Normally, on a Sunday, I’d be doing a Year of Accountability post, but seeing as it’s been a rough week for a lot of people, it just didn’t sit right with me.
As a white male, I have privilege. Privilege I cannot always recognize and see. As a graduate of the McDaniel Equity in Excellence program, I expanded my ability to recognize my privilege and the spaces where it flexes its muscles – both literally and figuratively. I cannot sit here and simply say “I understand what my fellow black and brown citizens of the United States are going through”.
Because I can’t. I can witness it. I can empathize. I can feel frustration for them and anger at the system that willfully allows such actions to occur, time and time again. My own frustration comes from the feeling of being limited in how to respond. I am not in a place to go out and protest, and while talking and sharing facts and support online is something, it doesn’t always feel like something. It is hard to be an ally when you feel like you cannot do anything to help.
Normally, I would bring up these issues in my school’s social justice program – our Student Diversity Leadership Team – but with distance learning coming to a close, this limits my ability to work with my students in this regard. 2020 has been a solid 1-2-3 series of blows to our communities and families, to our sense of ‘normalcy.’
But if it is normal for African American men and women to be murdered in their own neighborhoods, their own cars, their own homes, by police, in situations where their white neighbors would not, is normalcy what we want?
We can either push forward, or fall back. I’m honest in saying that I don’t have answers, just some half formed ideas. I’m not an expert in community organizing or reforming the police department, but I have some thoughts that may, or may not, be useful. Starting with this one simple idea.
- Stop letting police officers fired for misconduct get jobs in neighboring precincts.
As a teacher, if I get fired for misconduct, my teaching certificate gets yanked. No more teaching. I have to jump through hoops to get it again. I can’t roll into the county next door and get a job. Why can these officers? If places in our country continue to operate in a ‘three strikes you’re out’ – shouldn’t we hold police to a higher standard? One strike – you’re out, and obviously not fit to be a police officer.
I have other ideas. None of which will solve the problem – there’s no ‘solving’ this. There is mitigating and reducing and building community relationships.
- Require officers to live in the jurisdiction they work in.
- Require “walk alongs” with members of the community for all officers. Monthly.
- Remove long-rifled and shotgun weapons from cruisers.
- Promote foot patrols rather than armored cruisers.
- Rotate officers through schools, neighborhoods, community centers, ERs.
Most importantly of all, I think the best idea is to listen to what others, with better ideas, have to say. Listen, follow through, listen again.
Stay safe out there, wear your mask.
Want to learn more about Lucia Rhodanus Fortem’s background now that you’ve had a chance to sink your teeth into the Last Gladiator? Go check out her character interview over on Assaph Mehr’s Blog – The Protagonist Speaks.
Haven’t gotten your ebook copy yet? Rush over to Smashwords, (Kindle) Amazon, or (Nook) Barnes and Noble to get your copy! While you’re over at Smashwords, get a copy of my first novel – Brass Legionnaire – for free! That sale ends in a week, so you’re running out of time!
The Steam Empire Chronicles features a complex world where the Roman Empire never fell. Now in its second millennia, the culture, religions, and backgrounds of many of the characters directly connect to this extension of the empire. Check out more about this over at Phoebe Darqueling’s Blog today!
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
At school, teacher appreciation week can be one of the best weeks. Perhaps you get a breakfast or lunch (or both! On two different days! That’s the best!), or a small gift in your mailbox (Please let it be candy!). You can tell the students who made their gift themselves – I save those – and the students whose parents give them something large and unknown early in the morning.
“I don’t know what this is, but I was told to give it to you.”
My favorite gifts are from the parents’ who give the Visa gift card and say “I can’t bring alcohol into the building for you, so get some yourself.”
Hi all, quick post today! Check out my book reveal over at Hazel West’s blog! It’s always good to visit new places, and Hazel’s blog is one of the best! I already shared one of her books earlier this year, so go check her blog out!
Also – The Last Gladiator got its first review already on Amazon! Four Stars by my fellow writer Assaph Mehr. I’ve got a character interview over there in the future, but for now, enjoy my novella!
Hello all! It’s time for another Year of Accountability post! This week saw the publication of my latest Novella – the Last Gladiator. So I’ve reached one of the two major goals I had for the year! How else did I do this week? Read on to find out more!
Here’s a sneak preview of the first page of The Last Gladiator! Remember you can get your copy by preordering today and getting it at midnight tonight! Be the first to read it and share what you think! I’ll announce the winner of our giveaway tomorrow morning and they’ll have both Roma Aeronautica and The Last Gladiator to enjoy!