All Lives Matter: A Quiet Reflection Amidst National Protest

{Written By Paul Zondo}

 Paul Zondo
Paul Zondo

Summer is here and all around us in Montana. The lakes are sky blue and amber green. On these lakes, my son and I are apprentice fishermen. We also fish on the banks of the Clark Fork creek, but no catch, yet. The fish know we are novices.

The weather is extremely hot, hotter than the Liberian dry season. Well, we can now wear shorts and T-shirts for at least two months. When night falls it gets cold attracting mosquitoes and other insect flies. The mosquitoes have large body frames and bite painfully but don’t carry the malaria virus.

Red and white tail deer still run freely in town. They are more like town pets. They are protected. I saw one of the red deer standing at my mail box approximately two days ago and didn’t care that I was so close to him. (Ask me not how I knew it was a male or not)

The quietness of my town reminds me of places I have lived such as Yila Mission, Carver Mission, Blacktom town and Neezoe community.

But there is no quiet on the national scene. There has been series of police related shootings in the past years. The situation heightened recently. Often the ones that attract national and international attention are shootings involving a white male police officer and a black male victim.

In small towns like mine, discussions about police involved shootings are not a major part of everyday conversation. This is not because small towns don’t care about what’s going on but the black population is so small or non-existent that the issue is not a local problem.

Across the nation and including my town the police are a professional institute. They are trained to protect all people with integrity and objectivity. However, there are times that a miscalculation of an officer can lead to his death or the death of suspect or suspects in his custody. It is a very difficult job. Decisions that can alter outcome of a simple pull over are sometimes made within split second.

My experiences with the police in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota years ago were negative. He pulled me over on Brookdale Drive and when I asked why he pulled me over he said because “you look strange in the neighborhood”. However, I have had positive interactions with police in other cities in Minnesota and other states.

Finally, when you peruse the history of the United States from the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 to the civil rights era of the 1950s and 60s and the election of current president, one can deduce that this country has the ability to adopt, adjust, survive and progress as the greatest functioning democracy on earth. America’s success story is a combination of chance encounter and miracle.

So in spite of the pains been felt by both sides, namely, the families of slain police officers and the families of men killed by police, there is light at the end of the tunnel in community policing. America is great at addressing domestic social issues on the premises that all lives are treasured.

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About Cholo Brooks 17162 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.