Editor, In an attempt to somewhat clarify and somewhat respond to the recent letters to the editor, the online opinion poll question in the Coastal Courier and subsequent results of said poll, I want to say that the protests (locally and nationally) are not anti-police, as some have and continue to misinterpret them to be.
In an article posted on time.com, well-known author and movie director Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said, “The protests are being deemed anti-police and that’s grossly inaccurate. The marches are meant to raise awareness of double standards, lack of adequate police candidate screening and insufficient training that have resulted in unnecessary killings. Police are not under attack; institutionalized racism is. Trying to remove sexually abusive priests is not an attack on Catholicism, nor is removing ineffective teachers an attack on education. Bad apples, bad training and bad officials who blindly protect them, are the enemy. And any institution worth saving should want to eliminate them, too.”
I agree with this assessment, and this (along with our constitutional rights) is why I and others marched. People blame the protestors for the recent police killings in New York, but they forget to mention that the killer shot his girlfriend and talked of killing himself prior to that, making true the old adage that crazy has it’s own twisted logic.
People talk about the rioting and looting in Missouri after the failure to indict the officer in the shooting death of Mike Brown, but they take the rioting in Ohio after the championship football game with a grain of salt (again, crazy is as crazy does).
Protesting injustices is called race-baiting by some and that’s their choice, but when I see the entire Notre Dame women’s basketball team wearing “I can’t breathe” T-shirts and people of all colors marching in protest, I take solace in knowing that some get it and, like an episode of “Seinfeld,” some don’t.
I have friends who are police officers and I strongly support good policing, especially knowing that everyone does not have the courage that it takes to do this job. We march to rid society of bad cops, and we protest when the scales of justice are unbalanced to the point they protect these yahoos and cowboys.
This is my last back and forth on this subject, but anyone who wants to organize a peaceful protest has that right and they should do so. And if it’s a cause that I support and if my schedule allows, I will be there and so will the others.
— Gary Gilliard
Liberty County commissioner, Hinesville