A Chair and a Sign and a little Courage Is All It Takes

This post comes from a series of Tweets I put out yesterday. If you prefer a twitter thread you can read it here. I have modified it slightly due to the different interface of a blog

If you watch the MSM you are bombard of images of protests against the police, political leaders scrambling to be the first to hit them, corporations rushing to pay “protection” money and bend the knee to those who are trying to, at best neuter and at worst destroy the police. It’s on the news, it’s on entertainment shows, it’s on sports shows you can’t escape it.

The real problem for those of us who think #bluelivesmatter & #supportthepolice is that there is very little pushback in the non virtual word to the media’s anti police narrative. Hashtags are nice but they don’t make a difference in the real world. For days the thought ran though my mind that “Somebody has to do something!” and I suspect that’s been going through a lot of people’s minds. On Wednesday it suddenly hit me that this was the wrong way of thinking.

The right way of thinking is “I have to do something.” So here is what I did.

I went to Ocean State Job lot before work for a folding chair, some markers and some poster board. Unfortunately poster board was on sale so all that was left was two loud bright green boards both torn at the bottom. I had no time to spare so I bought them.

When I got home from work at Midnight I took out one of the poster boards and on one side wrote “Support Our Local Police” and on the other side wrote “Support Our Local Fitchburg Police” and it put it back in the car

I woke up around 8 AM (I never use an alarm clock ) went to my church and had confession from my priest. Then I drove down to the municipal parking lot. took out my chair, my sign and my rosary and walked to the intersection of Main street and Putnam Street unfolded my chair and sat down with my sign facing the one way traffic going straight on main or turning on Putnam.

I was there about an hour holding with my left hand while praying a Rosary for Police with my right. A few people beeped, some walked by and said they agreed (and commented that the sign was hard to see in the bright sunlight suggesting different colors). There was none of the commotion of the BLM event of a few weeks ago. No fuss, no muss, no shaking down anyone for cash, just one man sitting down in the sun holding a sign in support of the Police.

The high point for me was when a police car drove by, slowed down on Putnam, rolled down his window and said “Thank You”.

I’d like to think that for someone who has spent the last month being told how horrible he is by moves and shakers across the land.

After I finished two twenty decade rosaries and a pair of Divine Mercy Chaplets I picked up my sign and my chair, headed back to my car and went home. No fuss, no muss, it was a pretty unremarkable hour. But it meant something.

Police officers have a thankless job. They are called when there is trouble and are expected to handle it. That means they generally deal with people at their worst because when they show up it’s because

  1. Someone is doing something bad
  2. Someone is angry or about what someone else is doing
  3. Someone is in trouble or scared
  4. Someone either just had or is in the midst of an accident or crisis

In other words a police officer generally appears at a time of maximum tension. Such situations are inherently volatile. Even a routine traffic stop can become life or death without warning.

Yet a police officer is excepted to either diffuse the situation or handle it with the appropriate amount of force needed, with the word “appropriate” to be defined after the fact.

Furthermore in such a situation whether alone or in force they are expected to stand there when people berate or disparage them or even throw objects at them. And of course there is always a camera phone ready to condemn them if they put a foot wrong.

They are always a single remark or action, away from being out of a job or in the dock it can happen in the blink of an eye. And that’s not even mentioning the risk of permanent injury or death.

That is the daily price police pay to allow our society to live outside of gang justice or vigilante justice or tribal justice. I couldn’t do it & I suspect neither could those making political hay & racking in $ attacking them.

However we’ve ceded the public argument to those seeking gain political & financial power off the backs of the men & woman who do a thankless job day in & day out that most of us couldn’t handle so we can live safe.

This can’t stand.

My little chair and sign yesterday was a tiny public response in a small city to the media juggernaut but it was noticed & appreciated by those who needed to see it.

I think if you really want to show you support the police and believe blue lives matter I’d make a sign like the one I did supporting your local police, get a chair & be seen for an hour. Maybe your town is quiet and maybe won’t be a big deal but your local #police will see it and know that no matter what narrative the media / left wants to push, there is someone who knows the job they do and thinks it’s worth it.

I submit & suggest that if you make than sign & have the courage to be seen in public for an hour, it will be make a difference to a local cop worried about where this is going & be more valuable than a hundred tweets with the hashtags #bluelivesmatter or #supportthepolice

Closing thought: I did a series of audio interviews called “Interviews with Immigrants” a while back. On one of them I spoke to a lady named Maria from the Dominican Republic. She told me the story of visiting her sister in Leominster MA and sitting alone by a pond one day when three men she didn’t know came walking by. After they went by it suddenly hit her that for the 1st time in such a situation she wasn’t afraid. That’s when she knew she wanted to live in America.

That’s what those who are trying to destroy the police want to take from us.

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