If there is one thing that pretty much all Americans can agree on, it is that we are a nation divided in ways not seen since the 1850’s and ‘60’s.
One of the biggest wedges is the question of how local law enforcement agencies work with and police the communities they have been entrusted with protecting. We just found a photograph on the conservative website MadWorldNews.com that continues this debate, and you are not going to believe it until you see it with your own eyes.
The conservative website MadWorldNews is running a story along with a photograph posted to social media. The picture shows a semi truck in Ohio, that has “Without cops, nothing matters” painted on its mudflaps.
The accompanying story goes to great lengths to demonstrate how only true Americans would understand that cops are an important part of a civil society and that you cannot support law enforcement while simultaneously supporting such community advocacy groups as Black Lives Matter.
But this story simply reinforces the entrenched positions of a false narrative that says you cannot stand with law enforcement while also holding them accountable when tragedies occur.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle seem dedicated to driving wedges between different groups, rather than building bridges, and the news media facilitates it by reporting everything, even when it is verifiable nonsense. It seems like there are two sides, either you stand with Black Lives Matter, or you stand with cops. And if the media hype is to be believed, there can be no middle ground where Americans come together to honestly ask and answer tough questions.
So we decided to take a look at some facts that might help build some understanding between these two, seemingly incompatible viewpoints.
According to the website gunviolencearchive.org, the total number of gun-related incidents in the United States for 2016 was twenty-nine thousand, four hundred and sixteen shootings. Of those, eight seven one thousand one eighty-seven were officer-involved shootings. Of the one hundred and eighty where the officer was shot, twenty six were killed. Contrast that with the one thousand and seven suspects that were shot, and of those, five hundred and ninety eight were killed. The most important number of all however is that of the almost six hundred people shot and killed by police officers, one hundred and twenty three were African American.
A 2016 study by the british paper The Guardian, entitled “The Counted,” shows that African-American males between the ages of 15 and 34 are nine times more likely to be shot by law enforcement than any other demographic group.
We then wanted to see exactly what the official platform of Black Lives Matter was, so we went to their website and found the guiding principles stated as “Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”
There certainly are plenty of criminals in our society who may wind up getting what they deserve, and there are definitely men and women of honor and integrity who serve their communities by wearing a badge. But the truth is, we all need to come together to address these problems as neighbors and patriots. Communities need to take responsibility in shaping public attitudes about law enforcement, and good cops need to stop defending bad ones.
Where do you stand on this issue? Is this something that we can work together to solve, or are we doomed to continue as a nation divided? Please share your thoughts with us here.