I remember back in the day when I went to Robert W. Coleman Elementary our teachers had us stand and sing this.

Stand For This

Whether you stand or sit for the Flag and anthem, both are important if you respect the fact that freedom of speech and expression are our first amendment rights worth defending. Neither should be ridiculed or looked down upon regardless of who takes a stand or takes a seat or who suppresses it from the outside or from within. This country was built by many hands and none should be forgotten for their efforts toward its growth and constant improvement which is still occurring to this day. Awareness and conscious has always been our guide and it will continue to be regardless of the lines drawn by the ones who only hear one side.

On that note check out Baltimore1000 a movement to bring empowerment through employment to our youth lead by a man who has stood for our city for over two decades, Ray Lewis!

In Our Time

The only metric police use through the departments and among themselves is how well they can shoot paper targets. Until there is one that uniformly determines judgment as well nothing will change. This judgment requires more training, active leadership, and thought and when done the benefits will always outweigh the costs. Confidence in doing the right thing when time is not your friend is something that can be developed and it must be in order for those in blue on the front lines to have the tools to make the best judgments not based on bias or predisposition but on situational awareness, clear observation, and direct applicable response.

Simply put if the person is a paper target at first contact it won't be hard to see them as a score once things escalate. And for the young black men out there, stop supporting anything that contributes to our dehumanization including those our people produce, know your rights, document everything, and leave no doubt that you mean no harm because you can only control your part of the equation.

This is by no means a perfect system but something is better than nothing because whether we like it or not it's the time we're in and we all must get through it.