Commentary

Charlie Daniels: Menacing Situation Threatens to Set US Race Relations Back Decades

Charlie Daniels
By Charlie Daniels | October 10, 2016 | 8:34 AM EDT

Protester Anthony Shahid leads marchers as they confront Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper in front of the Ferguson police station, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Basically, law is just words written into a bill, approved by a legislative body, published and set on a shelf to be interpreted by judges and administered by men and women we put our trust in to dispense it evenly and fairly, without prejudice or preference.

Law has no intrinsic, physical power and is no better than the caliber of those charged with enforcement and jurisprudence, and in theory, it provides equal protection and prosecution to every citizen regardless of color, creed, the neighborhood they live in or financial strata they are a part of.

Without law there is no order, and without order there is chaos, anarchy and the complete breakdown of a society.

There is a menacing situation developing in America that endangers not only the peace but threatens to set race relations back a few decades, a situation being exploited by race baiters, opportunistic politicians and a sensationalist media.

It's high time that somebody – preferably a president – would assume the role of leadership the nation has placed on their shoulders and make it a priority to initiate some calm and sane dialogue, a common sense approach to what is happening between the African American community and law enforcement.

It seems to me that the first thing to do is admit that, as in all cases, there are two sides to this story.

To deny that there are a few cops out there who are prejudiced, quick-tempered and probably should not be carrying a firearm would be a fallacy, but to deny that they are an infinitesimal contingent overall would be an even bigger fallacy.

The last thing the overwhelming majority of police officers want is to be forced into drawing their weapon, much less having to use it.

By far, the law enforcement community is made up of men and women who just want to get home to their families safely when their shift is over. They just want to raise their children and live to draw their well-earned pensions.

They are dedicated people who potentially go into harms way every day to protect and serve and face life and death situations that require split second decisions and sometimes make mistakes.

But if you would stop and examine the recent rash of shootings you would find that, not all, but by far the most begin with a situation where a person defies instructions from a police officer refusing to yield to the authority vested in the officer and simply do what he or she tells them to.

Oftentimes the situation is exacerbated by belligerence, when a little respect and courtesy would diffuse the situation quickly. For a police officer to do their job the uniform has to be respected and recognized as a symbol of authority, and complete cooperation in any situation involving police officers and citizens would take the tension, and therefore the danger, out of the encounter. And if no crime is involved it can be quickly settled and both sides can go their ways, none the worse for wear.

Of course, I believe that officers of the law must be held accountable for their actions, but accountability goes both ways: both the officer and the citizen must be held accountable. If the citizen creates an atmosphere of distrust and imminent danger, then the officer will act in a more aggressive way, not only to defend their own lives but the lives they are charged to protect and serve.

This is a powder keg of a situation and needs a leader to step into the breach, thoroughly explain both sides of the problem to everybody and ask for calm from the police and the communities.

The more we defame our police, the more we take away their ability and their will to do their jobs, and society suffers for it.

A nation without strong leadership is like a ship with a broken rudder, drifting aimlessly and eventually running on to the rocks.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.

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