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By Jesse Utz 

Don't draw a line in the sand

Jess Shut Up


The recent events in Dallas and around the country have erupted a shockwave of violence and heartache across our land. This has left many of us citizens shaking our heads, our fingers and in our boots. I have a lot to say about what we are watching daily on TV and seeing on the internet, but this column is not that big so I will try and do the subject justice in a few paragraphs.

First off, for part of my childhood, I was raised in a black home. I have a mixed-race sister and two black brothers. I saw the prejudice against them in our town. I did not understand to a full extent then, but I did understand their anger. I will never know the feeling of being black on a day-to-day basis in our country, but both my wife’s family and mine have many colors running in our ancestry. We fully understand the wrongs our nation has committed against people of color, especially in the beginning stages of the United States. So to say I understand the plight of a Native American or African American is true, to a point, but I did not live it daily.

Second, I have close friends in law enforcement. This is one more group that many of us will never totally understand unless we walk in their shoes. To go to work every day knowing that you may have to risk your life today for a stranger, that you may have to restore order in a chaotic situation, you may be spat upon by someone you are trying to help, or you might have to draw your gun and use it to protect yourself and others. This might be the last day you kiss your baby goodbye.

That being said, I have had bad experiences with a few cops over the years. I have felt targeted at times. But never in my wildest dreams did I think of revenge or retaliation. There are bad cops out there, plain and simple, but the law enforcement community as a whole is full of great people. Just as in any organization, there are good employees and bad. Unfortunately, we live in an age where the microscope of media is focused on the shocking things that happen in the world and unjust moments are coming into our lives via mainstream media like a hurricane. In some instances, the story is being bent to get the most attention.

With the targeting and shooting of officers in Dallas, with the seeming unnecessary deadly force used by a small number of cops around the nation and the riots and protests that are happening all over, some may feel that a side needs to be picked and an action needs to be made. But there is a side of the coin that we sometimes overlook.

We are currently living in a nation of chaos; government, citizens and public servants all feel like they have targets on their backs. The average citizen, regardless of color, race or stature, is living in shock, fear and/or confusion. Our youth are the most at risk right now. What they see and hear is what will determine their mindset for many, many more years to come. We must be careful how much hate and misunderstanding that we allow them to digest during this time.

The bottom line is that we need to pray as a nation, right now more than ever. It does not matter what religion you are, what race you are, or if you even believe in a higher power. A darkness has crept in over the USA and the world. It is a battle that does not require a uniform or a weapon in hand. It requires a love of one another, a love of country. We must lift this land up to be healed, and only One can do that. If ever there was a time to fall to your knees and cry out, now is the time. Pray for a healing of hearts and against the plans of the enemy. Oh, and the enemy is not a cop, a race or a politician. It is that darkness, that evil plan, that plainly and simply the devil has used for years. Pray against the evil plans of the enemy that wants us all destroyed. Prayer is the only way we recover from this mess we are in as a nation. God bless our land and restore it.

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