A new dawn??

Ferguson, Missouri (CNN) — At least 31 people were arrested in Ferguson after peaceful protests devolved into another night of chaos. And many of those arrested came from as far away as New York and California, said Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson early Tuesday.

Johnson didn’t provide additional details, but his remark confirmed what many in Ferguson have been saying all along: the protesters who have turned the nightly demonstrations into tense confrontations with heavily armed police officers aren’t local residents.

 

Police use force as tension grows

 

Police launch tear gas into crowd
 

 

“I’m telling you, we’re going to make this neighborhood whole,” Johnson said. “And I am not going to let criminals that have come out here from across this country or live in this community define this neighborhood and define what we’re going to do to make it right.”

He has a Herculean task ahead of him.

It’s a shame what’s going on in Ferguson. Well, beyond shame really.

And the characters of the individuals who looted, burned, and creating chaos in this area is simply disgusting. Coming from a police family and an extensive military background, it sickens me to hear the vile abuse hurled against cops.

What about the internal crimes repeatedly occurring within these communities?

EVERY week we hear about black on black crime in the St. Louis area. WHERE is the outrage? WHERE are the protests?

WHY can’t communities simply come together (political, religious, and business leaders alike) and denounce the slaughter of young black men from their fellow peers?

TAKE BACK YOUR TOWN FROM ALL THIS LAWLESSNESS.

I already KNOW more community outreach needs to be done between the P.D. and locals…but also addressing the violence WITHIN these communities occurring between themselves needs to S.T.O.P.

There are GOOD people in Ferguson. I know of a few who are in my Army Reserve unit and who work at my agency.  They are heartbroken and angry about what’s happened.  There are outsiders infiltrating into this suburb instigating more violence and chaos.  Good hardworking citizens who are simply trying to put things to order. Instead, the situation has deteriorated. 

Has compassion, understanding, and common sense left??????

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Are we witnessing an historic moment?

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Race relations in my country have always been a maelstrom.  Not just because of Blacks being brought here by Whites as slaves but also due to the volatile nature of our socioeconomic condition.  Ferguson, MO used to be an all White community until the “great white flight” of the 1960’s when inner-city Blacks moved into the neighborhoods. In order to understand what is going on in this local suburb read up on its past.

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Good or bad (trust me everyone has an opinion), the past events have culminated into the currently volatile situation we now have almost at my front door. I am by far no expert on race relations.  I only know what I’ve seen and heard with my own eyes and ears. I grew up with racism, was the subject of such prejudice and chose to overcome it.

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I have seen racists slurs directed by both Blacks and Whites against each other. No one is innocent here.  It takes a conscientious effort on all of us to remember that despite our skin color underneath we are the same.  And because of this, we should treat one another with respect and dignity.

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I know it’s easier said than done, but frankly I am sick and tired of the violence and abuse. Overseas we have Civil War, genocide, starvation, pollution, etc and here at home we have our own economic struggles, our poverty…the list goes on and on.

I grew up within a community that is still for the most part 99.9% Caucasian.  I received real-time, real life diversity training at school from my peers, who didn’t know how to handle a bi-racial kid, all the way down to the Caribbean where cousins firmly told me I was not Puerto Rican enough, that I was a “Gringa.” So, here was this Midwestern Irish/Puerto Rican gal who lived in perpetual limbo. I was quickly educated on where “my place” was.

But I did not stay there.

I joined the Army

I went to College

I became a Mother

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Maybe it’s easier said than done for some…I don’t know. Life is absolutely relative…but….if you desire to better yourself down to your community—–it starts with y.o.u. YOU need to pick yourself up and make YOUR community a better place and pay it forward.

Time for me to get off my soapbox.

I will leave you with this:

If we don’t start at home, where everything begins….nothing will change, and the ugly head of racism, self-entitlement, and violence will continue it’s cyclical course.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

 

All eyes on St. Louis

I come from a cop family. My sweet husband is a retired detective, my paternal grandfather was Chief of Police back in my home state of Indiana and a maternal uncle was Chief of Police in Puerto Rico. Eventually one of his sons became a cop. His other son was shot in the chest and killed in PR years ago by a cop because he was dealing drugs. My cousin was unarmed. He left behind a wife and daughter. He was only in his early 20’s. I thought about becoming a police officer, was even a police officer intern in college but my mom was dead set against the career so I had to switch to something else. Not all cops are bad just like not all Blacks or Hispanics are bad. Unfortunately we are portrayed badly in the media and Hollywood. What needs to happen is that our community leaders need to come together, the law enforcement agencies come together and have a peaceful town hall type of meeting. something to encourage better community relations. I really do feel for the mother of Michael. She even stated she didn’t want any more violence. This violence does nothing but disrespect her son, her grieving process and I as a mother completely understand. The black community and the white community need to come together and resolve these issues. There is so much sadness in the world. Too much in fact. We all need to make this a better place somehow. The whole world knows what’s going on here. We have the mike. Let’s make what we have to say worth saying and yes, find resolutions.

A sad day in the St. Louis area

With the death of 18 year old Michael Brown many questions are being raised here in St. Louis and unfortunately violence as well.  Looting and rioting have no place within a civilized society. If such violence was deemed ok then it means anarchy will ensue. Do we want our country ending up like those in the Middle East which some are in a Civil War? Yes, something needs to be done to establish better community relations between law enforcement and the people living in that district but destroying businesses is plain wrong. WRONG. Those businesses are the livelihoods of hard working Americans. Some are small businesses and the looting can very well destroy them. I really don’t think insurance covers acts of civil disobedience. As soldiers we defend the right of free speech but with that being said, there are laws in place to arrest people who incite hatred which leads to a mob mentality. If this mess isn’t resolved soon I can easily see martial law being put into effect.

 

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.

[Commencement Address at American University, June 10 1963]”
― John F. Kennedy

Responsible gun ownership

Splashed across CNN this morning is yet another shooting, this time in Elkhart, IN at a local grocery store.

Article:

(CNN) — A gunman killed two women inside an Indiana grocery store Wednesday night before police rushed to the scene and gunned him down.

The tragic scene played out in a sprawling grocery store in Elkhart, Indiana.

Officers were called to the scene just after 10 p.m. and found an armed man in the store, according to Indiana State Police Trooper Brooks Shirk. The man also fired at officers.

I am all for responsible gun ownership.  I advocate hunter’s rights to be able to help pare down the deer population, home protection, and of course gun competition.  Why certain individuals feel using a gun to “resolve” their issues is beyond my comprehension.  There’s definitely some mental conflict going on. I know we all can reach breaking points either from unemployment, failed relationships, death, ill health (none of us are immune) however, those types of issues or any really does not give anyone the right to go out into society and vent their anger in such an explosive manner.

With the Roswell, NM shooting then another theater shooting (over texting) makes me wonder what exactly is happening to my country.

Political correctness

When does political correctness cross the line? Perhaps the Six Flags over Texas roller coaster incident can be examined as one situation where this issue has taken its toll on the American public.  From what I understand, maintenance and design will be examined along with Mrs. Esparza’s body type and her posture.

My question is, if the lap band did not properly fit why was she allowed to ride?  I am only speculating and await the outcome of the investigation like everyone else; but, it seems to me Americans are afraid to confront uncomfortable issues.  If you are overweight to the point that your weight may cause safety concerns, then it’s up to you to decline the ride.  We all have to take personal responsibility over ourselves at some point and quit blaming others for our mistakes and life choices.

Am not blaming the victim. She probably thought she was safe.   Perhaps this horrible life lesson can teach the rest of us about political correctness and when to speak up when things are “not right.”  I am not saying to verbally abuse someone because of being “different” but when it comes to safety we need to really evaluate what is considered reasonable accommodation.

 

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For the love of country

Never am I quite so amazed when it comes to my country than when I see us coming together during times of tragedy.  These past few days have beautifully illustrated America’s patriotism.  When we are faced with such tragic adversity we come together as a citizenry to combat domestic terrorism.

My heart goes out to Boston and her people and am relived the two marathon suspects have been apprehended.  I’ll never understand what causes an individual to lash out in such a vicious  manner.  Perhaps their hearts were filled with a void which only violence and misled values could fill.

Irregardless, for this American, such events as the Boston Marathon bombings only reaffirms my intense love for this country and the pride I feel being an American citizen and calling this wonderful country home.

Our hearts where they rocked our cradle,
Our love where we spent our toil,
And our faith, and our hope, and our honor,
We pledge to our native soil.
God gave all men all earth to love,
But since our hearts are small,
Ordained for each one spot should prove
Beloved over all.
~Rudyard Kipling

The Tragedy of Japan

Of course everyone has heard or seen on the news what happened to this lovely country. And there is talk of another 7.0 earthquake which could happen in the next three days.

I am in total shock and completely sad over it. I love the orient, the people. I was stationed in South Korea and only had a brief respite in Japan on my way to the Land of the Morning Calm…it is unimaginable what is going on over there but my hope is that the Japanese are able to come up with better technology to deal with future earthquakes and nuclear reactor accidents.  They are a resilient people..their history and especially recovering from the aftermath of WW II is a testament to their character.
God bless you and keep you safe Japan.

September 11, 2001

I remember that day so very well. Like a moment stuck inside my head forever, a moment frozen in time..I had just moved to Saint Louis a month before from Terre Haute, Indiana. Graduated from college with my second Master’s in May.  I didn’t know what was in store for me.  I was unemployed and nervous about an impending job interview that afternoon.

My ex (who is Arab) was home asleep when I dropped my daughter off to Middle School.

The radio was on and then I heard the news about one of the the towers being hit.

I was like ????

Reminded me of when I was driving to my old high school to pick up my sister from basketball practice and heard on the news regarding Desert Storm 1991. I had pulled off to the side of the road then.

And almost did 10 years later but hurried home to see what was going on.

I clicked on CNN and was glued to the set.  But first I had to wake up my ex. At first he didn’t believe me until I told him a second airplane had struck.  We sat in front of that tv for almost 3 days straight.  I did go the job interview but it was plain weird.  I could see the shock written on everyone’s faces….it was unnaturally quiet, even at the interview it all seemed surreal.

I remember the lights.  Everyone turning on their headlights.  My stomach in knots, mom calling me to see if I was safe and if she would be ok.  I thought for sure WWIII was beginning.  I cried and could barely watch the footage.

And the reaction of the world…shocked at the callousness of those who actually celebrated the death of innocents to the tears shared by all.

I would think most people remember where they were when they heard the news.  I realized then as I watched the horror our world had changed forever. And we we are survivors of Post-9/11.  The “age of innocence” for us Americans from that day on, was gone.

And to this day it is very difficult for me to watch anything about that infamous historic moment.  I cry every time I happen upon a rerun of that day…sometimes I watch it and relive everything…other times it’s simply too hard but one thing I do know…I will never ever forget as an American what happened to us and the memory of those people who died will always live within me and hopefully with each American out there who grieved along side with me.

NOT a title I would want

CRIME060209Saint Louis ranks #2 in the nation (think about this when you have larger cities such as New York, Chicago, LA) for murder.

Murder people.

I understand they look at the murder rate in comparision to the overall population.

It still astounds me.

Saddens me.

Currently New Orleans holds the title as #1. Gary, Indiana used to be top dog.

When I was a police officer intern as a senior in College the cops told me crime was highest when it was warm out.

Makes sense.

Who wants to be outside doing anything when the temp is below freezing.

Sometimes I wonder about the values of people who find it so easy to throw away a life.

Saint Louis needs to step up and fight off this disease.

And so does everyone else!