Last week we reported on a story out of Minneapolis where a decorated Christmas tree was called racist. Two police officers have been suspended and the Mayor has said that he will “fire” someone for decorating the tree. Below is a response to this incident.
Just want to thank those two guys from Minneapolis who made the ugly Christmas tree.
We had them too. And because I’m now retired I can say it without fear of losing my job. And the last few nights I’ve woken up thinking about that. I’m amazed that it’s actually being considered to fire a cop over a tree!
I’m sure the mayor can’t understand. Probably his home and workplace are decorated with beautiful trees that evoke a Norman Rockwell impression of what society wants to see for Christmas. Why were we moved to create these trees when I worked? Trees decorated with condoms, drug paraphernalia and the like?
I know the mayor believes and the public believes it’s about racism or hostility toward the public. In my experience that was never the point. Do you see these trees I posted? The ugly Charlie Brown tree juxtaposed with the beautiful tree we imagine Christmas to be about?
That’s what we live.
Every damn Christmas.
We are still looking at the ugly and facing the things the public does not want to see.
Our trees have been judged and condemned. Unfit for public display.
But mayor, Do YOU SEE US?
Can you try to see us?
This is our Christmas!
Do any of us need more of this and at Christmas time?
What have you seen at Christmas? Our trees are our ofrenda. A place where we can memorialize what we have been through, seen, survived.
These trees are a way we communicate what we cannot say in words.
Christmases of search warrants where moms are shoving drugs into the toddlers diapers to hide them so we do not see them. Only the K9 hits on the baby’s diaper. Now how do we proceed.. Families with children that have had Christmas ruined one more time by mom or dad’s criminal behavior.
The Christmas homicide or suicide.
The Christmas Day prostitution still going strong. The dead guy in the apartment that’s been there a week that has no family and no one cares or checks on him until the apartment starts to stink.
Our trees are an outlet.
A way we manage.
And I know these guys are not alone. They are not the only trees. But now I’m sure all trees have gone into hiding while a simple method of trying to express ourselves is shoved deeper down with the rest of the stuff we bury.
Mayor Do YOU SEE US?
This would have been a perfect time to contrast the police Christmas with the public Christmas. A time to talk about police suicides an alcoholism and how we sacrifice relationships our sanity and our health for this job. And we lose our friends who are killed protecting the public. We sacrifice our very lives.
But instead you have given the public one more reason to hate us. Another reason to cause more pain. It could have been an opportunity to bring understanding and you blew this one.
To all my brothers and sisters in blue I see you. Wishing you a Christmas of love and better understanding and peace.
Editor’s Note: We received this from a retired Minnesota Police Officer. They asked to not be given credit but indeed, they deserve much. What is written here, rings true to so many in this great profession. Most will never understand and that alone can make Christmas and every other “holiday” very lonely.