Things we should tell our children immediately.
Photo: Van Applegate
Post by: Dr. Tau Braun
With all of this focus on law enforcement, criminal justice, protests and riots - what questions are not being asked? What assumptions and biases cloud our judgement?
In a world where people are told everything is possible, what happens when catastrophic failure occurs? Errors and accidents are more common during crisis, that is why its important to try and avoid them. How can we help a younger generation - one that was raised to have pollyanna levels of optimism and told everyone is a winner - to deal with failure. People are going to make mistakes, people are going to be injured, people are going to die from unnatural causes - at what point do we stop blaming others and build a world with less crisis and more personal responsibility?
Law enforcement are on the front lines and bear the brunt of this idealistic faulty logic, but do you know who else experiences the wrath of an uncertain world and deals with volatile people on a daily basis. Healthcare professionals. All over the world, healthcare professionals are being beaten, stabbed, and murdered because they can't offer miracles, they make mistakes and interact with unstable people - the same people that law enforcement interact with. Did you know that healthcare workers face 20% higher rates of workplace violence than any other workers?
Is it possible that three of Freddy Gray's vertebrae were unintentionally fractured during his arrest. Is it possible that without an x-ray the officers involved had no idea of the severity of his injuries? Is it possible that they often deal with people crying out in pain and malingering during an arrest, and refusing to walk, in fact protestors do it all the time - could this have desensitized them to look out and react to real medical emergencies, like Freddie was experiencing? Is it possible that Freddie thrashing around in the back of a police van made his injuries worse? Is it possible that the officers did not know that it was now mandatory to seatbelt their passengers - the changing procedure memo was only sent 3 days prior to Freddie's arrest? Is it possible that the intubation that Freddie more than likely received under ER hospital care, may have damaged his voice box, made his situation worse - did the emergency team know at time his neck was more than likely broken? Could this necessary medical procedure actually have killed him?
In a world with so much fragility and uncertainty - there are a some things we need to tell our children immediately. Everything is awesome - but like the Lego song suggests, we have to work as a team. It is important to know that not everyone wins the trophy, there are people with real struggles and they need our help, and our compassion. People make mistakes - all people. Never run from the police. Never resist arrest. Not everything is instant - some things take time - like food that has to grow, or finding cures to diseases, or recovery from previous social injustices, and importantly the "truth" of a story or a tragic event.
Much love to the family and friends of Freddie Gray, the officers involved in his arrest and the city of Baltimore.
Be Happy, Be Safe.