Saturday, May 30, 2020

We Need Reform....Protests are a Sign of Things to Come

Sometimes you just get tired of waiting and waiting for justice and when it does come it often looks a little distorted and not what would normally be expected. That is what many of these protesters are saying. They want to be treated as human beings with constitutional rights that can't be taken away based on a whim of a sadistic individual. The pain many people in the minority communities feels is overwhelming and boils over onto the streets. To fix this problem and avoid future chaos we need to start thinking on a different level and move beyond old paradigms.

I fell the pain of both side because I have friends that are police officers and I raised two multi-racial children that are likely to be leaders someday. The narratives are different for protesters and police and its hard for people to sort of step across the isle and think about the other. Bad officers shouldn't come to define good officers. The good news is I think change will start to occur because a message of despair is loud and clear. Good people, good politicians, good judges, good district attorneys, and good leaders will hear that message and push for change.

But we must get a grip on the deep problems our officials have ignored for a long time and continue to ignore even though they have the capacity to "do the right thing". I've thought about this for some time and feel that perhaps they don't know what the "right thing" is because they have never been on the other side of the line. They never walked a mile in the shoes of the downtrodden.

1. Racism Damages Our Society: It breaks down trust, it impacts our economy, and it destroys the fabric of American life. It creates pessimism in work, life, and the ability to overcome problems because all of the messages received are designed to tear you down and raise someone else up.

2. Incarceration Doesn't Always Work: Throwing people in jail for little crimes is expensive and costs a lot. It might be better to refer them to another agency they can get help so they don't become a long term detractor to society.

3. Bad Officers Tarnish the Name of Good Officers: Bad officers may not be the norm but become the unintentional spokesperson for all police. When a rogue officer becomes a menace and gets complaints few take the time to look and it is nearly impossible to have them removed. Authority is a very important responsibility that shouldn't be given to the wrong type of person.

4. Justice needs to Focus on Justice: The Justice system isn't about processing individuals and giving tickets, slamming the jail cell, and stuffing our prisons. It is about giving justice. People wait and wait and wait for justice but if they are a minority or seen as "other" justice is unlikely. If they do something wrong someone "throws the book at them" with maximum penalties while others seem to walk for much larger wrongs.

5. Stop Listening to the "Experts": The experts keep saying the same thing over and over. The people who do know how to handle this situation are skipped over for the same defunct methodologies and people proposing the same incorrect solutions. Talk to some business people, psychologists, sociologists, minority leaders, religious leaders, and others to get a better perspective.

6. Change the Metrics and In Turn the Culture of Policing: Culture plays a big role in whether or not a police station will engage the public or view them as the "outsider". Adjusting the metrics to include referrals, talking with locals, customer service, critical thinking, solution finding, etc... can do a lot to help people engage with society while holding each other accountable.

7. Promote the Qualified: Stop promoting those who make the most arrests! Promote those who have the capacity of further developing their teams to do amazing things. These are the ones who build excellent departments and further create inspired followers. It isn't power over people it is power with people that saves the day. Look for great leaders and promote them...I can give you the names of a few.

In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.” Albert Einstein

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