Being ‘Anti-Police Brutality’ Does Not Mean You Are ‘Anti-Police’

Anti-Police BrutalityOur country is hurting. We are a nation divided.

Last week, cell phone cameras captured footage of police in Louisiana and Minnesota killing two black men.

Then a black man assassinated five police officers in Texas during an otherwise-peaceful protest of the murders of the two black men.

Emotions are running deep. The last thing I want to do is cause further pain.

However, where in the past I have watched responses to crises like these fall distinctly along racial lines, I now see more and more of my fellow white folk willing to consider that there may be more to the story than we previously thought.

So I am putting together a series of posts and resources about the intersection of race and law enforcement in America.

Some of what I post or recommend will be a critique of the history, culture, and practices of police departments, as well as the entire U.S. justice system, of which they are a part.

I want to be very clear up front that what I will write is not against, or even about, individual law enforcement officers. I am grateful for our police, and I can’t imagine how difficult and stressful their job is.

However, the system they are a part of is, in many places, corrupt, broken, and unjust. And that needs to be addressed.

As a white person in America, I was raised to believe that our system of laws (and its enforcers) are for me. As long as I obey those laws, comply with officers of the law, and entrust myself to the legal system, I will be treated fairly. And that has been my lived experience.

But that has not been the history or lived experience of my friends of color.

So I am going to do my best to lay out some of what I’ve learned, things I wish I had known earlier in my life. Because then I might’ve joined the struggle sooner: to make our country a place where all people—including police officers—can feel supported, be treated with dignity, and live in safety.

You can begin Part 1 in the series here.

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