Friday, December 19, 2014

Protesting for Children By: Karen Pilarski



I keep thinking of the quote from the movie "Network." Where the anchor says "I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" I guess what it comes down to, is that people just want to be heard. The bad part is the message is often clouded by rash actions and judgments.  

The world certainly is full of fear as of late. For every Ferguson there is a similar scenario unfolding in a different city. Burning buildings, stopping traffic and marches are almost the norm now.
The justice system’s decisions can be hard to comprehend. I remember being perturbed on the acquittal of Casey Anthony who was tried for the murder of her toddler Caylee Anthony.  I felt sorrow at no one being held responsible for the horrific death of an innocent child. 

That is what is at the heart of those marching in the cold of winter while throats become parched from the chants.  

I despise any act of gun violence no matter who pulled the trigger. In my hometown of Milwaukee it is sickening how many lives are lost due to bullets. Children can’t play on a jungle gym and a small girl can’t sit on her grandmother’s lap. 

Granted recent protests involve cases of adult men with various circumstances. What really affected me was the death of Tamir Rice, a twelve year old boy holding a toy gun. He was shot over being a typical twelve year old. Pre-teens are rebellious and want independence.  Show me any kid regardless of race who is obedient all the time. 

I have family members in law enforcement. I understand training and protocols.  None of those explanations make a loss of life any easier to deal with.  Even I find myself asking why a person had to be shot and why weren’t they stunned with a Taser? 

While I don’t condone violent protesting, I can put myself in the shoes of others. If something happened to a family member or friend I would be devastated. I wonder why more people don’t organize peaceful protests over light sentencing of sex offenders and drunk drivers.  

There is not much I can say to lessen the anger of others.  I’m not convinced a guilty verdict would bring closure. It is evident something needs to change. 

What we do now is up to us individually, as a community and a nation. Either we can come together and unite against all violence or we can just continue this cycle of blame, anger and destruction.
I want all children to enjoy their cities without fearing bullets spraying in the distance. 

Kids need to be kept safe from sex offenders, drunk drivers and people high on power with a weapon in hand. Badge or no badge, our children deserve better than this. They at times, deserve better than us.