While working as a Greensboro Police Officer one of the things I used to tell younger officers was that whether you had been an officer 29 months or 29 years you can always encounter something you had never seen or heard before; in other words you can always learn something you did not know. This past month I have been reminded of this several times and have had to "reconsider" what I thought I knew and contemplate what several educated celebrities, activists and politicians have taught me. For instance...
Did you know that "we are fighting ISIS on every front including social media where they have made more advances than you would have suspected"? US Representative Nancy Pelosi turned me onto this. I thought other than an occasional bomb here and there we were not engaging ISIS at all so I was happy to hear this. Also, I will try to be more mindful when I am on Facebook. Until now I have perceived that the threat of terrorism was mostly from bullets, suicide bombings, planes flying into skyscrapers or beheadings. I will now be on high alert for any suspicious "pokes" that may come my way.
Did you know that the increases in murder rates in Chicago, New York and now Baltimore are the result of "climate change"? According to President Obama and his administration global warming is the root of civil unrest within urban communities causing a rise in violence. I suppose we haven't shut down enough coal mines to date as the rise in violence must still be affected by sins of the past; I guess our clean, green initiatives need time to kick in. Better not build that Keystone pipeline; the carnage would be unfathomable.
Speaking of Baltimore did you know that the most obvious solution to the recent spike in violent crime and murder in that city is "more gun control laws to get the guns out of the hands of the criminals"? White House spokesman Josh Earnest enlightened me on this one. I was under the impression that the state of Maryland had some of the strictest gun control laws of any state in the country. I was also under the impression that no matter how many laws you legislate that all criminals had in common the propensity to not care what the law said. Thank goodness I now know that today's criminals will simply not obtain guns because they now obey laws.
Did you know that "African Americans don't hurt each other unless there is a large amount of European ancestors in their lineage"? MSNBC news anchor (and Wake Forest grad and professor) Melissa Harris-Perry was interviewing staunch Democratic supporter Juan Williams on May 8th about the arrested officers in Baltimore when she dropped this little tidbit. While discussing the role race played in the Freddie Gray death Mr. Williams reminded Ms. Harris-Perry that half of the six officers charged in Baltimore were black. She then told Mr. Williams "it's just not possible for black police officers to commit such an act on another African-American without having a large amount of European Ancestors, that is being white African-Americans". I do not always see eye to eye with Mr. Williams on all of his views but after looking stunned for about 5 seconds or so told Ms. Harris-Perry that "was the dumbest thing he'd ever heard" to which she accused Mr. Williams of being a white African-American. If this is true then wouldn't the murder rate be higher in the south? Maybe I am just unaware of all of those plantations in the 1800s that were located in Chicago and New York. Ironically, Ms. Harris-Perry's mother is white. You can read and see this exchange on duhprogressive.com.
All of these examples are "national" in nature. Certainly I couldn't learn of any new information in a place I have lived most of my 55 years; but I was wrong. Did you know that we had a "massacre" in Greensboro? We now have a state historical marker indicating just that. I was aware of a Klan/Nazi shootout with the Communist Worker's Party but not a massacre. Out of curiosity I decided to request a copy from the state of the application that was submitted to gain approval for this designation so I could educate myself on just what happened. Did you know that a "lawful" parade held right where they said they were going to be by the Worker Viewpoint Organization was attacked by a car caravan of KKK members when they just showed up and "opened fire"? Not sure where the group name got changed but I was apparently misinformed that the KKK was "invited" by event organizers. Did you know that acquittals were handed down by all white juries in both state and federal court? I could have swore that the foreman of the state jury was a Cuban American and several prospective African-American jurors admitted they could not be objective or were fearful of reprisal within their communities thus eliminating themselves from the process. I also believed that all of the defendants were white and a jury of the defendant's peers is the standard set forth by our judicial system. I was also under the impression that the "victims" in both the state and federal cases refused to testify making prosecution almost impossible. There was no mention of the "victims" firing almost an equal number of shots or one of their leaders "daring the Klan to come out from under their rocks" and attend the parade on TV two days before the event. I was surprised how easy it is to get a historic marker placed in this state; especially if you leave out an enormous amount of details in your application. No mention of the invitation, no mention of traveling to China Grove the week prior to intentionally confront the KKK and no mention of the written invitation sent to the Klan to attend. No wonder our City Council voted to give their blessing on this marker; I've had it all wrong all these years.
Did you know that there is a process for submitting an application to have this issue reconsidered and have this historical marker removed?