A “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day” was initiated on Friday, January 9, 2015 through gatherings in support of America’s Protection System. An appreciation day for cops is ideal for a Democratic society, however, I am concerned that the appreciation day for law enforcement will turn into a competition with the “Black Lives Matter” Movement. An appreciation day for law enforcement is an affirmation of how all lives matter, but a celebration for cops when cops have been on a killing spree without indictment is not reflective of a reconciliation process.
The “Black Lives Matter” movement is as much a result of society’s appreciation for law enforcement as it is a cause for developing “law enforcement appreciation day.” Police academies receive honor for their mere presence, but “Black Lives Matter” exists to hold the promises of “protecting and serving” accountable. Law enforcement does not want to be under public scrutiny, but many of its members do not yet take responsibility for aggressively placing men and women under their badges. The families of countless slain men and women have the right to question why these killings occur, but police cannot give answers by justifying their actions when they are brutally unjustifiable. As a result of the noncooperation, protests have occurred from both law enforcement and the Black Lives Matter Movement with much critique, and little correction.
I have expressed concerns about the movement’s themes that will not only cause a conscious that “Black Lives Matter,” but have an effect that speaks on whom our lives matter to. Raising the value of black life has become a consequence of law enforcement devaluing black life, and both movements suffer from the differing perspective. The relationship between minorities and police is in direct proportion to how minorities and police are viewed by the public because the public perception perpetuates how we view each other. Police have a high perception in the public, but the reality is that all of the public has not experienced the police the way that minorities have. The collective reality is that society seeks to value race, but what law enforcement misses is how race or their uniform should not differentiate our measure of worth to society. If we can gather that collective conscious, assassination of non-white men, women, and children by crooked, American cops will no longer be just an alarm for injustice, but advocacy for justice.
Much to my delight, “Black Lives Matter” did not fade in the back of New Year’s Celebrations. For most of America, the Holidays are about spending time with family and friends, but since the increased brutality of police in 2014, protestors have looked within the movement for family. This bond has been one of the movement’s most fascinating aspects, as its members bare comparison to the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960’s. Many in the community have expressed concerns for projected leadership, but the movement’s lack of singular leadership is a testament to its authenticity. Revolutionary tales of Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X’s individuality does not propel the Black Lives Matter Movement, but their philosophies, which created collectives like SCLC, will make this a leading movement.
Neither Law Enforcement or Black Lives Matter protestors will reach a common ground without such gatherings, and a “National appreciation day” will not mend the relationship between crooked cops and minorities. However, a breath of unity will spark the appreciation necessary for abiding by societal law and moral laws in the future.