We here at RISE NEWS came across the photo below on social media a day before the tragic slaying of five police officers in Dallas.
We found it absolutely repugnant at the time but did not say anything.
We were wrong not to.
We all need to take a stand when we see people post horrific images because sometimes they can inspire people to do horrific things.
Here is the image in question:
We will not be “outing” the person that posted the image because they are a private citizen and we hope they will learn from this mistake without their reputation being damaged in the process.
From the post:
“This photo may offend some individuals and I clearly don’t give AF! America needs to realize that it’s not about BLACK OR WHITE PEOPLE. It’s more about these crooked ass so called law enforcement officers. Now, there are some good ones and I applaud you for standing in unity and going against negativity and protecting this country but some of you abuse your authority when you in a little position of power. #RIP #AltonSterling”
No one posted arguing that the image was terrible.
In fact, some people egged it on.
One person wrote:
“There are good cops out the there. But there are too many bad ones too. Racism is strong in this country. A lot of the problems with these deaths is because of a racist society. I’ve been here long enough to see a lot of it. Just think what our parents and there parents have seen.”
“I take issue with the so called good ones too because most of them allow this shit to go on and don’t say anything.”
We agree that Black Lives Matter.
There is no question that police violence and systemic racism in our justice system are real issues that we have not done a good enough job in weeding out as a country.
There are racist cops. There are dirty cops. There are bad cops.
But there are also really great cops who take their jobs seriously and work everyday to protect the people of this country. Without them, we will have no peace. Without them, we will have no democracy.
While the Black Lives Matter fight must continue to go on as the deaths of young black men in this country will undoubtedly continue as this summer grows hotter, we must all do our part in lowering the rhetoric.
Posting a photo to social media depicting a police officer having his throat slashed by a ISIS like figure with American flag colored gun straps is not helping.
It is not good social commentary. It is not interesting. It is only vile.
Of course this does go both ways.
All of us have seen countless racist memes pop up on our feeds from time to time or the words All Lives Matter as a substitute for real conversation about what is needed to make things better.
We are wrong when we don’t confront people who post those images as well.
We can make things better in this country. We can create a better future where the relationship between the police and people of color can be strong and respected.
But we can certainly not have this future if we don’t trust each other. And we certainly can’t bring about that future if we hate each other.
Love and respect is the only answer.
And it is time that we all do our part.