The Brutality of Being a Cop

If we want to fix the problem of unarmed black men being shot by police, we must do more than fight racism. There are racists police. There are racist people in every profession. Police officers have to deal with things on a daily basis that almost all of us could not deal with. They do it for society.
However, their main goal is to get home alive each day. They are trained for the situation of what to do if they feel threatened. That is to shoot and shoot to kill. People have to realize that and acknowledge the danger of appearing armed.
This is not to blame the black men either. Anger of how they are treated is justified. The problem comes from prejudice.
However, the most prejudiced police officer does not want to shoot a black man. Even if they are confident that they will be exonerated, life as they know it is over.
That is not to say that there is not a problem. It begins with bias. Recently I heard Paul Bloom on the Art of Charm discuss empathy and bias. He described how babies like people similar to them and are against those different. It is a survival technique ingrained in animals and humans. However, it does not work in modern times.
So combine this with learned bias. Society, statistics, and a large variety of things tell us that a black male is dangerous. Now Bloom talked about how with adrenaline our bodies revert to depending on bias.
So in a dangerous situation, a police officer feels the need to kill so that the self and others are not killed. They train to do so. I believe it needs to be that way.
We must identify this bias. Police officers and minorities. We need to teach people to respect the police. Even more important, we need to change the culture of the police so that minorities do not have rightful resentment towards being targeted and stopped more than white people.
We need to get rid of what divides us. This means, ultimately, socioeconomic factors. As separate races and as a whole, we are not doing enough.
This all begins with not looking for the easy answer and someone to blame. That is all too many people are doing on both sides. Let’s look to cities that are successful and mimic what they do.


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