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Serve and protect does include people you do not like

north_carolina_mapI live in North Carolina and was sad to read today that even the Raleigh police department felt the need to make a statement about Beyonce. Seriously? When required, police in the United States have protected some of the worst of humanity. To their credit, they have done their duty even when it meant keeping from harm those suspected of being mob bosses, murderers and traitors. Certainly our police have seen to it over the years that citizens requiring care are not harmed for expressing an opinion, even opinions not liked by most police. Why? Because these are largely men and women of honor, who understand that that their oath to serve and protect includes people they don’t agree with and don’t like.

And yet, the Raleigh police department is actually voting on whether they should protect a singer who dared to indirectly criticize the police during a half-time performance? And this was a performance which most observers didn’t even find all that controversial. Let’s be honest, an oblique reference to the Black Panthers of old is hardly a call to violence against law enforcement, and Black Lives Matter is an organization trying to lesson violence not increase it. Yet …

In a statement to WNCN, Rick Armstrong, VP of Teamsters local 391, said: “The Raleigh Police Protective Association, Teamsters local 391 has called for a special meeting to discuss the concerns many officers have of Beyoncé’s upcoming tour in Raleigh. Our members have expressed specific concerns over the Black Panther images at half time of the Super Bowl. Many officers believe it was disrespectful to the police profession and hope Beyoncé will look to less controversial images to convey her point.”

beyonceMaybe this copy cat show of bravado was inevitable. It comes after the New York Police Department asked Beyonce to apologize for her Super Bowl performance, intimating that they would be happy to provide her and her singing tour with the protection she needs only after an apology. I’m curious whether the police of any city have ever threatened to withhold protection from any other performer for any reason? Let’s face it, there have been some controversial ones out there over the years. How many times have police demanded an apology from anyone, criminal or otherwise, before being willing to do their jobs, or to allow their fellow officers to provide protection as a side job? I suspect that this is a first, and I find Beyonce and her barely controversial performance an odd choice for such drastic behavior.

police_officersWhy am I so certain the performance didn’t enrage the rest of us generally police-supporting people? Well, it didn’t anger anyone I know, and I’m a 61-year-old white woman. But, more statistically significant is that exactly two people showed up at the well-publicized protest of Beyonce’s performance. Two people and reporters, and that is hardly a groundswell of indignation. It is certainly not worthy of the cops in several cities behaving this way. Actually, no concert is.

I honestly think that most of our law enforcement is better than this. It is time that they all went back to acting that way.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2016 in music for peace, oil industry

 

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World Peace Update

Psychedelic 12I’ve been hearing the words to the protest song Eve of Destruction in my head a lot lately, and I don’t suppose that is a good thing. My mind likes to take the opening phrase “The Eastern World  — it is exploding” and substitute other places.You know, like Syria, Ferguson Missouri and the Gaza strip. Every day brings a sad new verse.

One theory is that I’m losing it. Another is that is world really does feel like it is exploding. Unfortunately, I’ve just found some evidence to support this second theory. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study, out of 165 countries right now only 11 are not involved in some sort of conflict. Eleven. That would be 93% of the world that is at war, one way or another.

Granted the study considers having a fighting presence in foreign conflicts as “being at war” (really ought to count, don’t you think), and it also acknowledges internal conflicts with clear sides and loss of life (i.e. civil war). The most disturbing fact, according to The Independent, is that from World War Two up to 2007, there was an overall growing tendency for less conflict in the world. The trend has now reversed sharply and it continues to go the wrong way. As I said, the whole freaking world, it is exploding.

There is a third reason I can’t get this song out of my head and I know what it is. As I move d4, my fun novel about the future, on to beta readers and my editor, I am letting go emotionally of beautiful Ariel and her wild adventures and turning my heart and mind to the next book, the last one in the collection. It will be about the whole Zeitman family but will feature Lola and her cadre of telepaths as they take on a type of menace that they thought could not exist.

It will all start when Lola finally writes her article Face Painting for World Peace and encounters those who want anything but a world in which people get along well with each other. I’m writing Lola’s article now and it’s got me thinking. The tools for understanding others and developing empathy have never been more available to all. How can we be fighting more wars in more places? Who stands to gain?

And where are these eleven peaceful places? Some may not be high on your list to visit, some may. Those of us who remember The Eve of Destruction being sung by Barry McGuire as a protest song against the Vietnam War will appreciate the irony that the eleven countries currently not at war are Switzerland, Japan, Qatar, Mauritius, Uruguay, Chile, Botswana, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil and  ….. drum roll please ….. Vietnam.

“Eve of Destruction” was written in 1965 by P. F. Sloan. Enjoy Barry McGuire’s recording on YouTube here.

Also please drop by the Facebook page of Psychedelic Adventure and give them a quick like for the great image above.

 

 

 

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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in peace, writing

 

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