Dallas Cowboys support for cops gets mad props from this NY Giants fan

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In the interest of full disclosure, I am a New York Giants fan. A die-hard New York Giants fan. As such, I hate the Dallas Cowboys. Passionately.

I mean, come on. It shouldn’t come as a big shock. I’ve do have a cat named Eli, whom I adopted after Big Blue won the Super Bowl in 2008. Of course, he already had that name when I adopted him, but that’s beside the point.

In Brief Legal Writing Services owner Alexandra Bogdanovic's cat, Eli.
Eli under the Christmas Tree. Christmas 2013.

The point, as I initially said, is that I hate, cannot stand, and passionately dislike the Dallas Cowboys. And their fans.

But this week, the Dallas Cowboys did something really cool. It took guts. It showed class. And as far as I’m concerned, the Dallas Cowboys organization deserves mad props.

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. And as they opened training camp, the Dallas Cowboys showed their support for the Dallas police. According to  Yahoo’s account (which frequently cited the Associated Press), here’s what happened:

“The team came out in waves. The first wave was led out by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and some of his players, and Brown. Families of four of the five officers who were killed were represented at the practice, the Associated Press said.”

In addition to showing its support for the Dallas Police Department and the families of the law enforcement officers slain last month, the team wanted to send another message.

“Our players felt that there is no better example of what unity is — and can be about — than a sports team,” the Cowboys reportedly said in a statement. “And they felt they had the opportunity — for the first time they were together this year — to send this very important message.”

To reinforce that message, the Cowboys are sporting “arm-in-arm” decals on their helmets, according to Yahoo.

It is a timely and important message — and under the circumstances, I really shouldn’t make light of it. But I just can’t help it. So I’ll end by saying that as a New York Giants fan, I have no doubt that we will remain united in our universal dislike of the Dallas Cowboys and our hopes that we knock the snot out of them this season. In that, I am sure we are not alone.

An open letter to American politicians after the Dallas shooting

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Dear President Obama et al:

It’s been less than a week since alleged Dallas gunman Micah Johnson killed five police officers and injured seven in a hate-fueled rampage.

I’ve heard some people are angry because they don’t think some of you’ve said enough about the tragedy. Personally I think you’ve all said too much. And every time you open your mouths, things get even worse.

Wreath. Shot at Memorial Day Service in Warrenton, Virginia in 2011. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic
Memorial Day Wreath. Warrenton, Va., 2011. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

So please do me a huge favor. Just be quiet.

The immediate aftermath of a national tragedy is not the time to promote your personal and political agendas. Please show some respect. Give the victims’ families the time and space they need to grieve before you start pontificating about racism, gun control or any other relevant issue. There will be plenty of time to talk about that later.

Please remember that it’s not always about you — and that most of us couldn’t really care less about what you think.

I seldom agree with New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, but as he said when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton reportedly approached him in the wake of the Dallas shootings:

“Our interest is staying out of the politics of the moment, and not to provide photo ops,” Bratton said. “If Mr. Trump wants to speak to me, I would be happy to brief him on what we’re doing. If Sen. Clinton wants to speak to me, I would very happy to brief her on what we’re doing. But we are not in the business of providing photo ops for our candidates.”

Perhaps you should all take the hint.

But if or when another tragedy befalls us and you feel compelled to say something about it, please consider the following suggestion:

My fellow Americans,
In the wake of the tragedy that has befallen our nation, it is understandable that you should seek comfort and reassurance from your elected leaders. Please know that we are monitoring the situation and will do everything within our power to ensure the safety and security of all of our citizens.
Because this is an ongoing investigation, we are refraining from any comments about the incident itself at this time. We respectfully request that the media directs questions to the appropriate authorities. We also request that the media respects the victims’ families need for privacy….

Thank you for your time and consideration with regards to this matter.
Sincerely,
A Concerned Citizen

Hate begets hate

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If just half of the information that has surfaced about alleged Dallas cop killer Micah Johnson over the weekend is true — and I do stress if because I would really rather not get sued — one thing is for sure. This was a sick, warped, twisted young man.

“We’re convinced that this suspect had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to make law enforcement and target law enforcement, make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement’s efforts to punish people of color,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said in published reports.

Brown also said that recent police shootings that claimed the lives of black men in other parts of the country prompted the rampage that injured seven law enforcement officers and killed five.  When police tried to convince him to surrender after the shooting, the alleged gunman indicated he wanted to kill even more police officers, Brown added.

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

If that’s not twisted, I don’t know what it is.

It’s also sad. Very sad. But in all honesty, it’s not surprising — because that’s what hate does. The ugliness hardens your heart. It messes with your mind. Before you know it, you’ve been consumed by it — and there’s no going back.

Now, some of you may be wondering what a middle-aged, middle class white woman from Connecticut really knows about hate — or discrimination for that matter. Trust me. I know plenty.

If I had a dollar for every misogynist comment I heard while working as a police reporter, I would be independently wealthy. Every time I got upset, one of the guys asked whether it was “that time of the month.” Every time I showed any emotion, one of the guys said it “must be a woman thing.”  I had a strict rule about dating guys in the agencies I covered. I never did it. Ever. But if you think that stopped the “locker room talk,” think again. I guess it’s just the price I paid for being “one of the boys.”

As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, I never made as much as my male colleagues. And my male bosses — who were easily intimidated by an assertive woman — routinely treated me like garbage. Not that I put up with it at all.

But yes, I know a few things about gender discrimination.

I know a few things about hate, too. Back in the 1990s, my father received death threats because of his ethnicity (and a Letter to the Editor he sent to The New York Times). Things got so bad we had a wire tap on our phone and FBI agents in our house.

I was the one who answered the phone when one guy called and asked for Dad. When I asked what he wanted, he said something about a furniture order. When I told him (in no uncertain terms) that I had no idea what he was talking about, he told me to “tell that effing Serb his coffin is ready.”

Yes, I remember that phone call to this day. And yes, I know a few things about hate.

I also know we all have choices. Ultimately we determine how we react to discrimination or hate. We can choose violence, or we can find another way to defeat those who are determined to bring us down.

Some of the greatest men in history found another way. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Nelson Mandela. Mahatma Gandhi. All three suffered. All three fought for what they believed in. All three advocated for change through nonviolent means.

I’m not exactly a “sit around the camp fire and sing Kumbaya” kind of girl. I don’t agree with everything these men espoused. But I do believe we should all strive to follow their lead.

Because at the end of the day, hate begets hate. Violence breeds more violence. And nothing will change.

The truth about Dallas

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“The term ‘domestic terrorism’ means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended —

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

18 U.S. Code § 2331 – Definitions

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. By that definition the Dallas shooting that claimed the lives of five law enforcement officers and injured seven others on Thursday night was an act of domestic terrorism. Whether anyone in the Obama administration cares to admit it or not.

It was also a hate crime. Whether anyone in the Obama administration cares to admit it or not.

As defined by federal statute, “hate crime acts” include those in which someone “willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion or national origin of any person…”

According to published reports, Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, was allegedly responsible for the Dallas carnage. He reportedly expressed the desire to “kill white people, especially police officers.” Johnson, who police killed during a standoff after the shooting, was apparently motivated by “recent fatal shootings of black men by police elsewhere in the United States.”

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

In other developments, authorities in Missouri are now investigating what might have prompted a motorist to shoot a police officer during a traffic stop on Friday.

The suspect, identified as Antonio Taylor, 31, had reportedly been stopped for speeding. Then, for unknown reasons, the “routine” traffic stop took a tragic turn. Harrowing images captured on the cruiser’s camera, show the officer speaking with Taylor and returning to the police car. Taylor can then be seen approaching the patrol car, where the officer appeared to be doing paperwork. Without any visible provocation, Taylor fired three times, critically injuring the officer.

Police arrested him  a short time after he fled the scene in his car and tried to avoid capture on foot. Taylor, a convicted felon, is now facing several charges including assault on a police officer in what police have described as an “ambush.”

Meanwhile, Tennessee authorities are also trying to determine what prompted a recent shooting spree that killed one civilian, and injured two others. A police officer was also hurt.

According to media accounts, the suspect hit a civilian when he allegedly fired through a hotel window on Thursday, and then  targeting vehicles on a nearby highway. Lakeem Keon Scott, 37, who is also accused of firing at responding police officers, was also injured when they shot back.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, a preliminary investigation indicated that  Scott “may have targeted individuals and officers after being troubled by recent incidents involving African-Americans and law enforcement officers in other parts of the country.”

When all is said and done, I am sure the authorities will identify the motives for these attacks — but they’ll never be able to provide a satisfactory explanation. It’s  impossible — because there’s simply no cause for such hateful behavior. None whatsoever.