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Forums > Politics & Religion > THE POLICE; Explaining Reality to Your Children
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Reply #30 posted 09/02/17 9:45am

herb4

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Reply #31 posted 09/07/17 3:39pm

uPtoWnNY

herb4 said:

This came up yesterday in a conversation with my 6 year old son and is causing some controversy within my peer group.

My child asked me "Daddy, are all policemen good?"

I told him "No, son. Not all of them. MOST of them are and all of them are nice to children so if you need to ask a policeman for help if you are in danger, he or she is your friend and they will help you. But not ALL cops are good people. They're the same as anyone else and no one group of people are ALL good."

I thought this was a good, well though out, measured, concise and honsest answer to a legitimate question and I tend to the subscribe to the "Old enough to ask, old enough to know" general rule of educating him and answering the things he asks me, especially hard stuff. Of course, I'm generally very careful about how I word my answers and try to frame them in a way he can grasp and logically parse, taking care not to overload his head with age inappropriate information or things that are beyond his maturity level.

I'm beginning to catch a tiny measure of shit though from a few friends (as well as his Mother) for what I told him and am wondering if I should just go with "Yes, son. Cops are the good guys and they catch bad guys!" but...honestly...I feel like I'm lying if I say that. I'm going to follow up with him and make clear exactly what I meant to be sure that he understands, but I'm worried I did something wrong here.

What would you guys have said? Should I walk it back a little?


Growing up, my father (a cop himself) always told us, because of our skin color, we're looked at with more suspicion/fear/hate than white folks. Because of that, we have to be EXTRA careful when dealing with law enforcement. Harsh, but true, and it's never going to change.

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Reply #32 posted 09/12/17 7:43pm

Bodhitheblackd
og

uPtoWnNY said:

herb4 said:

This came up yesterday in a conversation with my 6 year old son and is causing some controversy within my peer group.

My child asked me "Daddy, are all policemen good?"

I told him "No, son. Not all of them. MOST of them are and all of them are nice to children so if you need to ask a policeman for help if you are in danger, he or she is your friend and they will help you. But not ALL cops are good people. They're the same as anyone else and no one group of people are ALL good."

I thought this was a good, well though out, measured, concise and honsest answer to a legitimate question and I tend to the subscribe to the "Old enough to ask, old enough to know" general rule of educating him and answering the things he asks me, especially hard stuff. Of course, I'm generally very careful about how I word my answers and try to frame them in a way he can grasp and logically parse, taking care not to overload his head with age inappropriate information or things that are beyond his maturity level.

I'm beginning to catch a tiny measure of shit though from a few friends (as well as his Mother) for what I told him and am wondering if I should just go with "Yes, son. Cops are the good guys and they catch bad guys!" but...honestly...I feel like I'm lying if I say that. I'm going to follow up with him and make clear exactly what I meant to be sure that he understands, but I'm worried I did something wrong here.

What would you guys have said? Should I walk it back a little?


Growing up, my father (a cop himself) always told us, because of our skin color, we're looked at with more suspicion/fear/hate than white folks. Because of that, we have to be EXTRA careful when dealing with law enforcement. Harsh, but true, and it's never going to change.

Dear God, I hope you're wrong.

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Reply #33 posted 09/13/17 3:56pm

uPtoWnNY

Bodhitheblackdog said:

uPtoWnNY said:

Growing up, my father (a cop himself) always told us, because of our skin color, we're looked at with more suspicion/fear/hate than white folks. Because of that, we have to be EXTRA careful when dealing with law enforcement. Harsh, but true, and it's never going to change.

Dear God, I hope you're wrong.

Look at the history of the relationship between black Americans and police. What makes you think attitudes will be different 10, 50, 100 years from now?

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Reply #34 posted 09/13/17 4:06pm

Bodhitheblackd
og

uPtoWnNY said:

Bodhitheblackdog said:

Dear God, I hope you're wrong.

Look at the history of the relationship between black Americans and police. What makes you think attitudes will be different 10, 50, 100 years from now?

Because I'm probably the oldest posting Org. member and I can see/feel glimmers of change and while it's too slow, I believe, in the words of MLK,Jr.:


“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

It does nothing to give in to despair. You are not alone in your frustratiion. You are surrounded by good souls, even if you don't know who or where they are, and in no place else on earth can this problem be confronted and solved....and we're going to do it.


[Edited 9/13/17 16:08pm]

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Reply #35 posted 09/14/17 7:20pm

herb4

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uPtoWnNY said:

Bodhitheblackdog said:

Dear God, I hope you're wrong.

Look at the history of the relationship between black Americans and police. What makes you think attitudes will be different 10, 50, 100 years from now?

Well...

For starters, they're somewhat different from even 20 or 50 years ago. Admittedly still horrible but undeniably better. I NEVER thought I'd live to see a black president (and we almost saw the first female one). Furthermore, interracial couples are hardly even a thing anymore and no one gives a shit about that any longer. People ARE rising up in a lot of ways and saying "fuck this shit". There's also a lot of black cops so if we hit critical mass some might make a choice about what side they're on and how they want to roll.

Unrelated to race, specifically, but nobody really trips about gay folks anymore either and the entire nation is in favor of single payer healthcare.

I'm as cynical as anyone but we ARE progressing. It's maddeningly SLOW but but IS getting better in many ways. This shithead in the White House isn't going to lead us anywhere anytime soon and, yeah, full on fascism is a real possibility, if not a full on reality but the pushback is real and the numbers are on our side.

So much of it doesn't even have anything to do with race so much as income disparity and socio ecomonmics combined the creeping realization among white folks that "we're all 'N-words' now".

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Reply #36 posted 09/14/17 7:57pm

uPtoWnNY

^That's the problem...too SLOW for my liking. I grew up during the civil rights era...laws have changed, but too many folks are just as ignorant now as then. They're slicker about it today, which is more sinister. Like Malcolm X said, I'd rather deal with a wolf than a fox.

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Reply #37 posted 09/14/17 8:21pm

Bodhitheblackd
og

herb4 said:

uPtoWnNY said:

Look at the history of the relationship between black Americans and police. What makes you think attitudes will be different 10, 50, 100 years from now?

Well...

For starters, they're somewhat different from even 20 or 50 years ago. Admittedly still horrible but undeniably better. I NEVER thought I'd live to see a black president (and we almost saw the first female one). Furthermore, interracial couples are hardly even a thing anymore and no one gives a shit about that any longer. People ARE rising up in a lot of ways and saying "fuck this shit". There's also a lot of black cops so if we hit critical mass some might make a choice about what side they're on and how they want to roll.

Unrelated to race, specifically, but nobody really trips about gay folks anymore either and the entire nation is in favor of single payer healthcare.

I'm as cynical as anyone but we ARE progressing. It's maddeningly SLOW but but IS getting better in many ways. This shithead in the White House isn't going to lead us anywhere anytime soon and, yeah, full on fascism is a real possibility, if not a full on reality but the pushback is real and the numbers are on our side.

So much of it doesn't even have anything to do with race so much as income disparity and socio ecomonmics combined the creeping realization among white folks that "we're all 'N-words' now".

I WUV OO, YOU GREAT WRITER! heart

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Reply #38 posted 09/15/17 7:31am

herb4

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uPtoWnNY said:

^That's the problem...too SLOW for my liking. I grew up during the civil rights era...laws have changed, but too many folks are just as ignorant now as then. They're slicker about it today, which is more sinister. Like Malcolm X said, I'd rather deal with a wolf than a fox.


Oh, certainly. Too slow for mine as well.

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Reply #39 posted 09/15/17 8:30am

jjhunsecker

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herb4 said:

uPtoWnNY said:

^That's the problem...too SLOW for my liking. I grew up during the civil rights era...laws have changed, but too many folks are just as ignorant now as then. They're slicker about it today, which is more sinister. Like Malcolm X said, I'd rather deal with a wolf than a fox.


Oh, certainly. Too slow for mine as well.

I certainly know there has been progress...even since my youth in the 1970s 80s. Then I see things like Trayvon Martin or the events of Charlottesville, and I sometimes think things are going backwards

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Reply #40 posted 09/15/17 4:03pm

herb4

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jjhunsecker said:

herb4 said:


Oh, certainly. Too slow for mine as well.

I certainly know there has been progress...even since my youth in the 1970s 80s. Then I see things like Trayvon Martin or the events of Charlottesville, and I sometimes think things are going backwards


A lot of shit is going backwards or, at the very least, stalling for sure. No argument there.

I was just addressing the dude who wrote "why will anything be different in 50 or 100 years?" when, if you look at the last 50-100, things ARE demonstrably different, as slow as much of that progress has been. But, yeah, of course it's hard to parse/percieve when we have cops shooting black people in broad fucking daylight, captured on film and getting away with it with impunity.

As a white, far left liberal male, I appreciate that it's easy for me to smugly scratch my chin and assert that progress is being made and touch on what a shame it all is when I have no idea what reality must be like for those who are not like myself and who don't share the same benefits afforded to me by the simple virtue of basically being born privileged and starting out on second base. But I DO have eyes and and I CAN see progress.

If I could figure out a way to do more, I would, and I like to think I do my part. By at least being self aware and having the basic temerity to acknowlege and even recognize injustice, I like to think that at the very least I'm not a huge part of the problem.

But this thread was meant to address the realities of sanctioned power structures and the particular ways to go about describing that to children far too young to even know about those things so I hate to spiral into race, even though I know that's a HUGE fundamental element of the topic.


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Reply #41 posted 09/17/17 1:38am

uPtoWnNY

jjhunsecker said:

herb4 said:


Oh, certainly. Too slow for mine as well.

I certainly know there has been progress...even since my youth in the 1970s 80s. Then I see things like Trayvon Martin or the events of Charlottesville, and I sometimes think things are going backwards

Look at the situation in St. Louis.

Progress? More like "same as it ever was".

Fifty years ago, my dad told me no matter how much money/status a black person has, you're "just a n****r" to a lot of people, including many in law enforcement. Trust no one and you'll stay alive. It's pretty sad my brother (a cop himself) had to give the same "talk" to his kids.

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Reply #42 posted 09/17/17 11:50am

herb4

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uPtoWnNY said:

jjhunsecker said:

I certainly know there has been progress...even since my youth in the 1970s 80s. Then I see things like Trayvon Martin or the events of Charlottesville, and I sometimes think things are going backwards

Look at the situation in St. Louis.

Progress? More like "same as it ever was".

Fifty years ago, my dad told me no matter how much money/status a black person has, you're "just a n****r" to a lot of people, including many in law enforcement. Trust no one and you'll stay alive. It's pretty sad my brother (a cop himself) had to give the same "talk" to his kids.

For sure, man. This fucking shit blows out loud and I can understand why it's discouraging. No doubt.

The situation you mentioned ties directly into my OP about "what to tell my kids about cops". I honestly don't know but they're certainly not all "good guys" and they're LITERALLY getting away with murder. I don't care for the police much myself but understand the need for them.

It's complicated and horrible but I don't think St. Louis completely undermines the things I wrote a few posts ago that cite very real, legitimiate progress either.

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