Several photographs taken this week had police battling protesters in cities all around the world. In many cases, rightly or wrongly, the police were using heavy force to control mobs. Always in situations like this, innocent people get hurt. Always in situations like this, those protesting peacefully get lumped in with those that are causing mayhem.
Some police officers though understood that there was a reason behind the protests. They understand that people of colour often are treated unfairly by the police. In the midst of the protests, these police officers took a knee, to show they understand that things need to change.
Some people were upset with this. One post I saw on Facebook said that the police who took a knee were just trying to fool us. Why trust them now when the act of 4 police officers was the spark which has rekindled racial dissension around the world? Aren't they the ones to blame? Isn't it their fault?
That could be it but I don't think so. Just as it is wrong to say all members of a certain nationality are like this, or people of this race are like that, one can't generalize and say all members of one profession are saintly or evil. So yes certain politicians, certain media outlets, certain police officers, certain judiciaries have used undue force to protect the status quo these past two weeks. However it is wrong to say that all police have
There is systemic racism. I know that I am treated differently in stores and in restaurants because of the perceived colour of my skin. In all walks of life, by virtue of the fact that I am perceived to be white (although I am Metis), male, raised in the 1st world, English speaking, and middle class, doors are easily opened to me. These same doors are harder to open for someone who comes from a different background. That is systemic racism. That is wrong. I however don't have a sole claim to the belief that systemic racism is wrong. The police officers taking a knee in solidarity with the protesters also are showing that our systems have to change. Blessings.