The image on TV could not be more penetrating, a Dallas police officer manning his post Thursday evening obviously in stress and grief. Squatting down eyes raised to the sky, then his face buried in his hand. His post he must man, while his friends and colleagues are dead and dying.
In this very bizarre time in which we live, as first responders, we now face a new and more threatening menace… misguided human vengeance. Vengeance promoted and encouraged to accomplish some equally misguided gain or purpose. Vengeance, it must be acknowledged, that has a political component.
Unfortunately, shit happens, and tragically mistakes and flaws in judgement occur. When those flaws raise their ugly head, firefighters die, law enforcement officers die and sometimes civilians die.
There is no excuse for any bad actors but the public has to consider the hundreds of thousands of fire and police personnel who respond to thousands of calls daily with positive results. The media and public can and should acknowledge those incidents that fall outside the norm. However, that acknowledgment should not be promoted and expanded to the point that the blood of firefighters, police officers or civilians is spilled in the street.
As first responders we must, discuss who or what is responsible for fueling the hate that is generated by the deeds of so few who are misguided or experience errors in judgement. No excuses but discuss the bad in context with the good. On both sides, don’t judge all by the actions of a few. Judge the few by their own and individual actions.