Breaking the Code of Silence—by T.K. Thorne
dog-mom, horse servant and cat-slave,
Lover of solitude
and the company of good friends,
New places, new ideas
and old wisdom.
We are living History, a moment of angst and hope, of isolation and involvement, a time to look deep.
In the beginning of my novel, House of Rose,
my police officer heroine shoots a man in the back. I deliberately
placed Rose in that situation, because it put her in trauma, and that is
how character is built. I wanted readers to experience that from her
perspective, to be uncomfortable. Having to pull the trigger is not a
comfortable place. I am a former police officer, and, like my fellows, I
always dreaded having to make such a decision and having to live with
it—right or wrong.
My fictional shooting is a circumstance very far from the blatant
lynching of George Floyd, which—along with a dark cloud of other racial
encounters and shootings—have stained the badge that so many wear
proudly and with honor. For the first time in my memory, law enforcement
officers have broken their “code of silence” and stepped forward to
voice their outrage, some to walk and pray with protesters.
I am proud of those voices, but I understand they do not make black people feel safe.
I am not black and not trying to imply I understand what it feels
like to be, but I am listening and trying to imagine that and to relate
it to my own experiences. I am Jewish.
Recently, I watched a documentary on the growth of anti-Semitism in
the world, including the U.S., and it awoke in me something that I try to ignore in my daily life, an underlying fear of being different
and what might happen to me or those I love because of who I am and
what I believe. The outpouring of sympathy and expressions of horror at
the Tree of Life massacre did not make me feel safe either.
How are we not beyond this? I yearn for there to be no need
for police to have to make awful decisions or even to be armed, only to
perform their highest calling—solving problems, protecting and helping
people. I yearn for soldiers to put down their weapons and say, “Ain’t
gonna study war no more.”
I also research and write about history and know we have moved the
needle significantly from the past, but we have not left the darkness
behind. It is a chasm looming before us. I fear we are on a precipice as
a country and world.
What can I do?
I am a writer, so I am doing what I do—writing about my pain,
confusion, my passion for justice. Sometimes I do that through my
characters, but sometimes I just have to struggle for the words in my
T.K. is a retired police captain who writes books,
which, like this blog, roam wherever her interest and imagination take
her. Want a heads up on news about her writing and adventures (and
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