As the formerly self-proclaimed prince of Edmond, it’s well past time that I turn my focus from the comforts of living in suburbia to and begin to understand the extreme ~lack~ of those same comforts to citizens of said suburb who happen to have differing skin tones, nationalities, and socioeconomic realities.
I’m not quite the type to renounce my self-appointed title, so instead I’m going to use it, coupled with my white privilege, to shed some light on a very real problem and, hopefully, start to effect some change.
And like, to be quite honest, I don’t want to be the prince of this version of Edmond–the unfortunately very real version of Edmond.
The version where the umpteen college degrees aren’t enough to enlighten this population to the simple fact that other people matter.
It’s such a simple concept and yet, here we are.
There is no body cam footage of the event.
DA Prater said in his findings that Officer Scherman “was acting pursuant to Oklahoma when he shot Isaiah Lewis to defend himself and Sgt. Milo Box.”
I’ll back up a second and offer this – I went to college with Mr. Scherman. I never found him to be an unpleasant person, in fact, he was pretty chill. I wouldn’t even call him a bad apple, but joining a police force that
the murder of the citizens that same police force swears to “serve and protect” perhaps created an environment where he, a ‘good apple’, could spoil.
I used to joke that the $36 Million Edmond Police Department was truly our particular brand of police brutality but the truth of the matter, is, unfortunately, like everywhere else in the country, police brutality is our particular brand of police brutality.
Personally, I will never again vote for additional resources to be allocated to the police department.
I am 100% in favor of defunding the militaristic police forces at work in Edmond and the reallocation of those funds to policies, procedures, and persons actually trained in dealing with those with mental health issues, the homeless, the domestic abuse cases, the domestic disturbance cases, and many other day to day events which turn violent because of the presence of heavily armed police officers whose training for deescalating a situation pails in comparison to most customer service rep training.
We are seeing an interesting phenomenon right now across the country: a continuation and escalation of police brutality against the citizens those police officers swear to serve and protect, while those citizens are protesting the EXTREME and oftentimes senseless BRUTALITY perpetrated by police against, I’ll say it again, the citizens they swear to “serve and protect”.
Couple this with a dramatic and months-long refusal to enforce a mandatory mask policy during a pandemic in which 170,000+ Americans have died.
So, what? Why bring this up?
We have a duty to elect people in every position – municipally, county-wide, state-level, and national representatives who are committed to changing the way our communities are policed.
We also have a duty to elect officials who believe in science and do not bow to those believing whole-heartedly the solutions to all of today’s problems lie in the pages of a *v selectively* assembled collection of incredulously misinterpreted messages from random men with ~power complexes~ claiming to be from God which they refer to as the bible.
We have a duty to hold our elected officials accountable for the failures of the system and their failures to recognize the corruption in the system.
In Edmond particularly, I am calling on the reasonable to educate those less so. And to VOTE! Vote all the way down to the local level.
Make your voice heard, starting from your local greviences. City councilmen & women are surprisingly accessible and our first line of politicians close enough to us to listen. This link will take you to a Google Doc full of contact information for all of Edmond’s major politicians and city departments. Make your voice heard.
Get your parents, the doctors daddies, the lawgivers mommies, the judges, the business executives to advocate for change within the system. Urge your parents to listen without feeling attacked, to rise above their internalized prejudices and recognize them when they slip. Get them to intentionally hire people of color; get them to offer internships, externships, shadowing, etc. to people of color. Get them to challenge the systems that allowed them to prosper while keeping others from the same social mobility. Get them to ensure that the companies they own or work for are not perpetuating policies introduced out of bias: acceptance of natural hair and traditional dress, acceptance of vernacular English, observance of cultural customs, holidays, and traditions, etc.
On a personal level, lift up your friends of color. Become the networking lightening rod for the companies you know need talent and the talent that needs representation.
I’m calling on the reasonable to normalize being “wrong” and learning from it. We’re all growing, learning, and shedding biases we didn’t realize we had–and for some of us, those we actually 100% knew we had but have come to a new conclusion because they were given evidence in a manner which broke through to us.
Every day and every interaction is an opportunity to practice empathy for humanity and LEARN about the other people who occupy the planet with you, Don’t let those opportunities go to waste.
Change will only occur if we are intentional.
And, while I’m up here on this soapbox, I will say this:
If you support Donald, and intend to re-elect him, know that in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS THAT You are actively engaging in perpetuating lies to the American people, you are complacent in the destruction of the American Representative Republic & the Constitution of the United States of America.
In my heart of heart, I hope most people understand the ridiculosity and danger donald represents, but I think truthfully too large a percentage of the population – including many that I know and am related to – are too ready to get down on their knees, suck whatever bullshit comes out of donald, and swallow it into their belief system.
If you are one of those people, read a fucking history book. Seek out two additional news sources with which to check what you hear on Fox News, and also grow some respect for humanity.
All of this to say, Edmond can’t tout that it’s a “Great Place to Grow” until it truly is a great place to grow for every single citizen & passerby of every class, creed, color, gender, orientation, hair color, eye color, etc.
**note: i do not own any of the above images and found all information online through multiple sources, all of which are hyperlinked in the article.***