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  • The Duchess - 8-10-2016

    Brett Templeton - The Duchess
    Monday, August 15, 2016

    I woke up this morning to a text from my publisher. It was a link to a video on Youtube. Maybe you saw it, maybe you didn’t. It doesn’t matter now because it was taken down, but it was a video of some of our local law enforcement arresting some individuals in Du Quoin.

    The video was titled, “Perry county, Jackson County police dept. Going crazy in Du Quoin.”

    As I said, I received the text message with the link from my publisher first thing this morning with no explanation. So, I began to watch the video expecting the worst. I quickly discovered that it was merely an example of local law enforcement doing their jobs, and nothing more, which I was more than happy to see.

    Here’s the problem:

    I support the Black Lives Matter movement. I agree that there are still problems in this country regarding race and police brutality against minorities. We’ve seen some terrible examples on video of officers killing people who didn’t appear to deserve it. It’s disgusting, and it should stop.

    So my question is, why, when you have a movement that aims to make light of a legitimate cause, would you try to weaken that movement’s image? Whoever took that video made a mockery of the Black Lives Matter cause. Those officers were doing their jobs, and the people being arrested in the video were resisting arrest for no reason I could see other than senseless anarchy. There was no excessive force, no prejudice, no brutality. The police did the jobs they signed up to do.

    Why would someone try to make it look like they had done otherwise? I don’t have any factual answers, which is why this is my column and not an article in this week’s paper. I do, however, have some assumptions.

    I assume someone decided to ride on the coattails of the Black Lives Matter movement’s popularity and tried to get internet-famous. Which is a sickening thought. Do you have no more respect for the people who are righteously fighting for that movement? Why give people who don’t have any faith in the movement as it stands more reason to be against it? The video was a hindrance to progress, not a virtue.

    I’ll admit, I don’t know what it’s like to be black. I don’t know what it’s like to be persecuted against by police. As a matter of fact, I’ve had nothing but pleasant interactions with local law enforcement. So no, I don’t understand what that is like, but if you do, why would you turn around and do unto the police what you say they have done to you?

    To me, the video was clear. The officers were not in the wrong. Putting that video up and saying that Perry and Jackson County officers “went crazy” is persecution in itself. It’s defamation of character. Fighting fire with fire isn’t going to get you anywhere, and when you make accusations that are clearly false, it just makes you look foolish and unreliable.

    To those who are trying to support the Black Lives Matter movement in a legitimate way, I salute you. It’s sad that people are taking advantage of it. To the police officers in the video, I salute you as well. It’s unfortunate that you were wrongly thrown into the fray.

    Perhaps a little cooperation could go a long way. It seems anymore people don’t want to do much except yell and fight. We could all use a little more tact and diplomacy and a lot less accusation and idiocy.

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