"Mommy, why are Police guys bad guys?"
All statements below are the opinion of The Review Ballerina.
When I was young, I was born in Dallas, Texas and raised in Lancaster and Plano, Texas. All three areas very different not only in each other but in how they are today. Plano recently was named the safest city in the country and is also known as one of the most expensive to live in. Growing up in this city, I knew police officers who volunteered at our schools and as an adult I even would encounter the same officers. They were always polite, kind, and I gave them respect instantly. Calling them "Sir" and calmly answering every question they asked in every situation. One night, my then boyfriend and I were out with a few others and we were profiled. Three times in one night we were stopped by the Plano Police and forced to pull out our ID cards (or in my case, my paper license). It was irritating but I never held it against them. As I moved around cities as an adult I found myself having some encounters with Arlington police that did change my perception a little, but that didn't change my behavior towards police. My daughter who is four recently asked me "Mommy, why are the police bad guys?" Well first I was in shock that she even asked me this. Then I questioned where she heard this, and realized well...online and on television this is the perception given these days. So I calmly told my daughter what I was raised to believe:
I was raised with the understanding that the police were the "boss" essentially. They were the authority and at no time did you argue them. If you were pulled over by them whether you were agreeing with them or not you nodded, said "yes Sir", took your ticket and if it was wrong you went to court over it. If you saw them out and about you waved and said hello, you smiled and gave them a courteous moment. You understand that the police are there not only to keep you safe but to keep the "bad guys" from hurting you and that's what you do not get in the way of. Also...the police are human. Humans make mistakes and if an officer gives you a ticket or accuses you of something you didn't do, you handle it within the courts.
My husband sadly is the definition of "railroaded" when it comes the Police and bad situations. He has a criminal record for a crime he didn't commit that is there for life all because in Arlington the police did the wrong thing. We receive letters often of a warrant for his arrest for something he served time for, but the Arlington courts failed to put that in his record and expect him to pay over $500 for something he already sat in for, or spend five MORE days in jail when he already did. But that in no way means we are teaching our daughter to hate or fear the police. My husband's perception of the police is far on the opposite end of my perception. He does not respect them, he believes many to be corrupt and out there just wanting to be bullies. But, he would never say this to our daughter or teach her the negatives of a civilian/police relationship because reality is, that's his perception. It's due to his experience and we will not tell our daughter she has to fear the police or the outcomes of meeting them because of what happened to Daddy.
In recent events, Dallas (and Texas as a whole) experienced a horrible loss. Innocent officers were killed simply because people have grown to fear authority. These officers were murdered because of the corruption in the police force that involve just a few. There's corruption everywhere in every aspect of life. You can't buy gas anymore at a decent price without knowing there's corruption causing the price to increase. You can't watch a television show anymore without fear the networks will cancel after four episodes due to their corruption for ratings. You can't go to school anymore without financial corruption of crippling debts that get your tax refunds taken from you. This is just how it is in the adult world and we can't sit here and hate an entire group who have sworn to protect us because of the line of corruption that is in there. Reality is every single person out there will dial 911 in their lifetime needing the police to help them. I trust them to take care of me, and I know every other person does to even when they say they don't.
I have spent my entire life with hate in my heart. It took me until about a year ago to finally let that hate go and move on with my life. In doing so, I felt this incredible weight lifted out of me and I was able to breathe. Truly breathe as a human being for the first time since I was nine years old. I don't know how many years of my life I killed off being in such misery, but you can't spend your whole life hating. You can't teach your children hate, because children are the most innocent and beautiful things to ever come on this earth. Your child needs you to guide them with the right hand and although your life may not be what you want it to be and you may have had bad experiences with the police, you can't tell your child "this is the way it is". Your child is a whole new generation, and the police officers your child will experience will be a whole new generation of police officers. Yes, in recent events lives have been taken by the corruption within the police but that in no way means we should suddenly teach our children lack of respect. We cannot teach our young ones to fear what we fear. We need to teach them to be strong, and respectful. Let them make their own decisions about those same situations and who knows...maybe we will be better off in the end because we chose to raise with positivity and not negativity.
Elizabeth is a work at home Mother of a sweet and beautiful daughter. She is a wife of seven years and a blogger for some time now. When she isn't spending time with her "Livvybug" she is looking for new review opportunities and writing or singing along to classic rock and pop music!