I think a lot.
That’s probably a pretty “goes without saying” statement, but hear me out. I put myself in certain scenarios. Some of which are relevant to today’s social issues. There is so much going on in America. I have not one reason to be naive and think shootings, stabbings, or whatever else can’t happen where I am.
In light of recent events in the police shootings of unarmed citizens (most of which are black), I often wonder how things would be if that was me.
When situations like these occur, the country as a whole goes into an absolute uproar. Activists march, news outlets look for any award winning story they can find, and couch activists take to social media. On a personal level, I know people can be quick to turn on one another. By that I mean some people that know me now would turn into staunch antagonists of the situation (i.e. I never knew he was like that!). So, I would expect it.
But, I wonder, who would think I was guilty? Who would think my life was justifiably lost? Who would say I was just another thug? Would people truly mourn my death? Or would they say, “He was a nice guy, but….?”
Would the news scour my Facebook page looking for dirt? Would they show the grimiest picture I have? Or, would they show my college graduation, my family, and Master’s pics? Would they take a status post and blow it out of proportion? How would they paint me? What would be their narrative?
Would there be a Facebook page supporting Officer Shotthatguy? Would all police personnel ban together in support of Officer S. regardless of the facts? Would the officer actually be justified in his actions? How many people would say he was based on assumptions of my lifestyle? How many people would assume I’m innocent simply because they hate cops?
What would happen if the dash/body cam footage was released? Would the Black Lives Matter movement take to the streets? Would people riot? Would the All Lives Matter crowd be there to uphold the results of the situation in some backhanded manner? How many people would say, “He wouldn’t have died if he……?”
Who would blame everything on me?
You may think these questions are absurd. I assure you they are not. This is what happens with every high profile police officer case. Accusations fly, people argue, and friendships are lost. People get downright ugly behind a keyboard. You see that same person in public and you can’t half speak to them because you’re holding a grudge from a Facebook conversation. People’s true colors come out. Personally, I have been deleted multiple times over by “friends” on Facebook due to my stance on political issues.
People completely split down the middle, side against side, instead of banning together. We are no longer for what’s right or accountability. We are now for groups (more to come on that one too). I have had plenty of discussions, read a copious amount of comments, and I have come to the conclusion that compassion lacks in a great deal of people. We don’t put ourselves in other’s shoes. That’s why I think about these events.
That’s why I wonder.