An activist considers the role of the police and restoring the honor of the thin blue line.
As a writer, an activist and an actress, it’s my time now to speak up.
This year I have been in jail, and last year too, for civil disobedience. Both times I experienced take down techniques. This year’s techniques were noticeably different and more restrictive than last years. I hear the now famous words, #Icantbreathe, well I must be psychic because I said the exact same thing when the officers had me in a chokehold. And guess what the officers said to me.
“If you can’t breathe, you can’t speak!”
With all of that being said, you might be confused to learn that what I most want to use my voice for right now is to give honor to the police.
Who else will show up to your door, not knowing your name, not having any personal connection to you, to risk their own life to save yours? Tell me.
Would your best friend risk their life to save yours? Maybe so, maybe not. My guess is that your best friend would more likely stab you in the back and ask for forgiveness, which you will no doubt give. I can guarantee you the police will risk their life for you, and 99% of the time they do so without error.
Police don’t want to make mistakes, they wish they were perfect, just like your lover, so they won’t hurt other people. They feel troubled when they make a mistake. It’s on their conscious. What they most deserve when a mistake happens is forgiveness and respectful communication that looks to future solutions. Not blame and shame! Our brothers and sisters on the force are showing up day after day protecting us, and the time is now for us to start giving them the honor they deserve.
We are all on the same team.
Recently, I knelt on my knees crying, showing officers how much I honor their service and their sacrifice, their protection. I told them they can call me “TEAR-KNEE” (which is how you pronounce Tierney, by the way) because that’s me, on my knees crying, showing how much I honor our Great Protectors. That they would risk their life at a moments notice to save a “stranger” aka fellow human being. I for one will remain unwavering to give honor to the police and thank them for every moment they stood in fear and did their duty. \
Every time they lost another member of the force. Every time they answered the call to serve and to protect. I won’t give in to the vicious cycle of blame and shame. I rise above to listen, to understand, to accept, to show gratitude and honor.
Police are the most humble of servants. They won’t ask for your recognition, your respect, or your honor and that’s why they deserve it the most. Every human being has a basic need for protection. Peace Officers feel a calling to be the protection for their fellow human beings.
They feel a deep need to be in service to humanity, to serve and to protect, and for that, they need our understanding, our respect, and our highest honors. They go to the places where no one else wants to go, the place of fear. Gratitude.
Today, I am an activist, and today I use my voice as the peacemaker, the one who gives honor.
We need to restore honor to each other. It’s that time.
Do you want to be a part of #RestoringHonor to our nation’s Peace Officers? I invite you to show up at demonstrations and peacefully ‘handcuff’ yourself by tying blue ribbons of honor around your wrists. And do share the photographs with all of us!
We talk about the intersectionality of social issues in popular culture all the time. Want more stories like this? Sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter here.Photo: Rob!/Flickr