I have always known that we are family in the vague sort of way that you can know something is true without really focusing on it or seeing it all the time. There is something about seeing law officers, their spouses, service members in the armed forces, the “civilian” employees of departments, firefighters, dispatchers, corrections officers, EMS personnel and security officers, joining together to honor the life of one of their own, that brings this commonality home to the heart in a way that’s hard to put into words. Reflected on faces streaked with tears or those set firmly, iron-jawed with stoic determination not to cry, I could literally see the dedication that each man and woman in attendance gives to the emergency services family. There is a kindred spirit that we all share, a unity of thought and purpose that pulls us together when one of our own has given his or her all in the performance of solemn and sacred duty. We don’t all serve in the same role, but we all serve the same righteous cause.
I don't know you. I don't know your history. I don't know what kind of parents you had, how your teachers treated you in school, how many times you've had your heartbroken and how many mistakes you've made along the way. I have zero ideas of how you became the unique individual you are today. All I know is that you've experienced pain. You've experienced loss. You've had dreams and ambitions. I know that you've likely felt misunderstood, underestimated, and down for the count at one point or another in your life time. Even though I know all of these things, I still don't know you. I don't know your circumstances and in order to understand you better, I'm ready to listen. There's the flip side of the coin.
it seems that all across the social/political spectrum these days I find examples of things that are taking place that you wouldn't expect to see in the fevered dreams of a deluded mad man, things that make me say to myself “You couldn't make this up if you tried”.
What do I mean? Well, for example, Washington D.C. officials are considering implementing a program in which repeat offenders and/or those deemed likely to be victimized by violence (read: consumers of the drug trade) are paid up to $9,000 annually to not commit crimes.
Black Lives Matter.
That's it. I have no caveats, no 'but...', no exceptions. Every black life matters.
Now, I've been hearing this for a year, usually in hashtags, or screamed at me by protestors. Usually, that's all the protestors say. That's what they want, they want black lives to matter. Well? They can stop protesting now, because they got what they want. They want black lives to matter, and they do.