Lives Matter

There Shouldn’t Even Be An Argument: ALL LIVES MATTER

Our country, among other things, seems to be arguing about which lives matter.
Every life matters.
Black lives matter. Brown lives matter. LGBT lives matter. Women matter. Men matter.
Police matter. Americans matter.
All lives matter. We are all the same; from the same mold.

The Black Lives Matters move­ment, as a peaceful movement to educate and spread light on the un­just treatment of blacks in America, is an extremely important move­ment- until it turns violent.

And it has.

Micah X Johnson

Micah X Johnson

On July 7, Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and fired upon police officers, in Dallas, watching over a peaceful rally on Black Lives Mat­ter, killing five officers and injuring nine others. Two civilians were also wounded.

When men decide that it is ok to gun down police officers, the very people who keep us safe, day in and day out– that is when the peace­ful movement gets a bad rep and becomes associated with violence. And to some, the movement looks as if it isn’t working. It appears to not be helping the cause-or anyone.

Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton, spokes­man for the Waco Police Depart­ment, spoke enlightening words and admiration for the citizens of Waco for their support to the Waco Police Department and its officers after the Dallas Police shootings.

Swanton answered about nega­tivity and hate in Waco, “There was only the one incident of “Die Pigs” being written on one of our police vehicles. That was it.”

He continued, “The citizens of Waco have rallied around our offi­cers with nothing but kindness. We have had coffee bought for us, had lunches provided, pizza delivered, cookies and cakes. We have not gone hungry around here, that’s for sure.” He went on, “The outpouring of support has been amazing in person and on our Facebook page, through cards, letters and emails. It speaks volumes.”

“We’ve had a good rapport with the Waco community. We struggle to do the best we can. We hold our force to high standards-nothing but professionalism. When we mess up, we hold our officers account­able. When we make a mistake, we correct it. And I think the community feels that,” Swanton expressed.

Speaking of the Waco citizens, he finished with, “We need them as much as they need us.”

There are bad people in every

walk of life. You could find bad doc­tors and nurses, bad teachers, even bad priests. People make mistakes daily and people make bad judge­ments. People are human. That doesn’t make it right to kill police of­ficers. This is only drawing negative attention to the Black Lives Matter movement. It is not helping.

An eye for an eye does not produce peace or forgiveness. We need to heal this country, every part of it, rather than divide it. Unite not divide.

How do we stop violence against groups in America?

Our nation needs to begin a conversation that will help heal our country, heal each other and stop the violence against each other and the very people who vow to keep us safe as a daily routine.

The national conversation has begun.

Whether you call them inherent rights, natural rights or God-given rights, we as a society, no matter your background, net-worth, society or culture, have them. Ever since the 1776 Declaration of Indepen­dence, these rights have been called unalienable rights.

It is our inherent right, or the means by which we determine jus­tice, fair entitlement and peaceful conflict resolution, to live in a free society. Free society comes with rules and laws. We all have inherent rights, but we must obey the laws and respect those that govern them.

We can say all the positive words. Love, grace, compassion, forgiveness, understanding to all people, no matter who they are or what they have done to us.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

And while these words are a start, we need a continuation or all the social-ills will only escalate.

After the Dallas police shoot­ings, Hillary Clinton said, “[There is] too much violence and hate in our country.”

She spoke the truth. And yet, what are the answers? What even are the questions?

All the little ripples could make a change. Imagine if we all thought this way and started throwing stones-the right way- the positive way. If everyone would try to make a positive change, cause a ripple, in a positive way, we could make a really large ripple of change in this world we all share.

Sometimes you just have to decide that you want to be the change. We, as Americans, need to decide to go through life being the encourager-not the persecutor.

Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey

One man in Dallas started a ripple and it has been reached around the world with a poster board and a Sharpie. Chris Bailey drove downtown, to the crime scene, after the shoot­ings in Dallas, armed with his poster board that read, “EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY”. He describes on his website that he was nervous about getting out of his car with his sign; he was compelled to do it.

He walked around downtown for two and a half hours, receiving hugs, fist bumps, thumbs up, waves, and lots of head nods. With excite­ment he wrote about getting zero negative responses. People took pictures of him and pictures with him. The Associated Press picked up one of those pictures and Bailey and his sign went viral. The news sources at the crime scene interviewed him and his story and picture has been in the newspapers in Houston, DC, and Spain. He has been on local news in Louisiana and even in Norway.

This simple message is a positive ripple.

Bailey was on a street corner, with his famous sign, during the interview. He expressed, “A lot of people don’t get out and do something because they feel they won’t make a change. I am just one guy and I have affected over 57,000 people. Do something simple. Just do SOMETHING.”

Then he added, “Show somebody that you love them.”

Bailey started a Facebook page that now has over 57,000 members that is spreading love and erasing hate. Bailey’s website, http:// www.everybodyloveeverybody.net/ is selling t-shirts, hoodies, stickers and other items with the original, scribbled out, positive message on it- “EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY”

Bailey said he lives by the Golden Rule. The money will go towards his annual feeding of the homeless and providing Christmas for the Butler Housing Project in Fort Worth. The money for this usually comes out of his own pocket. He is in the process of becoming a non-profit.

When Bailey, a foundation repair salesman, was asked what the biggest positive that he has experienced out of this signage, he responded with, “My change of attitude. I’ve become a nicer guy, towards my family and my job. I made a 180 degree turn-around in less than a week. It is me that has changed.”

Amplify this message. Pay it forward.

Waco Police Department responds to over 100,000 calls a year, per the WPD website.

In a Baylor University Center for Community Research and Development Poll conducted in May 2015, about the police-community rela­tions, 49% of the poll respondents felt that the WPD always treated minorities with equal respect compared to other groups. And of that percentage, 66% were white, 19% were His­panic and 8% were black. The poll also found that 25% of those polled felt the WPD some­times, hardly ever or never, treated minorities with equal respect. To read the entire report, visit http://www.waco-texas.com/police/

This is our wake-up call. Like Bailey, show someone you care; that you love them. Ev­erybody deserves love from everybody. Be too

FROM THE EDITOR

Dedra Davis

Dedra Davis

Weeks have passed since police were massacred in the streets of Dallas by a former Marine who decided that all lives didn’t atter. Many have moved onfrom Orlanda where members of the LBGT community were massacred by a terrorist who thought Allah wanted him to kill gay people. Time has done little to heal that hurt, or to calm the fear of African-Americans who feel threatened after some law enforcement officers across the country engaged in a cycle of violence that left members of the black community dead.
The events were enough to make every American re-examine their ideas about each other. Black Lives Matter moved to Blue  lives Matter to All Lives Matter … and yet the question remained whether Americans can honestly agree that every life matters — equally.

People said we should begin a conversation about race, equality for all Americans and how we can accept each other … and then in the rush of everyday life, kind of let the idea slide into the back of their minds. So we wanted to begin the conversation. We did it with our reporter Dedra Davis who helped write and organize this first of many special sections we hope to do on life and why all lives matter during the remainder of 2016 and into 2017.

We want that conversation to take place and we want to see what Waco has done and is doing to make sure the same things don’t happen here. This is first of several sections we hope to do to examine this issue in the coming months