Check out this awesome video I just found of the WPD Community Cookout in Wichita Kansas.
I want to make a quick note that I am blogging for a business that I love and value. The following words are mine and mine alone. My intention is to convey positivity and love to all people in our community.
Growing Up In Diverse Wichita
Having spent the majority of my life in Wichita, I was fortunate to go to high school and work in culturally diverse environments.
I was even more fortunate to have great parents who did not allow any form of racism in their household.
As a result, I am now married to a beautiful woman with a wonderful family. A group of people who are from a different country and race. They are some of the hardest working, most humble, and least entitled people I have ever met.
Good and Bad People Come In All Forms
My parents instilled in me that all members of our community are valuable, good people… The few that weren’t, did not belong to any certain group, religion, or race. The bad apples seemed to be dispersed across any and all groups of people I have encountered.
Law Enforcement and Race
In recent years, new light has been shed on racial discrepancies and injustices throughout the USA.
Just like my neighbors, classmates, and people of every race throughout our beautiful city of Wichita, a few bad apples can lead people to believe the worst of a certain group. This is my belief with law enforcement as well.
Largely, police are good people, serving our community and treating Wichita residents in a just and fair manner. Yet every time something bad happens elsewhere, we project that every cop is the same.
I am not claiming every police interaction in Wichita with every race has been perfect in every instance. I’m extremely conscious of racial issues with law enforcement. I do want to focus on the positive aspects of our local police department though.
First Steps Community Cookout With The WPD
The above video shows a beautiful community cookout and gathering with local Wichita residents and members of the WPD.
Unfortunately, I was not at this event. Nonetheless, it is an extremely encouraging video to stumble across.
My Early Dislike of Law Enforcement
In my younger days, I became a really good stunt rider for the time. (2003-2006) Due to the rebellious nature of my passion in my young adulthood, I was not a fan of law enforcement either.
Building Bridges Not Walls
If I had the opportunity to get to know the police in my community, I can see that I would have viewed them differently. I feel like they would have also seen me as a person and not just a punk kid being dangerous and loud on his motorcycle.
I believe the outcome of positive interactions between myself and the police would have resulted in different beliefs and behaviors from both sides.
This community cookout seems like such a wonderful idea to build bridges in the community instead of building barriers between Wichita residents and law enforcement.
It is also a great chance for people from different races, incomes, religion, or other affiliations to come together and get to know one another better.
Making Our Community Stronger and Safer
At the end of the day, the stronger our relationships are between all members of our community and the people who serve it, the better off everyone will be. More love and less hate will be prevalent in our city of Wichita. Maybe we could even be an example for other cities, towns and communities throughout the USA, even the world.
Everyone’s Struggle Is Unique
Remember, you never understand what another person has been through until you have walked a mile in their shoes. If anyone treats you as if they know your struggle, don’t let it bother you, simply walk away with the hope that someday they will realize their path of ignorance. At a minimum, don’t let this person bring you down. At best, find love for them in your heart, even if they don’t show love back… Whether your positive gesture effects them or not, you will leave the interaction with feelings of love instead of anger and you will still come out a winner. This is a concept and skill I am working on, but not perfect at.
Thank you to the City of Wichita, the Wichita Police Department, The local activists and every Wichita resident from every background who attended this event to build bridges within our City of Wichita.
Blog post by Mike Gamache
Blogger, Video Producer