I keep thinking that I’ve stepped out of a time machine, and it’s now 1957. My country is not the America I thought I knew.
My parents didn’t talk to me much about race. I formed my own conclusions throughout my childhood based on personal experiences and observations in my community. Then I went to college. I quickly learned that the perceptions I grew up with were completely inaccurate, and that what I was taught in school was a distorted and racist version of reality. I felt that my entire life was a lie. I got ‘woke’ all at once.
I truly believed police officers were there to protect me. “Officer Friendly” was alive and well in my rose-colored world until highly publicized footage of police killing unarmed Black people surfaced. Now, my heart palpitates when I even see a squad car.
It’s not that I believe that all individual cops are untrustworthy. I don’t think defunding is the solution; however, I don’t trust the system in its current state. We must rectify it. In my view, the status quo simply cannot and should not remain.
Why? Because the ethos insists that cops don’t hold each other accountable, which makes good ones complicit. The culture rewards silence, no matter how vile the offense. The very nature of the current system is blatantly corrupt because there’s no transparency.
If being considered a “snitch” is worse than actually committing atrocities and covering them up, police have been given a license to abuse and kill Black people, almost indiscriminately. They are above the law. This explicit abuse of power has no place in a democratic society.