Two New York police officers (See Slain NYPD Officers Were Partners) were assassinated yesterday simply because they were 'white' (Hispanic and Asian) and doing their jobs.
The murderer (See Police Combing Through Shooting Suspect's Arrest History and Violent Day) drove to New York from Baltimore earlier in the day apparently for that express purpose. Why?
Well, the why may be directly related to racial stereotyping and the ongoing anti-police inflammatory rhetoric by 'leaders' like Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City (See For de Blasio, Attack Comes Amid Tension Over Police), the omnipresent Reverend Al Sharpton, Attorney General Eric Holder and even President Barack Obama.
All that said, the individual who committed these heinous crimes is the individual solely responsible for the actual killings. Inflammatory commentary by public officials is not criminal. It's harmful and irresponsible, but it's not criminal.
We need to stop treating and addressing individual persons as members of a favored or hated group. In that regard, our police protect us when doing their jobs. Both 'white' police and black police.
And a few of our fellow citizens say harmful things and sometimes commit crimes of unspeakable violence.
These 'hyphenated-Americans' are individuals that we unfortunately are prone to identify as White, African, Hispanic, Asian or members of other groups, and who share with all other individual Americans equal rights and responsibilities as citizens of this, the greatest nation and most wonderful country in the history of the world.
As individual hyphenated-Americans, we perform different and necessary jobs for which we are capable and compensated. But those jobs that we do often don't fairly represent who we are.
So let's stop viewing others as cops, mayors, preachers, teachers, politicians and others. Let's start viewing them as individual human beings who happen to do different jobs.
Keeping the peace and protecting their fellow citizens is what police officers do. Are there bad guys doing those jobs? I'm sure some are.
And it's the same with other citizens doing other jobs. There are both individuals as bad guys and good guys in America. But let's not forget that the vast majority are good guys.
So as individuals let's try to get labels and superficialities such as skin pigmentation and job duties out of the conversation and 'picture' when dealing with our fellow Americans.
And with respect to the vital jobs that our police officers perform, let's be happy that they are willing to go out there to do their jobs, keep the peace and protect us from the bad guys. Because while they may be few in absolute numbers, there really are too many bad guys out there. Far too many.
It's time to calm down and have a reasoned discussion among Americans of all persuasions. Is this too much to ask the same of our 'leaders?' I think not.
That's my take.