Lately I’ve made it known that I’ve been feeling of growing sense of anger and displeasure. It wasn’t until today that I’ve begun to really understand what the problem is. I’ll start by apologizing now, because there will most likely be more rants like this, and I’m bound to upset a lot of people.
I’m going to present challenges, and lay out what I want. If you choose to act with me great! If you think I am incorrect, that’s good too but I want and need your input. If I do upset or angry you I encourage you to read my statements to the conclusion and provide something thoughtful, positive and productive that we all can work with.
The issue that has been plaguing me for weeks is the fact that there is too much suffering. Even if you don’t pay attention to the news there is a good chance that you can feel the weight of it in the air. There is too much suffering in the world and too much in your world in particular. It can’t all be dealt with at once but it can be dealt with and quickly.
If you have ever met my children you know that they are four of the most beautiful, brilliant and loving people you could ever hope to meet. Since their births all that I have wanted was to be able to protect from the harm this world can do. I’ve since grown to realize that that is not possible. To protect my family for the rest of their natural lives I would need to live to be about 120 years old. Even if I live to that age I doubt that I could continue the fight to secure their safety and happiness and well-being. So I’m changing my strategy. I don’t want to protect my children anymore. I want and need to help create a world where my children don’t need to be protected. If you don’t know my kids think of your own, and if you don’t have any consider your loved ones or at the very least the way your parents felt about you.
There are many things that I can talk about. Today I am addressing the events in Ferguson Missouri surrounding the most unfortunate incident with Michael Brown. In every city in every country on planet Earth there are at least two gangs. The first gang is cops. The second gang is not cops. The challenge lies in addressing and understanding the issues and concerns of the faction that you don’t belong to. The solution is quite simple and is simultaneously one of the easiest and most difficult things any of us can do. The first thing to do is to give a fuck about your community, and give your community a reason to give a fuck about you.
For my “not cop” friends, understand that the cops are bad. They will arrest you. They will taze you. They will put their boot in your neck, degrade you with their questions in public, and take away your rights. They will shoot to you. They have the right to use deadly force, and fewer restrictions than the average untrained civilian.
For my “cop” friends, you know that the “not cops” are equally as bad. Not cops will lie to you. They will run from you. They will put you in harms way. They will put others in harms way. They will fight you, they will punch, kick, and stab you. They are willing to end your life and keep you from going home to your family.
Instead of being angry or incensed at this point, you should be asking “why is it this way?” The most basic answer has three parts. To understand it in its entirety each of us must be willing to be brutally honest with ourselves. The answer is fear, separation, and centralization. Cops are afraid of “not cops”. And “not cops” are afraid of cops. Each fears the other for roughly the same reason. We do not understand the other side. Instead of addressing and confronting our fears we each indulge in them, and let them bring about more base and destructive feelings of apathy animosity anger and hate. All of which of course lead to suffering. The cause of the fear that we each feel from the other is due in large part to separation. As police departments become more centralized and militarized they separate the officers (who are human beings) from the people and the communities that they serve. Consider this, if during the course of your workday all you dealt with was the absolute worst that humanity had to offer how long would it take for you to begin to believe that the worst was all that humanity had to offer? If you were constantly put in contact with people who lied to you, hidden from you, or tried to kill you how long would it take for you to believe that everyone you came in contact with on duty or not had the very same agenda? And if you were consistently exposed to the previous two scenarios how long would it be before your suspicion, hypervigilance, and learned paranoia superseded and overrode your capacity for kindness, your loving nature, and your good judgment?
The people who are “not cops” at some level have a basic if unacknowledged fear of cops. For the simple reason that we don’t understand them. We don’t see a sole police officer as a human being trying to do good for the community. We see the police officer with their gun, club, Taser, radio, and handcuffs as part of the machine bent on impeding us, inconveniencing us, and ruining or taking away our lives and livelihood. We don’t see the good that they do when they’re not in our presence. We don’t see the pain, danger, and suffering that they encounter, impede, and endure throughout the course of their day. We don’t see how repeated exposure to this garbage and nonsense affects each of them, their hearts their judgment or their families over the course of months and years. We see a blue wall designed to keep us from doing what we want to do even when we know that some of the things we want to do are not right. We don’t understand them because they and their culture are separate from us. They don’t like to talk about it because they know that we can’t understand. They are a society unto themselves they are organized and centralized in a way that we are not, just as we are organic and irregular in a way that they are not.
Still the question remains, what can be done and what should we do about this situation? How do we break this cycle of anger animosity and violence that plagues all of us police and civilians alike? I believe there’s only one solution. While it may be difficult, we can be better for it individually as well as collectively. My solution is to find a way to make a friend. If you are not a cop find one, introduce yourself and make sure that regardless of the background or skin tone that you possess, that they know you are a human being and that you would wish no more harm upon them then you would someone you love. If you are a cop, talk to a person that has nothing to do with your investigations. Make sure that they know that regardless of your badge, gun, or uniform you are a human being who wishes upon them no more harm than you would someone you love.
Engage in the world around you. It may be tough but we can, and so we must. Be a bigger person. Begin to shun the old and limited thinking of the past. Forgive and lay aside the hurt born from the atrocities of years gone by. Oppression, repression and suppression by the events of the past will do nothing to remove us from those same chains in the future.
Do not react. Only act.

Unfortunately, I am unable to get the custom URL for California Jedi. Google has it as being for individual profiles. I can do a webpage but I elected not to continue as I don't want to jeopardize the possibility.  In other news I was able to lift the image from the meetup page. Do we want to use it here or stick with what we have? I'm still waiting to Hear from Opie or have him join the community. +Rosalyn Johnson you will be pleased to know that when you search google images for California Jedi your face is the second image that pops up!!

Great job with the site Dan!See if you can change the Google+ name so that there are not all of these #'s

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