job I do not envy, as do Fire and EMT who likewise are doing their best to serve and protect all communities, but with a growing awareness that some calls may not be people in distress, but invitations to ambush. Blue lives matter, they really do, but part of why they matter is that good cops work damned hard to make sure that their brothers and sisters in uniform do the job for which they took the oath, serving and protecting the public, not preying on it.
I look to the south, to my friends and neighbors. I say to you; courage and honour. You were once a great people, a land made great by the sons and daughters of every corner of the world united in a vision of freedom and opportunity. You are still that people, though you know it not. E pluribus unum. From many peoples come one. Or follow the Syrian path, the Yugoslav path, the Lebanese path, and turn your nation into a warzone, where the hand of every man is raised against the other, and children fear to walk the streets without armed escort.
Choose wisely, but understand, it takes two sides to make a compromise, and only one to wage a war.