Recently there was a shootout at a house selling drugs where five cops got shot or hurt. I got a call way from Georgia. “Egberto, are you watching that shootout in Houston?” he asked. “I sure hope those guys aren’t undocumented or people of color. Because you know how Trump is going to spin it for more hate.”
I was following it some on Facebook. Later we would find out that the folks who shot the police officers were white. That should not matter but sadly it does.
A Facebook post popped up in my feed and I must say it touched me more than most. We need a lot more white guys like my good friend Cody Pogue. If his peers just follow his feed, they could learn a lot about empathy, and lots more. They would learn about the type of humanity we should all have.
Cody Pogue’s Facebook post
When I see that a police officer is shot, my first thought is that I hope they are okay and that the suspect is apprehended, given a fair trial, and that nobody else is hurt in the process. I pray for the health of the officers and for the safety of innocent people who are put in harm’s way.
My second thought is that I hope the suspect is not undocumented, black, or Muslim. If the suspect is white, nobody cares. The president isn’t going to go on tv saying we should ban all white people from the country, he isn’t going to say all white people are thugs, and white people are not going to start being publicly harassed. There will be no movement to deport white people based on a crime committed by a white person.
If the suspect is undocumented, black, or a Muslim, however, my friends who belong to that classification will immediately have to go into a very public apology mode loudly proclaiming that they are sorry for what happened on behalf of every one of their race and that they promise the rest of them are not like the bad person in question. They will try desperately to separate themselves, but it won’t be good enough. By the end of the day, the president will be on every station proclaiming that undocumented immigrants are a danger to our country and need to be deported, that black people are thugs who need to be taught a lesson about law and order, or that Muslims are terrorists who should not be allowed in this country. His message will be echoed across social media and the public square. A movement will begin against them in order to punish them for the actions of a stranger they have never met.
Luckily, in this instance, it seems that the officers will be alright and it seems that the suspects were both white. Both of my wishes have come true. I am grateful for the safety of the officers and for the safety of my friends who belong to a different race, legal classification, or religion than myself.Cody Pogue’s post
Cody, keep doing what you do. Your words are likely making a difference to many even if many do not immediately realize it.
Angela Halligan says
I have known Cody for a long time. He has been the way he is forever. He’s a beautiful human. Love this guy!
Janice M Kelly says
Excellent post to remind us of the racism in our society and how by our own behaviors we must always express respect for all people we meet and engage with.