On prom night, my car blew a tire in country-man’s land–a gravel road in the middle of the night–no porch lights or cell phones in sight. We barely missed the giant wooden phone poll but plowed over the small gray phone box. I was driving the pride and joy of my teenage years–my two door, late ‘80s model Grand Am (you know the kind with the huge doors you had to throw your whole body weight into to open).
My passengers, a friend and her date, were OK. My car not so much, it wasn’t going anywhere on its own. We struck out and finally spotted a porch light and the house it was attached to. I don’t remember many other details about how we got back to the car or when our parents arrived.
Standing next to my bumped up car, I took issue with the local cop’s report. I asked him to correct it. I was driving my car (not some guy I just met that night). The officer didn’t believe it took us more than an hour to walk from the car to the house. It was the middle of the night, we didn’t have a flashlight, and weren’t all that familiar with the area. But the officer shook his head, waved me away, and refused to correct his write-up–why? He believed what he believed and that was that. Was it because I was a teenage girl or maybe I had the wrong last name? Maybe the cop just didn’t think a teenage girl’s story should be believed or didn’t think anyone with my last name would tell the truth.
If a white teenage girl out in rural America is scoffed at by the local cop, it can happen to anyone. I didn’t pose much of a threat. But what happens when they don’t need to see your last name, that the assumption of your character is based on something more visible, like the color of your skin?
Absolutely–there are some incredible men and women who risk their lives on a regular basis for public health and safety. They deserve our honor and respect. But as with any profession, there are bound to be some who react to the situations based more on burn out or their personal assumptions or what they’ve seen before rather than take an unbiased view. What if we start listening more to the protesters? I mean, really listened to the heart behind their pain.
If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the worldJohn 12:47 (NASB)