Anne Mikolay

Thanks to the current political and social climate, my emotions have been all over the place. I’ve been worried. I’ve been angry. I’ve been disgusted. I’ve been totally dumbstruck. Today, I am deeply saddened.

On Saturday, in California, a man walked up to a parked police car and shot two deputies in the head and the face and fled the scene. One deputy, a 31 year old mother, was able to assist her 24 year old partner and radio for help. While these community servants fought for their lives in surgery at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, California, anti-police protestors gathered outside, shouting, “We hope they die!”

This is abhorrent. This is heartbreaking. Where’s the outrage over this?

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What kind of people call for the death of the innocent? Is this what society has been reduced to? Our “them vs. us” mentality has awakened an evil in this world. Despicable. Disgusting. Truly, there are no adequate words to describe what is going on. Some protestors are twisting the Black Lives Matter movement into an outlet for their anger and unleashing their rage upon the innocent. Two law enforcement officers were shot in the head because someone thought they were something they are likely not. They are not the enemy. They are individuals with purpose, dreams and aspirations. They have families and loved ones now suffering a trauma we can only imagine. These deputies are human beings. Their lives matter, too. ALL LIVES MATTER.

Are there bad cops? Definitely. Watch the George Floyd or Eric Garner videos, and you will see evil wearing a badge, but what is evident in those abhorrent situations should not translate into the generalization that all cops are bad. This generalization promotes a dangerous prejudice against law enforcement officials. If this shooting wasn’t disheartening enough, the dark side of mankind is further revealed in the callous protestors outside St. Francis Medical Center calling for the death of two innocent people. They are one with the gunman. Where’s the backlash over this cruel behavior? Where are the protests in defense of the deputies? Where is the irate social media reaction? The injustice of it all is compounded by our lack of outrage. This is just another headline, just another day of unrest in America. We have become so accustomed to violence and social strife  that we are largely unaffected.

Or so we think.

USA Today reports the Covid 19 pandemic has pushed Americans’ emotions to the limit. 81% of Americans under 30, along with 70% of those ages 30 through 44 report feeling lonely, hopeless, nervous. 62% of those ages 45 through 59 and 48% of adults over 60 report the same sense of hopelessness and isolation. We really don’t need statistics to prove the obvious: America is in crisis, and not solely because of Covid 19. We are experiencing an emotional and moral upheaval, and if you think I’m being overly dramatic, you haven’t been paying attention.

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Anne Mikolay

Anne M. Mikolay joined The Atlantic Highlands Herald as a columnist in 2008. Prior to penning “The Armchair Critic,” Anne wrote feature articles for The Monmouth Journal. Her work has appeared in national...