I am not going to talk politics, racism, society or even equality.
One, because I do not hold a master’s in Political Science, History or Criminal Justice.
I’m not even going to presume I know how to ‘fix’ this country or how far we have gone off track.
I’m going to stick with emotion, respect, courtesy, honor and humility.
The morally conscience way in which I was brought up.
My father was a detective. He was the kindest, coolest, non-judgmental, honorable man I knew.
I loved running down the halls of the police station, the way it smelled, the dirty desks, the smiling faces dressed in blue who would greet me. I loved how safe, alive and happy I felt.
The sense of pride a five-year old has for her own personal superhero was overwhelming.
Black was not black in his eyes.
Any kid could get in trouble, petty stuff nothing major.
My father would not arrest him, beat him down, he would speak calmly to him with respect.
He had a likable way about him.
My dad would then go out and hit up the local merchants and raise money to send that troubled boy to basketball camp.
Yes, basketball camp and we were not rich, barely middle class.
How can I ever hate the cops when I have such a compassionate, shining example of him, seeing the human being first. The unfortunate youth who perhaps did not have guidance in his own home.
There would not be one kid he’d help, there would be hundreds who’s lives he would change.
Grown men, black, latino, white would turn up at my mother’s door teary eyed, “your husband gave me a shot, he saved my life.”
Respect. It’s so simple and sorely missing.
I’d grow up and move away from the shelter of a small town and the safety of my father the cop’s strong, compassionate, gentle ways.
When I moved to Harlem I honored the lessons and tried to be colorblind like he taught me.
The night Obama won the election I sobbed in the streets of 125, my heart bursting with pride.
I dragged my brother out catching him brush a tear away. I danced and watched a glorious, wise, well-lived grandmother cry with a child cradled in her arms.
Yes, she was African-American. I tried to comprehend how this stunning, victorious moment felt for her. I’m sure I couldn’t even come close to understanding the depths of emotion.
I looked in that beautiful woman’s chestnut eyes and for one glorious second we were connected.
It was a moment I might not have known without my father’s clear, honorable intentions.
There is no justice in a mother’s child being shot 9 times, or a father and husband of six children dying from a choke hold.
There is no sense, no Master’s Degree that can explain away the horrors.
Those police are certainly not the ones I know, I do not see my father’s reassuring manner in them.
No, no, no.
What is happening? What is happening to morals, values? How did things go so inexplicably wrong?
I partially blame the media, the goddamn violent video games and the ugly, greedy fast times we live in.
I loved a cop, I’m not apologizing.
He taught me right from wrong.
I’m apologizing to the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
My father the colorblind gentleman, well-loved and respected cop would be deeply sorry.
He’d try to fix it.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King
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