by Nadra Enzi, Contributing Writer
It’s not unkind to note that law enforcement, from local to federal, weren’t exactly fans of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Some beat him, others arrested him on trumped up charges and survelllance summed up police abuse he endured.
To be fair, Dr. King was also protected by various levels of law enforcement, too. At no time during these ordeals did he promote attacking police nor demonize the profession. This duality captures how profound a divide can exist between brothers and badges.
Ironically, the 21st century offers closure between descendants of cops who harmed King and contemporary reformers in our community. Violent inner cities can unite police officer and advocate alike by sheer necessity, given the threat commonly faced.
Shared peril can force folks to view each other anew. It’s in this vein that similarity can also draw police officers and community advocates together.
Complaints of bureaucratic bias and media misrepresentation made by police unions and civil rights groups both articulate the plight of high profile minorities, one due to a profession under color of law and the other because of pigment under color of skin. Cops and community advocates feel targeted by politicians, agitators and opinion makers.
Dr. King’s methodology of focusing upon overlooked commonality is particularly instructive in this case. Well-intentioned police officers and community advocates who are honest brokers are allies behind horrible headlines and riotous protests.
Dr. King provided a model for uniting disparate demographics – paid for with his life – which can unite brothers and badges today, thereby saving lives which happen to wear blue and those which happen to wear black skin. Sounds good to me.
Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist!