Good evening, SLM friends, family, readers and writers!
I want and need to say a few things: some of you know me very well — meaning you’re aware that I suffer from some ongoing mystery illness that’s zapped my energy and mental capacity ever since I came down with mono (caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus) about a year and half ago.
You might also know that I strongly support the LGBTQA+ community.
You, however, may not know that my brother works for the Fort Worth police department as a detective, after having worked as a patrol officer, on the streets, for over a decade. There was a mass-shooting incident in our neighbor city of Dallas, just days ago. If you don’t know about the shooting, there was a single man acting out of retribution and anger, shooting to kill anyone wearing blue.
Here’s the problem: negative press sticks in our minds and gains more visibility than any positive press EVER will for these men and women.
You weren’t there when my brother was called to move the dead body of a 12 year-old boy, lying in bed, cold and stiff, parents standing idly by, confused. You weren’t there when he was up on a ledge during a horrific ice storm, talking a man off the ledge, talking him down from jumping, only to slip and nearly end up dead on the pavement beneath him. You weren’t there when he narrowly escaped bullets aimed for his HEAD during a shoot-out. You don’t know these things. Why? Because someone who has been called to the scene of a traumatic motor vehicle accident, has to see a severed head sucked up by a giant vacuum, and continues on with his day, DOESN’T WANT TO FUCKING RELIVE IT. He is haunted by what he saw and continues to see. He is plagued by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and not only is a good man, but a great one. He meant the oath when he took it–sworn to protect and serve.
Well, guess what? I do give a goddamn. And I’m going to keep giving a goddamn until I take my last breaths on this earth. I wish others were as outspoken and open-minded, to just see, for one moment, the hurt that I feel in my heart after a shooting this close to home. And that there are POLICE OFFICERS of EVERY shape, color, size and gender IN THE U.S. Stop pigeon-holing EVERYONE. Despite what some may feel about this letter, I AM NOT ANTI-BLACK. I have never been. EVER. And that’s what makes me so goddamn mad. I know that I’m cursing a lot but I feel that unless people are informed, unless people see the other side to the story, that all of this hate and negativity will continue to be perpetuated by radical extremists.
I love my family. Don’t kill my family. Because my family woks hard to save yours every day that he’s on the job.
Kelly Fitzharris Coody
Editor In Chief