Tuesday, July 10, 2007



Recently, in Atlanta, there have been a string of shootings involving police officers. This is probably the same instances you can find in almost any major American city. Without fail, the media will interview the cousin or brother of the person that was shot, and the police will be vilified, and the civil rights activists will play the race card, and it will become much more than a person committing a crime and getting caught. The media is feeding on society's feelings toward people who enforce the laws. People will always resist the boundary makers. Everyone does it, from running the occasional stop sign to downloading music to ripping those tags off of mattresses. The truth is that police officers are providing a service to their communities. They are arbitrators, peacemakers, and in some cases baby-sitters. They are the people that are called first in any given situation (whether you actually need them or not) and are usually the last people you want to see. They are necessary. But like the teachers who try to educate children, they are massively underpaid for the everyday messes they are obliged to put up with. And in some ways, they have the same characteristics. Meaning that the teacher and the policeman are both given the power to enforce laws and rules to their constituents.

The other similarity is that both the police officer and the teacher are, like I said, massively underpaid. The excuse for this, is, of course, that those occupations are "a calling," and that the people who become those professions are sacrificing their pay for the common good of mankind. It's almost like they are martyrs to our society. And like Jesus, they are also ridiculed for their services. This is the dichotomy that both the teacher and the policeman experience on a daily basis. They spend all their time trying to uphold the law, bring education to the citizens of America, and yet, for each thing they do, they get lambasted on the news, made fun of in the media, and stereotyped as some of the worse people. Policemen are always getting blamed for being too physical, too harsh with the criminals, even when the offenders are armed and would want nothing better than to see the cops get killed. And teachers are so often criticized for punishing students in any form. They cannot give homework because so many students have other obligations, and yet the parents cannot understand when the students get such low grades on tests, standard or otherwise. And if that isn't enough, any teacher, male or female, single or married, has to be paranoid about any situation, because if a student or a parent doesn't like something you did, they can make up a story about how the teacher made a pass at their student and get them fired. The very people who are trying to provide a critical service to America are the same people that get paid little, and are given respect less.

Not all careers are handled this way. Firefighters are angels. And while they are paid similarly to police officers, they don't get any of the brutality complaints. Because firefighters are out solely to protect people (and their property) from fire. The villain in this case is nature, not man (as a criminal or a student would be). Meteorologists fight the weather, and so they aren't put through the ringer when they mis-forecast a severe storm. Or maybe our society hasn't denigrated to that point. But just wait. What happens to doctors now on a continual basis (and shouldn't, doctors fight microscopic organisms and provide a critical service to society, and yet their malpractice insurance forces many doctors out of business.) will happen to a weather guy sooner or later. Just wait until someone dies of a tornado and a lawyer gets some hair-brained idea that it was the weatherman's fault for not forecasting the tornado or its path. This is the way society is, unfortunately.

Next time, I'll review Transformers, which I just saw, and loved. Although, and some fanatics might disagree with me, it does have its flaws.

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