With the current outbreak of police violence, many people of all races and genders are finding themselves outraged by the action of America’s police forces. With lives at stake and lost at the hands of police, people have more than enough reasons to feel hatred and show disapproval of our police system.
Whereas I, as a young white cis woman, am able to feel comfortable approaching police with problems and fears, the fact of the matter is, nearly half this country’s population does not.
This is a problem that needs to be resolved.
However, it is not a problem that needs to be countered with hatred and violence.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
Throughout time, we have seen multiple examples of oppression and violence in many great civilizations. We have also learned that vengeance is not the answer. One does not solve violent crimes by becoming violent, just as one does not face hatred with hatred.
I was sitting outside on campus yesterday when I noticed a table set up amongst other tables there to promote a club or cause. This particular table was striking and is what lead me to write this post. A couple of students sat behind it while the occasional person stepped up, interested to see what it was all about. Beside the table, painted on a large sheet in black and red were the words “FUCK THE POLICE.”
My initial thought went towards the students in charge of the club/cause. They were recognizing police brutality and trying to take a stand against it; however, my eyes were drawn to the sheet. Was it really necessary to be so brutal back?
The next day I made my way through the same area of campus again. This time I passed by the table and noticed something different that I hadn’t seen before. Two police officers were standing across from the table, making casual conversation, while watching over the general area. They were smiling and laughing, probably cracking some jokes. As I passed between the table and the officers, my heart sank.
How did they feel when they saw “FUCK THE POLICE” plastered across a sheet right in front of them?
Not only is this a profound statement, but it also holds many negative connotations that we shouldn’t be using to work against police brutality.
For starters, the word “fuck” is used inappropriately in this situation. Don’t get me wrong, I love this word and its meanings. When it’s used in an extremely negative way, though, it holds more power than the speaker might believe they’re exerting. I’ve had people tell me to “fuck off” I’ve had people tell me that I’m a “fucking bitch.” I’ve heard the word used multiple times against me throughout my short life and, let me tell ya, it sucks. Nothing hurts worse than a word that makes you feel insignificant and worthless or—in other terms—like a piece of shit. It hurts even worse when it’s directed to the undeserving, which leads me to my next point.
The term “the police” is way too broad. It gives a stereotype that is meant to give bad images. It’s like saying, “all blondes are dumb” or “black people are lazy.” It’s wrong because it’s too generalized of a stereotype used to hurt people who probably don’t deserve it.
There are, of course, police officers who are undeserving of their position. There are men and women in the force that abuse the power given to them. But, for the most part, people become police officers because they want to protect people.
So saying “Fuck the Police” is not just extremely rude but it’s hurtful and judgmental; and as a society, we should work against judgment, and progress into a more accepting, understanding people.
Am I saying that we should just silently accept police brutality? Hell no. I’m saying that we shouldn’t label all the police of America as violent bastards just like some of them shouldn’t jump to conclusions about the intent of minorities, especially black people.
Instead of fighting ignorance with ignorance, violence with violence, generalizations with generalizations, we should communicate peace in order to better convey our opinions towards the dangerous situation of police brutality.
It is important to remember that not all police are dangerous and that there are still officers looking to help American citizens. Generalizing them into a group of violent racists does not help our country to grow and learn to understand and accept people. The moment we allow hate to dominate our thoughts and actions is the moment we submit to the evil of the world.
My thoughts go back to those two police officers, smiling and talking, while not fifty feet away was a display of hate.
Image Courtesy of: weaselzippers.us