Given what’s transpired since the senseless, tragic death of Mr. George Floyd, I want to use my voice respectfully and responsibly to ignite open discussions on how we (ALL of us) can begin to create solutions of meaningful impact.
Similar tragedies have been occurring for far too long and they happen far too often… and nothing ever seems to change.
Here is the cycle we’ve created:
A horrific murder like this takes place, millions of people feel immense pain & outrage, things subside and go back to normal, and then it happens again.
And again, and again, and again.
THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE.
So I’d like to stimulate some discussion on actual steps to change.
Prior to sharing…
I acknowledge that I’ve lived a life of significant white privilege.
I acknowledge that I do not, and could not, understand how it feels to be black.
I acknowledge that I do not have all of the answers.
I acknowledge that I have never been a police officer.
I acknowledge that police brutality/murder is only one part of the much more alarming issue – deep rooted, systemic racism.
But since that is the issue our country is most focused on at present… I want to use my platform to try to help.
Here are 6 tangible steps that I believe would generate positive momentum to help reduce the occurrence of these types of awful tragedies:
- Much stiffer consequences for offending officers. The penalty for the man that murdered Mr. Floyd should be harsher than a similar crime committed by a normal citizen. Abusing the ‘power of the badge’ should significantly heighten the punishment (same for his colleagues that did nothing to stop it).
- Ensure every police officer wears a body camera (in addition to their dashboard camera) that remains permanently on (with audio and video). Their behavior needs to be documented at all times (and throughly reviewed anytime their is a possible infraction or indiscretion of any type).
- Red flags must be taken more seriously. I find it impossible to believe that the officer that murdered Mr. Floyd hadn’t made inappropriate jokes/comments about race or violence or hadn’t had some type of questionable behavior prior to this incident. He most likely dropped a series of subtle hints to his evilness that were ignored.
- Improve the psychological battery of tests when hiring police officers. There must be ways to dig deeper and find propensities and proclivities for racist, violent, and unacceptable behavior. Root them out before they are hired.
- Make ‘emotional intelligence’ and ‘race relations’ part of formal school curriculums. Young boys in particular need to be formally taught how to understand, manage, and express their emotions in a healthy way. And open, honest, and compassionate lessons on race need to formally taught and discussed (and not by inaccurate, out-dates text books).
- Parents need to openly talk with their children about these incidents… not bury them, avoid them, or sugar coat them. Encourage them to ask questions. These discussions should not spark fear or hate… but rather teach life lessons on empathy, compassion, tolerance, kindness, and inclusiveness.
I welcome additional thoughts, ideas, and resolutions… especially from folks that ‘do NOT look like me.’
I want to hear from you.
I want to learn from you.
I want to help/support you.
And for those choosing to physically gather and protest… I hope you do so peacefully. Your voice will be much more impactful that way. Vandalism, destruction, and looting may be understandable… but it is NOT acceptable. Use your outrage to ignite change… not to damage and hurt others. Inflicting pain on others when you feel pain perpetuates the cycle.
Lastly, I want to clearly state how grateful I am for the vast majority of men and women in law enforcement that uphold their badge with civility & character and that truly protect & serve EVERYONE equally. Thank you ❤️