I have had 19,000 visits onto my website from 56 countries/territories of the world in the past week. From New Zealand and South Korea and Ireland and Mexico and South Africa and Sudan. Even a reader from Iraq. The traffic shut down my website for a while.
Who would have dreamed? Interestingly, I have always found stat counters depressing because I never had a lot of visitors, but something told me this May 18 Red and Black Blog post story could turn big when I began getting many comments on my post and when the media began calling; so I had my web guy add a stat counter, which I thought I already had. I am so glad I did because it is fun to know where visitors come from.
My website was so overloaded with “hits” to find my original blog post, “Where’s a Police Officer to Get a Cup of Coffee?” that the server had gone down several times the past two days. I had to upgrade to the next level yesterday (which will cost me), and still there were issues with people being able to find my site and leave comments for a while today. My web guy is a genius.
I am just so amazed how this story has gone national and international. The interest and cultural dialogue that this has created astounds me. And that was the reason I wrote, to begin a conversation and to share my story and to show another side of police which is not as often seen in the media.
I have received phone calls and emails and Facebook comments from people saying they saw the story on Fox, CNN, The Oregonian, Channel 6 and 8 and 2, and 12. And they heard my interviews on the radio with Paul Linnman and Bob Miller and Victoria Taft. Someone said that Rush even spoke of this red and black café issue.
What my hope has been for writing this, and continues to be, is an open and honest dialogue. There are police tensions in this city and across this country. There is a divide. Comments on my blog regarding this topic include total support for the police to how dare I even one good thing. I have had comments from both sides that I have not been able to approve as they are just name calling and foul language. That is what I was trying to avoid, name calling.
Bottom line though. How hard a job must be when the very ones you are trying to protect kick you out of a café? And, say they’d do it again, but this time sans serving coffee. To that end, someone started a Boycott the Red and Black Café page and I know they are well meaning, but I have an idea to move this on to a different level that is positive. Give attention to those doing the work. Move the conversation toward the original reason for my post — to show that there many, many, many people who honor Police.
So, in my attempt to keep things positive, I have launched a “Blue Ribbon Campaign-Police Deserve a Cup of Coffee” on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Ribbon-Campaign-Police-Deserve-a-Cup-of-Coffee/109371342442292?ref=ts#!/pages/Blue-Ribbon-Campaign-Police-Deserve-a-Cup-of-Coffee/109371342442292
Launching this on Facebook makes sense, since that is how my blog went viral. I posted it May 22, but did not link it on my Facebook till May 29, a week ago, and that is when the comments started pouring in. My husband was brainstorming about a way to show support before I was to be interviewed on the Paul Linnman radio show, and the thought of the Blue Ribbon for the Men and Women in Blue came up. I will meet with the Police next week regarding other ideas (but there are issues that get sticky). So, for now, the idea is to join the Facebook page and TIE A BLUE RIBBON ON YOUR CAR REVIEW MIRROR inside your car or on your antenna. I need to find Blue Ribbons. . . This Facebook Page is a start and a way to move this dialogue in a new, positive direction.
When I asked the original question, regarding where a policeman can get a cup of coffee, I noted that there was a café a few blocks away called Palio Dessert House which my daughter and I visited after our red and black situation. And police are welcome there – which I made sure to ask.
Well, a blog reader sent me a photo today of a police at that Palio café!
Wow fun. This is an example of what I am speaking about, about when I say I want to keep this positive.
Keep sending in those photos, and I will post them on the Blue Ribbon Campaign- Police Deserve a Cup of Coffee Facebook Page.
And, here is a link on a current story about a police officer saving a life at a local eatery.
Also, in Saturday’s Oregonian’s editorial was nicely written –
Note: here is the Fox story – http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/04/police-officer-asked-leave-portland-coffee-shop/#content The reporter tried looking for my phone number.
6-23-10 UPDATE: Gathering Blue Ribbon Stories: http://www.corneliaseigneur.com/gathering-blue-ribbon-stories/