George Floyd was murdered by a team from the Minneapolis Police force over ten days ago and the demonstrations protesting it have NOT diminished and the violent assaults by the police force on the protesters have only increased. It’s as if the police are not only tone deaf, they are purposefully so. That is not true of some police departments in other parts of the USA but the majority are still gassing peaceful protests and shooting rubber bullets into crowds. It is unbelievable. How is that even possible? Does that mean the mayors of those cities have NO CONTROL over their police departments?
On the face of it, the problem is basically just that – one of a malignant, toxic police culture and a militarized one that is out of control. I.E: the Vancouver Police Department had to take down their ‘online store’ that sold a T-shirt that had printed across the front: POLICE – the world’s largest street gang! Just the mind-set required to choose that slogan suggests that they may have missed the lecture on serving and protecting. They clearly do not know what ‘peace officers’ refers to. And I am 100% sure that the bullies-in-blue that make up the VPD are nowhere near as violent and abusive as the New York, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Minneapolis police departments (just to name a few). It is absolutely true that the Blues are the world’s largest street gang and they break the law with impunity all the live long day.
And the religious right, the evangelicals, the fervent fanatics of TV-based ministries such as Franklin Graham, Pat Roberston and Jerry Falwell are supporting this madness in the name of Christ, the pursuit of money and the re-election of Trump. How can anyone with even a smattering of Judaeo-Christian ethics and morals do that? That, too, is unbelievable.
It all made me think of Disney and the lemmings. There is a myth about lemmings – they commit mass suicide by leaping off of cliffs. They do not. The myth is partly based on a Disney nature film where the producers actually herded lemmings and pushed them off the nearest cliff for the camera. Of course, for the lemmings, the result is the same. Death by rapid descent for the sake of the story-line.
It is a conspiratorial stretch, I admit, but there is a similar ‘dark force’ at work here. The police are elevating the tensions of the citizenry, not helping. The citizenry has so far not pushed back very much. So, the police are getting worse! The crowds of protesters are suffering more. So are the journalists (average year for ‘Merican police attacking journalists is 150 and, so far, this year, it has been in excess of 300). And there will eventually be push-back from both victim groups. And soon enough, a lot of people will ‘die in front of the cameras’. The ‘producers’ will get their shot.
And that is the subject of this blog. Who are the producers? What is the story-line they are shooting to? It just might be the alt-right. It all has Steve Bannon written all over it. Growing a race-war has been a central theme in the alt-right political platform for decades. A race war reaffirms the black as bogeyman, the Confederacy as a recognized entity and the righty-whities as the psuedo Christian Crusaders. Duck Dynasty with teeth. That literal blockbuster stars the John Wayne, wartime, Orange-in-Chief, the evangelical fanatics and the Deplorables. The merchandising and distribution rights go to Fox News. It is an ugly mash of reality show and alt-right politics. And it is what Steve Bannon has advocated for and what he has prophecized. And it is what is happening.
Even though a race war is a component of Bannon’s plan, it is not central to it. Bannon is basically just an anarchist. He wants to ‘de-institutionalize’. That is why Trump is out of the World Health Organization and disses his allies. Bannon wants global insurrection and Trump is his tool. And, when you look at it…this recent Floyd murder works exactly as Bannon wants. He is even dividing the armed forces.
“Dave! You walking the Conspiracy route?”
Well, yes and no. Bannon wants deconstruction, anarchy and is anti-instution and anti-establishment. Bannon is also an anti-globalist. Bannon preaches race/white supremacy and Bannon helped create Trump. But that is not enough. Bannon is also back in the White House. Trump brought him back for the campaign. Bannon is there to get Trump re-elected. So….conspiracy? Coincidence? Or opportunism?
Like the bad lemming analogy the master plan is irrelevant to the lemming. The lemming just dies.
‘’Defund the police” is being chanted on the streets of the cities in North America. It is a cry of impotence and pain. It is a chant that some find cringe worthy and others see it as perhaps liberating. The exercising of police authority requires the consent of those being policed. The withdrawal of consent is seen as an invitation by some to deploy various means of coercion to get compliance. Coercion often is ineffective in getting compliance because if submission is not immediate then often the coercion escalates. Similarly discussions that escalate into yelling needlessly hinder communication. One issue appears to be that many people do not like the police and citizen interactions. The police responding to a person in a medical emergency (mental health, drugs) and subsequently that person dies at police hands suggests that coercion is a very ineffective response. Seventy percent of police caused deaths in Canada involved a mental heath crisis or a drug induced crisis. Obviously persons in such states are not able to consent to the authority of the police. The known unknown is to find an effective alternative response that does not involve a violent response. Some suggest that the police should not be the first responders to such crises. If so then who? ‘Defund the police’ does not offer a solution.
The solution is NOT to defund the police but to FUND more social workers and put ’em in the car with the police. Or, cut the number of macho nut bars and replace them with grannies, nice-guys and people with 3-digit IQs. A cop is a $250,000 a year expense counting salary, support office staff, benefits, time off, equipment and all that nonsense. Two old grannies on a Seguay each can handle most ‘street issues’. And yet, with all that being said, the police perceive their role more as enforcement than serving and protecting. It is time to change the character and culture of the police force and even change that terminology to police service.
There should be a smaller ‘force’ component and larger service function.
But here’s a question:
This blog has had only one response – yours. Why is that? Because I drew a link to Bannon? Admittedly, it was a stretch….but was that it?
Many factors at play none of which have anything to do with you personally or your writing. Not you, please hear me. In no particular order. It is the weekend many are engaged elsewhere. The issue with the police has reached a saturation point with almost eighteen hours a day of media granular coverage. Much of the media coverage is too emotionally charged for the events to be processed by some. It seems to me that many folks have made up their minds that what they are seeing is “Law and Order‘’ and that a militaristic police response is needed. Others have reached the point where they have had enough and disengage. Many do not want to think about this issue. Many have ‘’pandemic brain’’ and are otherwise engaged in various coping strategies. Some are watching reruns of the Canada and USSR hockey series of 1967 because they know how it ends.
So it took you all of 3 days to go from “no comment” to fire and brimstone again! I am un Bravoing you(is that a word?) for I fear for your health trying to manage such a state that you are again buried in. Please step back from the line!
You misunderstood me. I stepped back from racism. I do not know their burden. I cannot speak from their place in this. I stepped back to listen.
This is a different topic. I am wondering if today’s chaos fits a conspiracy narrative…..? Black, white, Floyd, Shlmoyd….is the chaos PART of a plan? Is there a Machiavelli?
Step back from conspiracy theories. Such theories are distractions and suck the oxygen out of finding solutions to solving inequality driven by bigotry.
There are TWO topics at play here. Racism and Black-flag politics, Machiavellian politics, back-room plot-type politics. They are only partly related. The racist issue I have stepped back from to listen. The political issue is different. I think I can speculate. But, but, but…you are right…..it is a weak issue. One cannot ‘guess’ at other’s secrets even if one KNEW there were some. And, to be fair, I have not a scintilla of proof that Bannon and the Deplorables are doing anything behind the scenes. So…….bottom line: I may as well shut up about conspiracies, too.
This: to the conspiracy theory……In the Guardian this morning: But this was not even the first such incident that day.
In Lakeside, Virginia, an armed man named Harry “Skip” Rogers, was arrested on charges of assault and battery after he allegedly drove his truck at protesters, hitting a cyclist.
Rogers, reportedly an organizer for the National Association for Awakening Confederate Patriots, carried out a one-man protest in 2016 wearing Ku Klux Klan robes, and was also part of the Unite the Right demonstration in Charlottesville in 2017, where protester Heather Heyer was murdered in a vehicular homicide.
Two days days after Unite the Right, according to photographs and accounts of activists, Rogers was bloodied in an altercation that took place when he attempted to disrupt a memorial rally for Heyer, while wearing a shirt with KKK and Confederate flag patches.
I don’t think the 1 reaction was because of the content. But I find myself also getting “number” from all the news about what is happening around us in the world. On one hand, it IS important to be informed, stay critical….but we have been bombarded by the media and all kinds of information about COVID for months…and it is getting to me. Where in the beginning of the outbreak, I monitored every bit of info I could get, now I simply delete 98% of all COVID related messages. I just feel tired about the whole situation and I try to spend my free time trying to plan ahead for the summer season. Very slowly, all kinds of restrictions are being lifted, and although travelling by plane will be out of the question (so also a visit to Canada), I am planning a small trip by car to France, just to be away of things, clear my head and try to enjoy the moment. So no, I don’t think its you or what you write 😉 . Kinda double feeling this “bury my head in the sand” reaction of myself
This meme has been in the press regarding a pornography ring involving children being run out of a pizza restaurant allegedly masterminded by Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. Not surprisingly pizza gate lives on in a shadowy world of social media. Such is the power of that media that in 2017 a credulous individual drove over 300 miles to the alleged porn hub Cafe armed with an AR 15. His intent was to free the trafficked children by force if necessary. He was arrested and no pornography den was discovered. A social media post aimed at discrediting Hillary becomes a catalyst for confirming bigoted views about Democrats. A false story was circulated, then disproved but it lives on and some people to this day believe it. Conspiracy theories circulate bigoted views. Most theories can be checked on ‘Snopes.’ .
I think you are right to draw a parallel. I may be doing Bannon a disservice. People may think he is a successful anarchist rather than just an ambitious wannabe anarchist. They may think alt-right, KKK, white Supremacists actually mingled with protest crowds to loot and riot in their name. I was NOT there. I don’t know. They might even conclude that the police are way too combative in their styles and work….but I would not want to mislead them about the boys in blue. I think you are right….I had best shut my mouth, keep my head low and look the other way. I am sure it is all on the up and up, right?
Setting aside theories as just theories and examining solutions to an actual event that had a 75 year old man pushed to the ground by an officer in full riot gear and left there with blood running out his ear. It was white cop violence on an elderly white man. This incident does not fit any of the current Social Media memes on offer. So not racism, sexism, was it ageism maybe but…? A conspiracy…no. Was it an unexamined prejudice? Instinct? Reflex? Was the officer in fear for his life? Was it automatonism. Was he sleep walking. Peer pressure? Just following orders? In shock? In a drug induced mania? What is the remedy that would curb such behaviours by police in the future? Let’s discuss remedies.
We have. BLM has, too. Canadians have as well. It is racism, to be sure, but it is not JUST racism. It is more ‘police brutality’ than it is racism (altho both are endemic). The police have developed a culture of FORCE rather than one of SERVICE. It is that simple.
And the solution is also simple: reduce force. Increase service. If the cops can’t do it, then reduce the force presence by reducing the number of macho tough guys. Then increase the SERVICE side by hiring nice people who actually care about their neighbours.
As one writer put it, “What makes anyone think a non-neighbour in riot gear and perhaps from a different culture can see the pain or fear of a person in distress and then deal with that like a friend? That kid in Brampton was killed by two cops who came to his home and he was the one who called them! He was killed in his parents kitchen for no discernible reason!”
The problem, Sid, is that the police have either BEEN alienated or become alienated from the people they are there to serve and protect. I think they have BEEN alienated by a weird culture that has emphasized force and enforcement over serving and protecting. I am not alone in that. THAT is the essence of the international protest. It is NOT just Black lives, Indigenous lives or Maoris. It is unnecessary brutality people are sick of and Blacks and Indigenous have suffered disproportionately in North America. Two issues coming together as one.
I agree that some of the problems with the exercising of authority by authority figures has been named. Literally people see the problem but other than giving the problem a name by calling it an ‘ism’ such as racism…calling it out does not solve it. So far we have the naming, the blaming, the marching and the expressions of grief but no solutions. I recall the Watts Riots…nothing changed. ‘’Black day in July Motor City Madness’…no changes? A clearly identified problem looking for solutions. ‘Law and Order’ cries from the POTUS…but history suggests that nothing will change. An evolved analysis is need that has a solution beyond ‘calling out the police!’ The exercising of authority requires the consent of the citizens so build consensus. End inequality…and much much more. Three Premiers claim that Canada does not have systemic racism. We recently had Stockwell Day claiming that as a teen he was teased for wearing glasses…teenaged culture is tough so get over this systemic stuff. Conceptual issues here. Some just don’t get it.
The easiest solution is for some progressive Mayor with a ‘ghetto-like’ area (Vancouver’s Skid Row?) to simply take a bold step and hire 20 ‘social workers’ and put them to patrolling two or three bad areas. Let them be first responders to all domestic, ethnic, poverty calls. Leave the traffic, gangs and investigations to the others. Do that for a year. Let ’em ‘do their thing’. At the end of the year, see if there has been a drop in crime, a drop in arrests and an increase in good will. “Why 20?” Well, assuming they need one pair of ‘nice guys’ in such an area (Skid Row) and they work 24/7 /365 then 20 isn’t probably enough. But they can be supplemented by some of the typical ‘heavies’ as back-up. Win-win.
As a budgetary issue, they simply do not hire replacement heavies for awhile.
Please see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHs2uM5F1rU
Very good suggestion. Might I suggest body cameras for the police. A ban upon choke holds, ban piling on cuffed suspects on the ground, no cold stops for minor traffic issues like a burned out tail light, and I’m sure there are many other suggestions out there. Do a profile of a prospective candidate’s social media. Look at the candidates telephone determine the candidate’s character. Require an Oath of fidelity to all Canadian laws. Tighten up the job descriptions and expectations of the police. There is much more that can be discussed here seeking a solution to the ‘ism’!