A few years ago comedian Chris Rock did a bit on his show titled, “How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked By The Police.” Though it has foul language so parental guidance is suggested, it is a humorous yet honest look at how to avoid a confrontation with the police. Unfortunately, the majority of police involved shootings occur because someone is breaking the law, arguing with officers or refusing to comply with police instructions. Regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion or ability, when a police officer tells you to do something you had better do it.
At this point, I must interject commentary on recent events. The Dallas Police shooting in which five officers gave their lives in the line of duty came about at the hands of some angry black terrorist who in his words, “wanted to kill white people.” He and apparently other partners in crime elected to exact revenge at a Black Lives Matter protest. The protest was being held due to the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers and was progressing quite peaceful when bullets rained down upon them all.
Sterling, it seems according to video, was doing exactly what he should not have been doing at the time he was killed – confronting and engaging police officers while having a gun in his pocket. Castile, on the other hand, appeared to actually be complying with an officer’s instruction and was doing exactly what he should have been doing when he was shot and killed. Apparently, revealing to the officer that he had a licensed concealed weapon caused the officer to unnecessarily panic and shoot Castile. The video shot in the aftermath by his girlfriend is simply horrific. My condolences to both of those families for their loss and to the families of the slain police officers.
In every group, there are good and bad people. It is just as wrong to label all law enforcement officer’s as hunters after African Americans as it is to say all African Americans are criminal gang bangers. To quote the first two tips from Chris Rock, “obey the law and be polite”. It seems like a no-brainer. But have you discussed with your disabled child what to do if confronted by the police? Thankfully, many law enforcement agencies across the nation require training for officers to be able to spot that an individual may have a disability. Yet, it is not enough to rely on that alone. Because even a noncompliant disabled person can be perceived as a threat and shot by police.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome or on the autism spectrum are especially likely to be viewed as suspicious acting to the untrained eye. They refuse to make eye-contact and engage in peculiar behaviors at times. But every person with varying disabilities can engage in reckless behavior. Therefore, every parent of every child with any ability has the responsibility to teach their children that it is in their best interest to ALWAYS comply with police officers. It is far better for an innocent person to be arrested and accused of a crime he/she didn’t commit than it is to be dead for the same reason.
Case in point is Mark Hughes. He was an African-American at the Dallas Black Lives Matter march, wearing a camouflage shirt and carrying a rifle, which is perfectly legal in the state of Texas. He was identified by Dallas Police on social media as a suspect. Friends or family notified him that his face was plastered online as a suspect. He immediately found a police officer told them who he was and handed over his rifle As he tells the story he was actually able to make small talk and jokes with the officer. He was questioned for 30 minutes before being released by police.
As everyone should know in police interrogations/questioning they will lie to you. That is not against the law. To my knowledge, Mr. Hughes was never handcuffed much less roughed up in anyway. Now, he isn’t exactly thrilled with how the whole thing was handled and the lies he was told, but he is alive to tell his story because he was smart. He obeyed the law, cooperated fully and is now sharing his experience. Still rolling with the fact that 12 fellow officers had just been shot with five dead, the police were on edge. Having moments ago just been protesting the lives of two fellow African Americans and had his own life in danger, Mr. Huges emotions were high. Had Mr. Hughes approached the officer with anger or refused to turn over his rifle the outcome could have been much different. He now stands as an example to ALL people as a case study in exactly what to do in high emotional conflict situations with the police regardless of who you are.
My father-in-law gives me a ton of lectures about how impolite it is to call people stupid. As much as I respect my father-in-law, sometimes in situations when my mouth hangs agape in frustrated confusion, the word stupid is my weapon of choice. Such is the case regarding a Tennessee school district’s textbook controversy.
According to a Fox News report, Williamson County, outside of Nashville, selected “The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography” as a textbook for an advanced placement (AP) class. The book suggests students ponder the following question. “If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?”
I read the question twice but failed to find a problem with it. All I saw was an opportunity for students to debate an important issue with as much modern day relevance as historical. I’m a huge fan of debate. I believe we only grow and learn when we are able to listen and consider the views of another while defending our own. At this point in the article I’m thinking the parents just need to chill. Then the Director of Schools, Mike Looney spoke. “No one else has complained”. Not only is that one of my most despised statements but it is also a pretty stupid defense. Look around you. If no one ever dared to color outside the lines or raise questions where there had been none before, we would still be peddling around in Flintstone cars and marveling over the wonder of fire.
Some parents find the sentence is anti-Semitic but Looney maintains they are taking it out of context. Okay, lets see how that holds up. The entire paragraph reads, “Distinguishing terrorism from other acts of political violence can be difficult. For example, if a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions? Competing arguments are made: Israel’s sympathizers denounce the act as a terrorist threat to the country’s existence, whereas advocates of the Palestinian cause argue that long-standing injustices and Israeli army attacks on ordinary Palestinian civilians provoked the act.” Now, let’s break it down.
Sentence one reads, “Distinguishing terrorism from other acts of political violence can be difficult.” Um….no not really. Political, medical, global whatever the venue, anytime violence is used to try to force someone to agree with you or at least make them afraid to disagree, is terrorism. I didn’t need an AP class to figure that out.
In a futile attempt at clarity the paragraph continues. “For example, if a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?” So, as long as it’s considered retaliation it’s acceptable? Well, that’s just what we need to teach in high school. Lets go into the place were far too many use bulling as justification for mass murder and have them ponder the merits of murdering teenagers in retaliation. Yea, THAT’S a good idea.
The paragraph closes with, “Competing arguments are made: Israel’s sympathizers denounce the act as a terrorist threat to the country’s existence, whereas advocates of the Palestinian cause argue that long-standing injustices and Israeli army attacks on ordinary Palestinian civilians provoked the act.” Sooooo, depending on your point of view terrorism is acceptable? Seriously? That’s what we want to put out there? Good Lord no wonder America is dangling at the bottom of the educational chain.
Ironically, the entire paragraph is a great deal more worrisome than the single sentence. Even more worrisome is the fact Looney didn’t get that. The last thing we should EVER be doing is teaching our kids to question the motives of terrorism. They need to be learning ways to cope with pressure and differing views while predicting and avoiding violent situations. The father who shoots the man who murdered his daughter is still a murderer, regardless of how “justified” it may seem.
I am dumbfounded that anyone would even remotely consider terrorism acceptable regardless of the reason. If we allow our students to even consider terrorism in any form, we are flinging the door wide open to violence and putting a bulls-eye on all of us. Because whether we acknowledge it or not, there are hundreds of thousands who consider themselves at war with America everyday.
- Parents Call Textbook Anti-Semitic (radio.foxnews.com)
- Tennessee High School Textbook Indoctrinating Students That Palestinian Suicide Bombers Are ‘Wartime Retaliation’ (patdollard.com)
- Parents Fight Textbook Trivializing Murder of Israeli Civilians (iranaware.com)
- Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found On Boston-Area Church (algemeiner.com)