Things That Make You Go Hmm #4: Police Brutality

I have never liked cops. Nope, never. We spend a lot of time denying and defending our biases but in some cases it’s simply not worth the bother. If your bias has a basis in reality and continually gets reinforced then I say you are entitled to it. The caveat being that you are AWARE of your bias and control your actions towards others so that it is not a guiding principle.

I have been severely tested of late to adhere to this idea of fairness when it comes to law enforcement.

Disliking cops is most definitely a Black Thang. We have suffered so much at their hands or have been witness to their repeated bias against us, in famously publicized cases, that I venture to say it is a given. Who in there right mind could say we do not have sufficient justification?

Even so, I am too rational to say that all cops are bad. There is good to be found in everything, no matter how miniscule. However, I do believe that most are bad. Why?

  • It’s a natural outcome of the authority they are given and the inherent corruption of power. Here’s an article from today’s NY Times.
  • They are exposed to the basest elements of humanity on a daily basis which has far reaching psychological effects over time.
  • They don’t receive sufficient psychological training and any idiot with brawn, who is not overly psychotic, can become a member of the club.
  • Many lack the benefit of higher education which leaves them at the mercy of their baser instincts and inherited prejudices. In relation to this, you may find this article interesting.

That is my opinion. Often, when I have formed an opinion I wait to be proved wrong. I HOPE to be proved wrong because inside I am still an idealist. Sigh.

All of this to say that recent events at Occupy Wall Street camps have proved me out in the most horrid way. Like I really needed proof! Every excuse that has been proposed is in my book inconsequential.

  • “They brought it on themselves.” Look at the idiot protestors who obstinately continue to occupy public spaces, violating public ordinances and codes. Did Scott Olsen deserve what he got?
  • “They are human too and their behavior is understandable considering what they are dealing with.” Oh, the poor cops, with their gas masks, bullet proof vests and riot gear. They must be sooo scared as they face hordes of angry citizens and the potential of bodily harm. Ha! It’s worth pointing out that the violence escalates even when the protestors are peaceful and respectful so that kind of refutes that point.
  • “They are just following orders and they need their jobs.”

I am moved by NONE of that. The fact remains that they are inflicting bodily harm on citizens whose intentions are unquestionably for the greater good. We pay their salaries for chrissake. They are traitors in every sense of the word because they refuse to stand up for what is right and I find that to be morally reprehensible and inexcusable. I agree with Sgt. Shamar Thomas when he says, “There is no honor in this.”

By their actions, they deny their humanity and commonality with the protestors who are people. Not just a faceless horde of individuals hell bent on destruction.

How can they, with seemingly little remorse,  “attack” the elderly, the infirm, the young and not ask themselves if it is wrong? How can they be an arm of justice and not be concerned about what is right?

They victimize any whom they see as weak or deem an easy target. A lot of what they are doing is psychological, they look to instill fear to ensure crowd control. It is unbridled lawlessness that is sanctioned by the judicial system.

What I have seen truly disgusts me and I am equally alarmed by the people who keep making excuses for them. They should be held accountable in the court of public opinion, just like we are demanding of the politicians and the bankers.

Sadly, what is occurring is not new, or unique to this situation.

It’s worth noting that some Black folks are thrilled to see the current turn of events because it exposes and underscores the brutality that POC have endured for decades, which the “majority” accepted as justifiable. All wrapped up in a neat bow with their erroneous racial bias about POC and the mighty right arm of justice. Or, they just turned a blind eye as people do to things which do not affect them. Both of which are morally reprehensible as well.

And to that end, I say again, “Your silence has not saved you.”

The truth is that police brutality is colorblind and no one is immune. They give the saying, “A necessary evil” a whole new meaning.


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