thesilvercolonel asked a question:
Something has been weighing heavily on my heart lately and I was interested in hearing your thoughts. I greatly care about those in law enforcement (my father is a retired police officer) and pray for them all the time. It bothers me the way they are portrayed by the media, as if all police are brutal and corrupt. I know that’s not the case, because most officers sacrifice so much to protect and serve others. I realize I shouldn’t let what others say get to me, but it’s difficult not to.
Hey my friend, I totally feel you on this one. Having trained police officers myself (I have a fifth degree black belt and I regularly teach martial arts), I understand the stress that law enforcement goes through in both their jobs and public portrayal.
Like anything else, the media often paints things in one-dimensional caricatures that instantly assumes full-fledged heroes and villains, as if people never had gray areas or nuance. Like any other institution, whether it’s church or business or the medical field or social movements, there are going to be some “bad seeds” and unwise decisions made by certain people. And there will always be massive criticism on the entire institution based on the small actions of a few.
However, I think this criticism is sometimes necessary. Public outcry doesn’t happen magically out of thin air. As much as I absolutely support law enforcement, there’s also been an increasing awareness that a few of them, if not many, are doing unconscionable illegal things. I don’t believe this reflects on the entire establishment, but it does mean we need justice for the few who abused the law that they swore to uphold.
Having said that, I don’t ever expect the “media,” whether online or in the news, to fairly portray this with any sort of intelligent objectivity. In other words, the criticism is mostly just a small circle of critics who are talking to other critics, just like a few bad seeds poorly reflect the whole institution. If we look at the few, we’ll only find people yelling in their one-dimensional box. Bloggers and media don’t actually reflect the entirety of anything, ever. We only pick and choose those stories which support our own agenda to create a narrative.
To be fair, sometimes that narrative is true, but most times it’s unclear what the purpose of even telling that story really is. And those very same people who are yelling will still call the police when they need to.
In the meantime, I will write for justice on every side here. Law enforcement is held to the absolute highest standard and we need to trust the other side of that call to 911. At the same time, I hope we can honor those who have sacrificed and are sacrificing their entire lives, to equally recognize those good members of our community who are unsung heroes behind the scenes. There are many more of those than we think. I’ve met them, and I pray for them.