“LIFE IS TOO PRECIOUS”
October 4, 2014
My brother Bill is a fine artist whose paintings of Oklahoma landscapes and his iconography (with wood-burning tools he makes himself) enable him to pursue his other passion every day: golf. He also draws cartoons. I have asked him to provide some that illustrate the issues of the day. The cartoon here makes a statement about the use – some would say overuse – of military-style confrontation by the police. No one wants to see any police officer put in dangerous positions without adequate protection and support, just as no one, I hope, wants to see the police become a military force. The military is trained to kill an enemy. The police are trained to protect the citizens. Are we running the risk of mixing up the two?
Just as Bill is making his comment through his art, Velmar Faison, of Winston-Salem, recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Winston-Salem Journal that pretty well sums up the dilemma:
“Whenever an unarmed black American is killed by a white cop or white person, the victim immediately comes under scrutiny from his kindergarten years until present. Whatever this person may have done previously does not give one the right to become judge, jury and executioner by firing his weapon unnecessarily, thus taking a life. Life is too precious. Regardless of one’s race, we are all someone’s loved one, son, daughter, parent, sibling, etc. However, it seems apparent that some people will devalue black Americans’ life. Cops, especially, should be better trained in apprehending unarmed people. They should be thoroughly investigated and scrutinized as to why they want to become cops;. There are many reasons and all are not good; some like being in authority and the power of carrying a gun; some are war veterans and still think they are fighting the enemy. Then there are good cops who just want to do the right thing. However, every cop in uniform is not an honorable person and should be judged accordingly and not because he is a cop or a person in authority. The bad cops sold be brought to justice and weeded out so the good cops can do their jobs and have the confidence and support of the community that they serve.”