Why Police are a Targeted, Silent, Social Minority

Once again, last night, a police officer was shot in the line of duty. This is becoming something we have been expecting to hear almost every day now. A fact of our lives which is most tragic and unfortunate. Police officers have become a minority. While we have always been a small group (by definition, a minority group), we have now become a targeted minority group. By definition, a minority is:

  1. a group in society distinguished from, and less dominant than, the more numerous majority.
  2. the smaller part or number; a number, part, or amount forming less than half of the whole.
  3. a racial, ethnic, religious, or social subdivision of a society that is subordinate to the dominant group in political, financial, or social power without regard to the size of these groups.

I believe police officers can fit into each one of the above definitions of minorities. We, as law enforcement officers, have become a group in society strongly distinguished from the numerous majority by both activist groups and the media. We are a smaller part, making up less (far, far less) than half of the whole and we are a social subdivision of society that has become increasingly subordinate to the dominant group.

Who is the dominant group?

Good question. The dominant group in the world of law enforcement, isn’t necessarily one group, but society as a whole. We have become the targeted minority by the media, by activists groups (which are drifting dangerously close to domestic terror groups), and by communities that feel as though they have been targeted by the police. It is almost always a good thing to see people of all races and social groups come together for a common cause. In today’s United States, though, it seems to be that a lot of people are coming together against the police.

Don’t get me wrong, though.

I know there are people out there that would give their freedom and their life for the police that protect them every day. We, as law enforcement officers, appreciate all that you do. However, we cannot turn from the fact that the majority in this country, today, has disdain for the police. It is hard to go through one work day without visual or audible push-back from society. But that’s okay, we go to work every single day, knowing we may not come home, so you can have that right.

But why the silent minority?

This is, of course, the simplest of questions to answer. It’s been made clear by the definition of minority, that police are a social minority in the U.S. But, why are we a silent minority? Police officers are a silent minority because, despite the fact that we are a targeted group of both physical and verbal violence, we put on the badge every day, the vest every day, the gun belt, every day, and report to work. There hasn’t been one day (and I could probably say the same for my co-workers) that I have been ashamed, afraid or reluctant to put on my belt and strap up my boots. You will never see us holding up a sign, saying “die, citizens, die” as some (the citizens we will, still to this day, die FOR) have held signs saying “die, pigs, die”. I won’t grab a megaphone for any other reason than to order someone out of their vehicle, as they have broken the law, and the need exists to make clear and present commands, for the offender’s safety. You will never see me putting my cell phone up to a citizen’s face to record their every move, almost purely out of disrespect and the desire to see them commit a wrong. What you will see me do is drive down the street, my head on a swivel, looking and responding to crimes, looking for motorists in need, children who are lost, and loved ones who have been missing for days.

Just remember, when it is you in need, regardless of your past and despite your hatred of the police, we will come to your side and protect you, no different than we would protect our own family.

In this is our silence, but it is also our loudest voice and the blood in our veins.

-B