This editorial is brought to you by Kyle S. Reyes, the National Spokesman for Law Enforcement Today. If you want to get in the fight, join us here.
Not a day goes by that I’m not blown away by just how low people can sink. How divided we’ve become. How disgusting people can be.
I’ve also noticed there are a lot of keyboard warriors out there right now. And they are absolutely coming after law enforcement. I have had my share of … well… let’s call them “conversations” with some of them.
People who have never done anything with their lives seem to be the loudest opponents of those who have, especially when it comes to law enforcement.
From time to time, those opposed to our existence send us an email to let us know how they felt about an article we ran, or just how they hate cops in general. So, I respond.
I’m not always warm and fuzzy. I just can’t help it. Warm and fuzzy isn’t exactly part of my DNA when it comes to dealing with trolls.
Case in point? Here is one of the tamer ones.
“your a f—ing nut case”
Such wit. Such profound insight and wisdom.
“Great to hear from you. I wanted to commend you on your email – it got great laughs around the office. In your attempt to insult us, you couldn’t even get out one single sentence without spelling a word wrong. If you’re interested, we’ll be happy to help you find a local tutor that specializes in first grade English class. Send us an address and we’ll make it happen. Deal?
Whiskey, American flags and freedom.
As I am typing, I try to picture the individual that will soon be reading my response.
What do you think of when you hear the phrase keyboard warrior? I know the vision I have in my head. I wonder if it matches yours.
Do you see an early 20’s male? Maybe he is sitting in a dimly lit basement? The only actual light is coming from his computer screens.
On one, he is playing Call of Duty and dreaming of being the heroic type of warrior that the US military has an abundance of. The halo coming off his second monitor reveals two days worth Cheetos dust, empty Mountain Dew bottles and the sweat stains on his shirt.
That other monitor also reveals several web browser windows, each one with a different social media page open. While waiting for the next “team death match” round to start, he is trolling people on Instagram and Twitter, looking for places to insert his anger and hatred into the conversation without reservation.
OK. Perhaps that’s over- the-top stereotyping. In fairness, I did leave out the whole “anime porn” thing. But I digress.
Perhaps said keyboard warrior is a retired school teacher. Perhaps the keyboard warrior you know is a suburban soccer mom in her late-30’s. Maybe it’s this woman who emailed us:
“I just read your article from March 28 regarding the “Liberal” judge’s decision to let Kenny Walker wait for trial at home. Your reporter is obviously shit. Your story is full of lies. It should be removed. Shame on you. That’s why America hates cops. Cause you f—ing murder then spin this shit. SHAME!! Signed a white granddaughter of a Lt. Detective who never ONCE Pulled his gun on a citizen.”
She put a lot of effort into her submission to our website. So, I felt obliged to respond in kind.
“We have no idea what story you’re talking about in your triggered, childish and race-baiting email that was dripping with your entitled privilege.
But here’s what I’d say. Assuming your grandfather is no longer with us, the poor soul must be rolling in his grave with embarrassment at seeing how his grandchild turned out.
Hopefully you’ll find some sense of purpose in your life. Because, from what I can see, you desperately crave attention and relevancy. Just curious… did you find any of it when you posed for that picture with O’Rourke? (inserts pictures from her profile)
Sunshine, bubbles and government handouts.”
As it turns out, she was referring to the article surrounding the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY. When we originally searched our database for stories about Kenny Walker, nothing turned up. But as we dug deeper, we found Kenneth Walker. Apparently, they know each other by nicknames.
Regardless of what they do for a living, assuming they have a job and aren’t still living with their parents, one thing is true of all keyboard warriors. They say what they want from the privacy of their home and often behind a screen name that provides them a certain level of anonymity.
And what they say is sometimes crass, rude or down-right vile.
But then, I realized something. I have been known to spew some venom on social media from time to time, aimed at people that are at the polar opposite end of my belief spectrum.
Right now, the KBWs out there are going after: God, country, guns, cops, family, and freedom, all of which I am a big fan of.
So, because I love these things and want them for my children, and one day, my grandchildren, I fight back. And when I start to throw the verbal punches, it can get ugly.
I remember this one time on Twitter that I…
Is it possible? Am I a keyboard warrior?
I had to know, so I looked up the definition.
It is a noun meaning:
“a person who makes abusive or aggressive posts on the internet…”
Well, I have to admit, the whole “aggressive” definition fits me at times.
I have been known to unleash on people via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Well, I used to do it on LinkedIn, until they permanently banned me because I posted a story about a bad guy that killed a cop. While I do not go looking for a fight, I certainly do not back down from one.
So, am I a keyboard warrior?
Whelp, I guess I kind of am.
Minus the Cheetos and the Mountain Dew anyway.
I decided to write a piece called Confessions of a Pro-police Keyboard Warrior.
In preparation, I looked at that definition again. You will never believe what I found. That definition had a second part:
“…typically one who conceals their true identity.”
Hey, maybe there is hope for me after all. My profiles on social media are my actual name. I don’t hide behind a pseudonym. Hell, I even provide my middle name. I am not hiding who I am or what I am about.
I read the definition again, in its entirety, to celebrate that I can definitively say that I am not keyboard warrior. Sadly, my attention is drawn to one word: “typically”.
Turns out, you can still be a KBW, even if people know your name. So, now we are back to me being a keyboard warrior.
Son of a…
I needed a second opinion. No way am I going down as a keyboard warrior. There has to be a loophole somewhere. I did a search and I found the following definition.
“A person who, being unable to express his anger through physical violence (owning to their physical weakness, lack of bravery and/or conviction in real life), instead manifests said emotions through the text-based medium of the internet, usually in the form of aggressive writing that the Keyboard Warrior would not (for reasons previously mentioned) be able to give form to in real life.”
And then I realized something as I read that.
I am off the hook as a KBW.
See, unlike these idiots that like to troll cops and wish hateful stuff on them and their families, we have real-life conviction, and we are able to give our convictions real life form.
Here are just a few examples of that.
First, I am the national spokesman for Law Enforcement Today, the largest law enforcement-owned media company in America. If you know me, I am not afraid to speak up, speak often and speak loudly in defense of and support for the men and women of out LEO community.
At LET, we pride ourselves on the fact that we not only bring you stories and breaking news, but we give officers a multiple platforms to have a voice and share it. If you have been a reader of our pages for any length of time, you have probably read a few articles from Sgt. A. Merica.
Who is Sgt. A. Merica? He is YOU. He is US. Law Enforcement Today is the voice of police officers across America and their supporters. Unfortunately, many of our officers can’t have a voice because they’d face the chance they’d lose their job. We are their voice. LEOs and their supporters can submit articles to Law Enforcement Today.
Once we verify their identity and background, we post the content anonymously to protect them, while still giving them a platform to share their stories. We have a private email address set up that goes directly to our Founder for these stories.
But, we didn’t stop there. We created LET Unity. This is a forum where we bring officers, and at times, their family members to the Whiskey Wall, and let them tell the story of a good day on the job, and their worst day on the job.
It provides a platform for officers like Misty McBride and Brian Shaw. They were two of the Dallas-area officers shot by a sniper during a 2016 Black Lives Matter rally. By the grace of God, they both survived their wounds. Tragically, five officers were killed that night.
For those who cannot come to the Whiskey Wall, we travel all over the country meeting law enforcement officers, hearing their stories and sharing the passion they have for serving their communities.
Guess what, we aren’t done yet.
What else do we do? We partner with multiple organizations that exist solely to take care of active duty cops, those wounded in the line of duty, and the families of those lost in the line of duty.
We participate heavily in National Police Week. We attend numerous Law Enforcement Appreciation Events. I have spoken those types of events in almost every one of the 48 contiguous states of this great nation.
I am fortunate to have a loud voice and a platform. As the spokesperson, I get to speak…a lot. But, behind the scenes, we have so many people who work diligently to keep that platform running.
And they all do it for the same reasons…love and appreciation for those who previously have, or continue to put on that badge and patrol our streets day in and day out, serving and protecting.
So, while we are not afraid to trade jabs online with that guy licking pizza grease off his chin before he starts typing about what a bad-ass he thinks he is and how he will never allow a cop to pull him over, there is a very large difference, between him and us.
We aren’t just a collection of words on a screen. While that is sadly all keyboard warriors will ever have to look back on, I, and many like me are people who have real-life convictions. And we are finding ways to share those convictions through actions.
Now that I was able to clarify where the differences lie between myself and the stereotypical KBW, I am completely fine knowing I am a man of action and not just a man of words. Which is great .. because I never liked Cheetos anyway.
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