Hey, you. Grow a little

Math is math, and it is the only realm of life where facts and information remain certain and unbiased. A number is a number, no matter how many digits it contains. There is right, and there is wrong. No matter where you learn Geometry, the material is the same. The teaching method and process of learning may be extremely different, but the equations, theories, and calculations are concrete truth.
Any other subject matter, even if factually and historically accurate, is still through the the eyes of someone else, through the words of someone else.
So what?
This means that we only have part of the story. Always. I am sure you have heard the saying “there are 3 sides to every story, yours, theirs, and the truth”. Nowadays it seems like the “truth” side is really hard to find.
We all obtain our information from different unique sources: Parents, family, friends, teachers, experience. We also gain information from different shared sources: TV, internet, books, radio, newspapers……depending on the source, or on your own personal view, the same information could potentially support two very different ideas.
The problem is that since information is more available now than ever before in the history of the world, it is extremely easy to find a viewpoint that matches our own. This allows us to further distance ourselves from those who are different.
Nothing positive will ever come of this.

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” -Alexander Hamilton

Agreed. Of course you should have your opinions, it is what makes us unique. But don’t let your thoughts dominate reality.
I got caught in an internet black hole a few nights ago and was reading user comments on some very heated subjects. I don’t recommend doing this because it is absolutely appalling. It goes like this: A person will make a casual observation or write an anecdote of related personal experience, and then shit breaks loose. From way beyond left field, out of the parking lot, an offensively over-opinionated individual will make an all capital letter attack. It is retaliated with the same energy from the extreme side of the opposing position, of course again with all capitals, 30 more people jump in, then someone blames Obama.
User comments are the most predictable thing on the web.
These little snippets of people behind their keyboards make me realize how little understanding we have for each other. The truth is, you don’t know. You (the understood you) really know very little. So why not try to walk in someone else’s shoes? Everyone thinks the way they do for a reason. Life’s education (in the all encompassing sense) has different paths. Math is math, life is not math. In life there is room for the in between, the maybes and possibilities. Sometimes you are wrong, sometimes there is no right. Admit it, learn from it, and move on. It’s called growing.

Accountability

I am sure most of you know the name Michael Brown. He was the unarmed 18 year old Missouri kid shot and killed by police. The autopsy report states that he died from gunshot wounds, but did not disclose the number of gunshot wounds because it certainly would have upset the public even more.
There are questions about Brown’s character, what he did previously that day, personal attacks, but the bottom line is he was an unarmed boy murdered on the street. Murdered by someone who we all pay to protect the innocent.
It is unfortunate that this storyline is no longer shocking. I want it to be, but the reaction I have is disgust and anger.
These types of incidences are almost what we expect from our boys in blue, why? While there are certainly some power hungry high school bully type cops out there, I would like to believe that for the most part our uniformed officers are there to “protect and serve”, doing so with pride and a sense of duty.
In the last 10 years over 5,000 people have been killed by police in the US. Yes, some of those people were violent offenders, but in just the last month 4 unarmed black men have been victims.
How does this keep happening?
It is true that policies have changed. SWAT teams were used over 40,000 times in the last year, as opposed to a couple hundred 30 years ago. Police are armed with tanks, riot gear, all sorts of military weapons and accessories…. but maybe these aren’t problems. Maybe this is just keeping up with technology. There are a lot more weapons on the streets than there were 30 years ago, and more powerful ones.
You know what isn’t keeping up with technology? Accountability, or rather lack thereof. All these officers, the ones that have murdered innocent unarmed men, will walk. They currently sit at a desk, paid, while the incident is reviewed, and then, likely nothing.
So what does this teach the other “bad” cops? The ones that have historically been awful individuals? Do whatever you want, we got your back.
If these officers were treated and tried the way they should be, this cycle would slow down to a halt real quick. Prison to a cop is pretty much the equivalent of hell.
The leads us to the second real abuse of power, obstruction of justice. Cops don’t rat on cops. “The blue wall of silence” is a real thing. In addition to that, an officers word tends to be stronger than that of a casual witness. This leads to a simple recipe that you will see every time an officer shoots an individual where the question is posed: “was it a good shooting?”.
1. There was a threat/resistance/perceived weapon
2. Defamation of character- shot individual had a record/history/social media presence with intent.
3. Shooting was good, officer back on the street.
What is so aggravating is that even if Michael Brown had a warrant out for his arrest (he didn’t), that information was not known to the officer, in that moment, on the street, firing at an unarmed civilian. And he took the shot anyway.
To all you officers of the law out there, please remember that you wear your badge to uphold justice, keep people safe, and be an ambassador to the neighborhood you are stationed in. Kids want to be you, people respect you, not because of your strength, but because of your willingness to sacrifice for the greater good of the community. When you flex your muscles hard because someone won’t “walk on the sidewalk” you aren’t strong, you are weak. You are instigating a situation and then dominating it from behind a position of power you have been trusted with. That is the definition of a coward.