No it is not happening with weapons.
Then, what do I mean?
- Jobs and agencies are being decimated.
- Our world is upside down: Good is Bad – and – Bad is Good.
- Cops are being disrespected, threatened and challenged at every turn.
- We cannot count on anyone or anything, anymore – except one another.
- Our ranks are dwindling in frantic numbers.
- Getting new recruits on the street fast enough is not keeping up with the departures.
Agencies are being forced to choose between two very uncomfortable options. Option #1 is that they must lower standards for new hires in order to fill the ranks. Option #2 is that they must cease operating specialized bureaus, services or shut their doors entirely.
WEAVING A FAIRY TALE
Allow me to take you through an imaginary scenario. I will try hard to be brief.
You, your wife and your children have made a home is a well-kept middle class neighborhood for the past ten years, or so. Your children go to local public schools.
People treat each other well in your neighborhood where there are various community events, such as occasional block parties. The crime rate is low.
There is the “normal” resident turnover of families moving in and out. Of note are two homes which are next door to one another. Both have new families. Especially coincidental are their similarities: both households are headed by single mothers. The Kelly family has 4 young teens and the O’Toole family also has 4 children of about the same ages.
CHANGE IS AFOOT
As a cop, you are aware of crime statistics in your community and neighborhood. You notice there has been an increase in minor property crimes happening – kid stuff. It’s been around for generations: a broken bush here, a little graffiti and other such nonsense, there.
Unfortunately, over the ongoing months, the severity of the property crime is getting worse. Reports are now being filed with theft from automobiles, vandalism to structures, theft from garages and even some minor fires set by arsonists.
The greatest concern came when you learned of crimes against local residents being reported. There was a home invasion / robbery which happened while the residents were at home and asleep.
Your knowledge of these events causes you concern. This kind of stuff has always happened in the ‘bad parts’ of town – but not where you live.
Following some good cop work by your agency’s detectives, two of the children from the Kelly family and one from the O’Toole family have been charged.
The board of directors of your homeowners’ association met to consider the situation in detail and map out options for residents. The goal is reducing the crime before it gets out of hand. The directors called a general meeting for all residents to attend so that the community can learn about the situation.
The association president acknowledges the recent increase in crime in your neighborhood and carefully protects the exact identities of the perpetrators. The board considered asking the police for increased patrols along with direct communication with the parents involved.
The board is focused on protecting the self-esteem of the youngsters involved in the reported crimes. Accordingly, they are not going to ask for increased police patrols. They will not organize a neighborhood watch. Their identity will not be revealed beyond those who already know.
If that weren’t enough …
The board has decided that the best way to end the crime would be to improve the lives of the youngsters involved. The association will be providing a new tablet computer to the children in both familes. Further, the association will provide an X-Box and games for each family to provide good things to occupy them in their spare time.
Your reaction to this: “ARE WE NUTS?”
These kids are juvenile delinquents. The full weight of the law should be brought to bear on these kids. They must learn that breaking society’s rules comes with a price.
In short: actions have consequences.
Worse, when questioned, the kids claimed that others in the neighborhood are discriminating against them because they are Irish.
Other residents are paralyzed and afraid to speak the truth because they are afraid of being labeled as being prejudiced – even racist.
At the meeting’s end, you wonder if the board of directors and those who support them have collectively lost their minds.
END OF FAIRY TALE
This Fairy Tale would not make anyone feel warm and fuzzy. It would be a nightmare.
The problem is: it is too close to reality.
A QUICK TOUR OF THE PAST
Let’s be honest: I’m old enough to … well, let’s just say I’ve been around for a while. Most readers learned about the Post WWII era from history books.
I lived it.
Don’t ask me about buggy whips.
* ALERT * BAD WORD COMING
Snowflakes: fasten your seatbelt or hide behind your momma’s skirt.
Following the War, the nation’s race relations were steadily improving. In the 1950’s, Black men were holding meaningful jobs. We lived in Detroit. Black men had become a critical part of the auto industry.
A steadily increasing number of Black families lived in homes they owned. Black players were widely accepted in professional sports. Black entertainers flourished – think of Motown Music.
To be blunt, Black men had made a meaningful contribution to the War effort. They earned much deserved respect, as a result.
In most white American homes in the 1950’s the use of the word “nigger” was VERY common – along with a slew of other words used to denote Black people. I probably grew up hearing an array of them from my father daily. In short: it was no big deal, back then. Thankfully, times have changed.
In the 1960’s things were beginning to change.
The nation had its first CATHOLIC president (gasp).
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law of the land. One of the most significant men of the century was guiding Black people to an equal status in AmeIrca: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a minister and preached about making change through PEACEFUL resistance. May God rest his soul.
As a teenager, I was learning about equal treatment in school. At home, my dad was reading the Detroit News and learning about a practice by unscrupulous realtors. They would buy a house in an all-white neighborhood and then have a Black family move in.
It was called, “Block Busting.”
When the existing white residents folks saw the Black family move in, “FOR SALE” signs went up everywhere and property values sunk like a rock. Within a short time, the whites were gone and the neighborhood was now Black.
My Dad and I had regular arguments about how white people needed an attitude adjustment. Those fights were too often loud and angry.
THE BIG CHANGE
Along came President Lyndon Johnson who introduced what would become the largest expansion of the federal government in a hundred years. He announced, “The Great Society” and the “War on Poverty.”
I was in college. I remember watching the speech at a buddy’s apartment on a Sunday night. The idea sounded like great ideas and a way to bring poor people up to ‘even’ in the social / economic structure. The group being “helped” was racially mixed, but a significant portion were Black.
Of course, there were the skeptics.
The naysayers predicted that these programs would have two very bad effects:
First, they would make taking government money attractive enough so that many recipients would no longer see the value in getting a job and earning their own income.
Second, it would financially reward women for having children with no father in the home to help raise them. These children would grow up without the critical values and disciplines brought to bear by the typical male role model.
Unfortunately, the skeptics were only HALF right. The results of these two programs have been disastrous on both of these fronts.
It was now the 1970’s. I got married. My wife and I bought a home in a new subdivision. We had two terrific kids.
Our neighborhood was a typical suburb with folks of many races (e.g. Asian, Black, etc.) living there. My father was aghast.
My family took the racial mixture as normal and thought nothing of it.
Much to my father’s chagrin, racially offensive words were banned from our home and for use in the presence of my kids. Again, my father was not pleased. Too bad.
Attitudes were changing.
The 1980’s and 1990’s saw Black people on one of two divergent paths.
Thank God, many got an education and made their way in a world that now largely welcomed them.
Example: I worked in a PD that had just over 100 officers in a Detroit suburb. The racial split between Black & White was roughly 50%. The few times a question came up about the race of a particular officer, I had to stop and think before giving an answer.
In short: race was not the prevailing factor in my consideration of others. It remains that way to this day.
I had learned over the years – and especially as a cop – that color didn’t matter. Only BEHAVIOR did.
A new century dawned.
- That segment of the poor population which had remained on the government dole saw their lives only get worse.
- The out-of-wedlock birth rate for Black children swelled to 75%.
- Almost all poor homes that received government support had only a female parent present.
- Most Black single parent women did not complete their high school education.
- There was a dwindling participation in organized religion among poor Blacks.
- Too many poor Black women had their first child in their teen years.
- Young Black men were killing each other on the streets at a staggering rate. It continues. Think of Chicago.
- Young Black men had no respect for education, authority, life, the rights of others, and most especially, law enforcement.
We now arrive in 2017. Certain of our political leaders have paid attention and used this situation to their advantage. Here are some things they have learned.
- They learned that by keeping the government handout large enough, poor would essentially be trapped and become “captive” to government.
- They learned that handing out a steady supply of government money “bought” the votes of its recipients – with little (or no) regard for the incumbent politicians’ performance as an elected official.
- They learned that they could rile these recipients into a furor at election time by saying their political opponents want to “cut” the government handouts.
- In the past few years, these politicians (at all levels) have learned they gain favor with the ‘handout’ community if they lay blame for the Black plight at the feet of cops. Yes, that’s us – our Brothers and Sisters on the Thin Blue Line.
Pretty slick, eh?
Not so much if you wear a badge and carry a gun.
ANALYZING THIS MADE ME CRAZY
It wasn’t until I got out on the street, in uniform, that I had to deal with what I have called the Failed Poor members of our society on a regular basis. I must admit: for the first few years, I struggled.
My effort to describe, categorize and predict their behavior left me perplexed. I would often go home muttering to myself.
With age and time, I have arrived at a few conclusions. They are some theories which I continue to test against reality. I will share them with you.
For the Failed Poor who were raised without fathers:
- “Right” and “Wrong” are both situational. It seems there are a couple of questions a Failed Poor person considers:
- First: what do I want?
- Second: can I get away with it and not be punished?
- If I want it and can ‘get away’ with doing it, then it must be “right.”
- If an authority figure (like a cop) ‘catches’ me doing something wrong, it is his ‘fault’ for ‘catching’ me and I have the ‘right’ to be angry about it.
- If I am ‘caught’ in a transgression, I don’t feel any sense of guilt or shame for my actions.
Now, after multiple generations of absentee fathers:
- Due to the lack of parental respect / push for educating their kids, the Failed Poor don’t know the history of America or of their heritage.
- They don’t know how our government works. Specifically, they don’t know (or realize) there is a built-in process for expressing one’s grievances and getting changes made in our social order.
- Blacks in this group are often ‘angry’ with cops for enforcing laws they don’t know about and don’t understand.
- They believe it is alright to be combative with a cop or to challenge their authority.
Worse, our political leaders have found it politically convenient to cast doubt on the honesty and integrity of cops everywhere.
Remember the comments of a recent President who claimed the cops’ arrest of a suspicious person as “acting stupidly” before ANY of the facts were known?
These ‘leaders’ point to the high percentage of Black people incarcerated as being proof of cops’ discrimination against them. This allows the political leader to remove the “blame” for Failed Poor community from the political leaders and shift it elsewhere.
These Left-leaning, progressive leaders have now surrounded themselves with “leaders” from the educational community and (worse yet) failed leaders from the law enforcement community.
In their infinite stupidity, they stand in a circle, vigorously pat themselves on their backs and announce that the solution to resolving the problems facing the Failed Poor is this:
RETRAIN THE COPS
Yes, you read that right.
– End of Part One –
Stay tuned. On Thursday, I will share where I believe this is taking us.
How can the “failed” segment of society see real improvements in their lives?
How can our country once again follow the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, i.e. focus on the person and not the color?
How can hurt feelings and anger be converted to working together to fix this mess?
We are ALL Americans. We ALL have a stake in our mutual success or failure.
As for the cops of this nation, too many have paid the price of these failures with their lives.
At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.
Check out other recent articles:
WHY ARE MY BROTHERS DYING – NEEDLESSLY? READ MORE
NO ROOM FOR HATE READ MORE
IS THIS THE TIME TO QUIT? READ MORE
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Thank you for taking the time to read this message and allowing me to share my story with you. I can be contacted with questions or input: EMAIL ME or call me at my office (386) 763-3000.