Niagara Gazette — I suspect that there will be many more to follow that will one day join the now multi-cultured, multi-gendered police force that diligently serves our citizens.
I cannot say that it was Lamar’s, mine and the efforts of others like us that encouraged the men and women, who look like Lamar, to have donned the uniform; but I also cannot know that it was not so.
I do know two other things: one is that those officers have taken the racial risk of joining — and yes, that exists. And each time that I have seen any one of them — especially Caldwell, whom I likely knew as a boy; and Smith, whom I did know as a baby, the proud poundings of my heart are only the echoes of the painful knocking that Lamar Cain and I once did upon the doors of our community, some thirty years ago.
The other is that the following generations, not having our experiences, as we didn’t have those of our southern predecessors, will soon look upon such as being nothing but normal. Hopefully, it will be the ‘normality’ upon which they will build their ‘something better.’ Jesse Jackson, while here in Niagara Falls, once told my nephew that the key to success was to, “… stay in school and get a good education, don’t use alcohol, stay away from drugs; and, the job that you are looking for may not exist — you may have to create it yourself.”
So then, why do we now look for the heroes that others have helped create from afar, instead of helping to create for ourselves the heroes that fill our buried acres of diamonds?Contact Ken Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.