As the “Black Lives Matter” protests gain less and less news coverage and the reason for the demonstrations that are still happening become obscured in the face of violence, looting, burning of buildings, and disjointed opinions, let’s revisit the subject!
Black Lives Matter
A chilling thought flashed into Isaiah McKinnon’s mind the first time he watched the Minneapolis video seen around the world of George Floyd’s death.
“George Floyd could have been me,” the former Detroit police chief wrote at the start of a Free Press guest column.
McKinnon joined the Detroit city’s force in the summer of 1965, four years after graduating from Cass Tech High School and entering the Air Force. He served as chief from 1993-98 and was deputy mayor from 2014-16.
Isaiah ‘Ike’ McKinnon asked: “What were they willing to do to Black civilians?” (Photo: Facebook/2014)
A Personal Account
In Isaiah McKinnon’s vivid commentary, the 76-year-old retiree — still a Detroiter — recalled blatant racism when he entered law enforcement five and a half decades ago:
“As a rookie officer, I encountered overt and casual bigotry and routine denigration and brutality. Many white officers refused to ride alongside Black officers. Some made cardboard dividers in patrol cars — designating the ‘white’ section from the ‘colored.’ Others used Lysol to ‘disinfect’ seats where Black officers sat. Some of my white colleagues refused to speak with me during shifts, dared not eat near or with me, and frequently used the ‘N-word’ to describe me and the African American citizens they were sworn to protect.
Two years later, I felt the sting of betrayal as an officer during the 1967 rebellion. One night, after a grueling shift, two white DPD officers pulled me over. I was still in uniform, badge affixed to my chest, and a #2 pin on my collar, indicating that I worked in the 2nd Precinct. I identified myself as a fellow officer, thinking they would see me as an equal. Instead, one pointed his gun at me and said, ‘tonight you’re going to die, N….’ before discharging his weapon. I dove back into my vehicle and miraculously managed to escape. I realized then that not even our shared uniform could save me from their racism. And I wondered if they were willing to shoot and kill a Black police officer, what were they willing to do to Black civilians?
As a supervisor a few years later, I stopped a group of officers from beating three Black teens. I was finally in a position to hold them accountable for their excessive use of force. But my precinct commander yelled at me for attempting to ‘ruin the lives of those good officers.’
I witnessed this kind of complicity repeatedly. When other officers reported abuse, as they should, they were ostracized, transferred to lesser assignments and treated so poorly that many quit.”
McKinnon, known widely as “Ike,” wrapped up his account with a call for “a change at all levels.”
“Now is the time to get to the heart of the matter: There must be a major effort to fundamentally restructure police departments so that they actually do what they promise: serve and protect all people.“
Listen to the Ones Who Know
McKinnon knows what he’s talking about! He is credible. He has lived the scenes of discrimination and experienced the violence first-hand. “Ike” has met six U.S. Presidents and Nelson Mandela, and has appeared on the “Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, “Oprah”, and “The History Channel.” He is a national motivational/inspirational speaker to Fortune 500 companies and schools.
Ike began his five decade career in public service as an officer with the Detroit Police Department in 1965. He held more than ten different positions in the department including patrol operations and various supervisory, administrative, command, and executive roles, before retiring as an Inspector to start his own security firm. In 1993, McKinnon returned to the Detroit Police Department to serve as Chief. Under his five years of leadership, hundreds of police officers were directed to go into city neighborhoods and introduce themselves to residents in an effort to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. In addition to shifting the focus of the department to community-driven policing, he advocated for and implemented training programs for officers responding to domestic violence.
What to Do Now
Let’s continue the leadership McKinnon demonstrated during his tenure with the Detroit Police Dept. Let’s make sure we engage across the USA in some of the practices that will help:
Send police officers into neighborhoods to bridge the gap between the law enforcement and the community
Shift the focus of the departments to community-driven policing
Continue funding our police departments as we train officers to respond in appropriate ways to various needs
Advocate for and implement training programs for officers responding to domestic violence
Hire officers who demonstrate compassion – and fire those who do not!
Oh, and do not forget about ME! I am part of the problem if I do not check my “White Privilege” at the door – and examine my own heart and actions. Am I guilty of prejudice unintentionally? If so, how? And what can I do about it in my own life??
No more needless deaths! No more hatred! No more discrimination!
Reach out in love Call Unity into Action. Just LOVE ONE ANOTHER!! Be the change you want to see in the world!
When troubles come… Where do you go to be lifted up? I go into the mountains. There God fills my cup.
I was not able to go with Bob these last couple of weeks when he took our ATV up into the Tobacco Root Mountains and the Gravelly Range.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know I had surgery to repair a hernia a couple of weeks ago. The doctor said those bumpy rides on our four-wheeler, “Lucille” (she’s red-headed and she is a BALL), were off-limits.
So, Bob took our friend, Julie, last week… and this week he took our friend, Elaine. Both of them loved it. I’m so glad he shares the fun with friends who appreciate the beauty of Montana’s mountains as much as we do!
Elaine is the wife of our minister and friend, Steve Hundley. I share my poetic sermon notes each Sunday with you. It’s Steve who preaches those captivating messages! Elaine took the pictures I am sharing with you today. She has some real beauts here!!
You can see the tip of Lucille’s tire here … obviously Bob stopped many times along the trail so Elaine could get out and snap a shot of the view. As you can see, they traveled up above the tree line into the snow. It’s mid-July and Montana’s mountain tops still have snow. Bundle up! Yup, it was cold up there while I was enjoying a 75 degree day down in the Madison Valley.
No camera lens is as miraculous as the lens God gives each of us with our eyes… especially if we have 20/20 vision. But, a skilled photographer can come close with a good camera. I love the composition of this one with the rocks on rock in the foreground, don’t you?
Thank you, Elaine, for sharing with us your day with Bob and God! We are so blessed to be friends with one another and with nature and with our Creator! I love you! ❤
And thank you, my WordPress friends, for going with us into the mountains where we can all feel closer to God. There, He fills my cup! Did He fill yours, too?
I added the words below here to my blog from a couple days ago where I had a video posted of Susan Boyle singing this song… but some folks weren’t able to access the video.
I leave you today with this wonderful Peace Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi. Make Me a Channel of Your Peace…
Thank you, Lord, for your great creation. I find such peace in Your mountains!
I hope you did, too, my friends. See ya tomorrow. JanBeek
Those were the words read from the will when my friend, Marion, met with her siblings after their mother died.
Today’s devotional in “Mornings with Jesus 2020” told of a similar story. The writer quoted her father as saying, “Before I leave here, I intend to spend every dollar I ever made.”
She thought he was kidding. After all, he was a God-fearing man … “who could quote scripture from Genesis to Revelation.” (Alice Thompson, Thursday July 9th).
But her earthly father had given her no inheritance!
After being angry for awhile, Alice turned to her Bible, and she turned to the Lord. Alice wrote that she spoke to her head about Lamentations 3:24. It says, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”
Even though Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,” Alice realized her father – who left “nothing for me,” had indeed left the most precious gifts of all: His loving relationship with her and his faith in God.
He lived his life loving her and her mother, giving to the Lord and to those in need, and using his hard-earned dollars to enjoy a good life. A nice house, a new car every few years, memorable vacations, generosity with his children, and gifts to charity… these were the signatures he left. He left her the gifts money can’t buy: love, faith, a good work-ethic, respect, and joy.
If our parents live their lives in love and faith, generosity and joy. If our parents pass those gifts on to us, We have the received the most important gifts of all. They don’t owe us a rich monetary inheritance.
If our parents demonstrate a good work-ethic, and teach us to do likewise, If our parents help us learn to read and compute, pray and serve, and get a good education, then they have equipped us to do as they might:
“Being of sound mind, I spent it all or gave it away.“
Go and do likewise! Have a great Thursday.
I’m headed to a Happy 70th Birthday party! See ya tomorrow. Live in peace with EVERYBODY, my friends! Hugs, JanBeek
Yup, June was bustin’ out all over… and I’m glad it is behind us! My hernia is gone. I’m on the road to recovery. I appreciate all your prayers and good wishes.
The surgery that was scheduled for 12:45 yesterday ended up not happening until 4:30, so they kept me overnight. I was so glad they did! The nurses and assistants at Deaconess Hospital in Bozeman were so kind and efficient. I really needed that extra time of TLC before returning home… and Bob needed a good night’s sleep before driving that hour up and hour back to get me.
June’s Behind Us
Now that June is behind us – and I am on the way to healing, let’s pray that our world can put the last 4 or 5 months behind it, too… and we ALL can heal. Find a vaccine for COVID-19, learn to love one another unconditionally, appreciate our uniqueness, live each day with a prayer and a song, and put the One God back into the center of our being!
June was a Bust!
Yup, June was quite the month… June was not “a love song sweetly sung” as this Rogers and Hammerstein suggested. It was a BUST from my perspective! But I tried to keep my attitude positive anyway. Upbeat music like this was one way to do it. Another way to stay positive in the midst of turmoil was to be sure to go up to my sanctuary every morning, spend time reading my Bible and devotionals, and listen for God’s voice to tell me how best to spend each day.
Focus on the Positive
If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I read and am inspired by a book with spirit-lifting devotionals, Daily Guideposts, every day. Each day the devotional starts out with a scripture. Then one of about 50 writers is assigned to write a reflection on it and then end with a prayer. I meditate on the message and write a “Take Away” on the page. It’s a thought I carry with me that day. I record them at the end of each month’s pages where there are two pages with a blank line for each day.
Here are my June pages. Read the Take Aways and see one of the sources for my ability to remain positive in the midst of this pandemic, this social unrest, protests, riots, and my anticipated surgery. These are the thoughts I carried around each day:
Wherever you are, you have reasons to be grateful. Just look around you. You can see! Breathe deeply. You’re alive! Soak in the beauty. You can feel! Relax and sing. You have a voice! Grab a snack. You have food! Thank God.
Look Around You
I had the prettiest room in the hospital! A corner room with a view of the sunset last night and the sunrise this morning. No need to concentrate on the pain when I can concentrate on the view instead, right?
Bob came and got me at 10: this morning. I was grateful for my expedited release. There was a major storm predicted, and we had a one hour drive to get home. We were safely inside before the rain came down and the thunder clapped. And now, the sun is out again!
So, as this day comes to a close, I want to thank you again for your love and prayers. I will take it easy for a while and let Bob and our friends and neighbors pamper me. I hope you feel my love being returned to you. Thank you for being my friend here on WordPress. You mean a lot to me.
Have a great rest of your week. If you’re in the USA, you know this weekend is our Independence Day. We usually have parades and barbecues and family here to celebrate with us. Not this year. This has been a different year, hasn’t it?
Keep your spirits up. Maybe you can use one of those “Take Aways” each day to help you.
Thanks for visiting. See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek