It Takes A Village
Becky E. Hites
July 20, 2020
I was raised in the Army, and in a local church in every community where we lived, so this concept was my reality for decades before it was coined by Mrs. Clinton. But the statement succinctly reflects a powerful truth.
We as Americans are a unique people in that we care for those beyond our family units, we care for those around the world who hurt or have suffered, and we care about our communities. This is particularly true in the south.
While there are some bad actors, for the most part we live in peace with each other. We cook food for each other when our families have suffered a loss. We check in on each other’s pets, and pick up mail when someone is traveling. We hire each other’s children to help out with odd jobs around our houses.
I’ve had people in stores ask me where the section they are looking for is located; I’ve helped push stalled cars out of the traffic pattern (in heels no less); and I’ve bought coffee and donuts for homeless people out on the corner. I know y’all have done these types of things too.
Our first responders are critical to the safe environment that we all count on in our communities. They make sure that our homes don’t burn, that we don’t get assaulted on the way to the grocery store, and that our loved ones get the medical care they require when they are incapacitated.
We don’t always agree on the minor logistical things – what time the yard mowing should start on Saturday mornings (later please), how tidy the driveway should be kept or is it ok to have a car up on blocks being renovated there (I’ve lived with both), how close the neighbor’s tree branches should be allowed to get to your house and who’s responsible to trim them, how aggressively you should treat the ants in your yard so they don’t migrate next door, how many crepe myrtles should be allowed (they’re beautiful but attract ants), and if the stumps of trees should be removed from yards (they breed wasps) – just to name a few examples. Some neighborhoods have gone so far as to establish HOA’s to “regulate” these things. My campaign strategist is frustrated because his condo neighborhood prohibits hanging a flag, so he fights back by hanging out bunting on the 4th of July.
The point is we all manage through these disagreements civilly and without a breakout of riots.
The current anarchy gripping our cities and towns is organized and orchestrated by fringe left wing socialists (who are paying anarchists and staging destructive materials for their use) and we’ve allowed them to destabilize our society.
The liberal leadership who apparently have deep seated resentment against the order of things have capitalized on the opportunity to create upheaval by cutting budgets and support for our law enforcement officers.
Our police officers, who put their lives on the line every day to try and control disruptors, are rewarded for their efforts with the justice system systematically releasing law breakers, in some cases almost immediately; have in some instances been partnered with out of control discipline cases because the police union won’t allow for officers correction or dismissal; have been forbidden to use proven non-violent techniques to safely restrain out of control citizens; have been threatened with suspension for doing their jobs; and in a least one recent case in Atlanta was actually arrested.
Their worlds have been turned upside down. For doing their jobs. By legislators who don’t have to live with the consequences of their actions because they have personal security keeping them safe.
We can’t allow this to continue. The thin blue line is all that stands between us and anarchy.
Do we really want to live in a community that thinks crowds coming into our towns and destroying private property, making threats of physical abuse, trashing our parks and public buildings, and generally causing mayhem is ok? I don’t think so. For sure I don’t. I avoid going downtown Atlanta right now because I don’t want my car to be attacked or my physical security to be jeopardized. I don’t want to have to carry my gun to the grocery store to ensure I’m not assaulted. I want my law enforcement community to continue to provide that service to my family, my neighborhood, my town, my state and my country.
If we don’t stand strong behind our law enforcement officers and protect them from the vicious attacks from the society they are sworn to defend, we may find we don’t have any citizens willing to serve as law enforcement officers, and then where will we be?
Should programs be improved to provide better oversight? Undoubtedly. Should abuses of power be rooted out at all of society’s established levels of oversight and government that seek to benefit selfishly at others’ expense? Absolutely!
However, we shouldn’t be deceived into thinking that letting law breakers run rampant unchecked through our streets under the guise of “freedom of speech” or “peaceful protests” is acceptable behavior.
Arrest all law breakers and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.
In the past month I’ve been involved in more than one discussion about “the conversation” that families of color have to have with regard to interacting with law enforcement. Guess what, ALL families have that same conversation. When I’m stopped by a police officer, even if I think the stop is unjustified, I’m respectful, and obedient, and compliant. There is nothing to be gained in “fighting for your rights” at that instant. For that, you go to court.
Is there abuse of power? Undoubtably, there usually is. But the way to combat that is to get involved with your local police officer; to invite them into your communities; to go on ride alongs; to attend seminars, to build a village.
They’re on your side. Honestly.