Things continue to run smoothly around here. I think it helps a lot that I had gobs of cancellations this week. I was supposed to meet with 24 people, and instead its looking like my grand total will be closer to 16. The last couple of weeks in a row I had, like, NO cancellations, which was also weird. While I am probably going to see a dip in my paycheck, the truth is I am always happy for a light work week. That’s probably my white privilege talking. It reminds me of all the times people have told me, “You’re lucky that you never have to worry. You’ll always know you have a safety net.” It’s true. I am lucky.
I saw a few things on social media over the past few days that deeply upset me. When I initially brought it to my husband’s attention, he tried to tell me that social media is the problem. I had told him how for whatever reason, the algorithm keeps showing me what his Nino is commenting on other people’s pages, and it is consistently disturbing to me. The accumulation of disturbing things makes me never want to be in the same room with that man, and if I have to be, I’m going to make a concerted effort to not have to interact with him. My husband was like, “just unfollow him.”
I was like, “That’s the real problem with social media. We just unfollow everything we don’t like and then have a totally imbalanced view of what’s going on in the world.” I told him his suggestion was frustrating me. Before I’d approached him with this, I had a whole train of thought that I wanted to share, and he wasn’t letting me speak.
So Lenny Kravitz, the celebrity, had posted something about Daunte Wright, the black man who was shot and killed by a cop who had apparently intended to tase him. He said, “We must hold police officers accountable for the blatant racism and abuse of Black and Brown people,” among other things. My husband’s Nino is a retired police officer, and he commented on this post saying something about how Black on Black crime is the bigger issue, how the officer who killed Daunte Wright had been responding to a call about a man waiving a gun around, and then he said “It must have been pretty hard “witnessing and experiencing” these things from your oppressed life in the Hollywood hills mansion. Geez…give me a break…”
Seeing this irritated me, just like it always does, but I have to prioritize where my energy goes. I acknowledged my disgust and moved on with my life. Then, the next morning, my cousin posted a video of Adam Toledo getting shot and killed by a police officer. It was very graphic, and shows this 13-year-old boy’s face as he literally dies on film of a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. It’s upsetting regardless, but I think, for me, the timing of seeing the video just hours after reading my husband’s Nino’s comment really triggered me.
I recalled some of the explanations my husband’s dad, also a retired police officer, has given me about using unnecessary force on people. He’s said things about the overall stress of the job, the long hours, the fact that police are human and they too experience emotions like anger when they are disrespected and ignored while in the line of duty, and then he placed a lot of emphasis on the adrenaline involved after a long chase after somebody who you believe may be carrying a weapon like a gun. He described having to make split second decisions that are life or death—your life being one of the lives involved.
And I hear that, but I don’t think it excuses the police. I told my husband that cops should be warned when signing up for the job that they WILL have to make these split-second life or death decisions while under the weight of adrenaline and anger, and they WILL be held accountable if they make the wrong decision. If that is something they don’t want to accept, then don’t be a cop. It’s that simple. But, instead, saying “hey it’s stressful, and so therefore I can make mistakes and walk away without consequence” is NOT okay, especially considering the kind of power these people yield. It attracts the wrong people. My father-in-law has told me himself that the majority of the cops are fucking corrupted. So WHY he insists on defending them blows my mind.
And the thing with my husband’s Nino? He responded to Lenny Kravitz’s post as though he were being personally attacked. To me, his response would have been more fitting if Lenny Kravitz had said, “All cops should be removed from the force and made to suffer immediately.” But that’s not what it said. All it said was that cops need to be held accountable for their actions, WHICH IS TRUE. So what’s with the defensive reaction? It’s like he’s suggesting that it’s total blasphemy for cops to receive any kind of constructive criticism at all. Again, it’s this message that “what we do is hard, so we should be excused for every mistake, including murder.” Having a hard job does not make you above other humans!!
The last thing I’ll mention before I go is that, from my perspective, this whole damn conversation is being had in a way that is inefficient and unproductive. I feel like these two communities of people, “the cops” and “the Black and Brown people,” are just sitting there yelling at each other, not listening at all. It’s just like my family-client, and it’s a waste of everybody’s time and energy. What’s missing, in my opinion, is some kind of mediator. We need someone to help facilitate the conversation, and right now that just does not exist. Also, that “someone” can’t be the government, because they’re too close. They’re too entangled in it. That’s why they haven’t been able to do shit. It needs to be an outside party. I just don’t know… who is qualified for something like that. It would have to be someone exceptional.
Okay, well… I need to get to work. Until next time <3
Last updated April 17, 2021