Open season

| July 13, 2016
Diego Morales

Diego Morales

Be mindful, conscious, willing to love in the battle to end oppression

By Diego Morales

Let us declare open season on the police. Let us approach every officer, uniform or not with malice and vengeance. You know Mrs. Johnson? The lovely older lady that lives down the street? The one you say hi to every day? Her son is an officer—let us make sure he pays the price. Charles from the department next door at work, his wife is an officer—let us make sure we exact punishment on her as well. Mr. Richards, our seventh grade teacher, whom we still see from time to time, who helped us on our way to better things, his father was an officer and so are two of his brothers and a nephew—let us meet them with the same pain they have brought to the community! This is the answer! This is what is necessary! Isn’t it?

No. Brothers and Sisters, what we need is to educate ourselves—to look beyond the means of violence and retribution. We cannot be reactionary and simply rant when things go bad. What has happened recently is tragic indeed, but no more tragic than any other episode in the drama we call life. The police force is comprised of individuals much like you and me; capable of love as well as hate, of fear as well as acceptance.

The oppressive culture we have created by embracing things that have pushed certain moral envelopes to profit is what has us all twisted. You cannot be reactive and expect change. We must be proactive. Reach for better, believe in better. If it is your constitutional right to legally carry a firearm, it is your human right to carry love and education as well. If you would like to approach an officer and instill change in his or her heart, approach them with peace, love and education. Approach them with knowledge and understanding, drop the gun and pick up a book because you cannot carry enough bullets to change a system. Arm yourselves with knowledge and a sincere desire to change and, therefore, create change.

Instead of raising our children to be “hood” or “gangster,” raise them to speak eloquently, be educated and sincere. Raise them to become lawyers and judges and politicians to change the system; raise them to be police officers to change the culture of oppression.

In high school, I once had a teacher tell me, “Spic or Spook, you’re all the same…” I was taken aback by the ignorance of this teacher, the malice in his voice. Was I supposed to be offended by a comparison between black and brown? At 16, I already knew the depth of the contributions to this country by the black community as well as my own people. There was no offense taken at any comparison made. I, however, was offended that a teacher, a person of authority who was in place to help guide me and educate me would be of such an oppressive mindset. At that moment, I recalled what another teacher had said to me: “You ain’t nothing but a nigger with straight hair.” This teacher was black. This statement was not an attack it was a friendly warning as to how some others would view me—through the eyes of ignorance. Had it not been for that comment, the spic and spook comment might have hit me differently. But, I was already armed with that bit of information, a glimpse into a perspective that I am sure was garnered through painful experience. I knew at that moment I could not control that teacher or his mindset, but I could control my own. Baiting me was an exercise in futility. I am in control of me. I do not have to be reactionary; I can be revolutionary, I can be proactive if I so choose.

I urge you to adopt that same perspective. Many marches and protests are yet to come but now the oppressors are overly sensitive. It is not just the brutal, bad cops who are feeling threatened, it is all of them because the hate towards the uniform does not discriminate. We will not win this battle if we take the streets. Like a pressure cooker, it is building. The moment the local police and sheriff lose control, there will be state troopers and eventually the National Guard. This is not an alien task force. These are organized bodies comprised of people like us who have a job to do. Not all of them are hateful or ignorant, just as not all of us are gangsters or thugs. Be mindful of the life you wish to take, it changes nothing for the better. Act accordingly and reach for better.

Yours in peace and love, D.

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Category: Civil Rights, Community, National, Opinion

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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