THE REAL DEBATE: WRONG VS. ‘RACIST’ (Posted 6/25/2020)
Answer Number One at solving our problems (whatever they are): stop being so judgmental towards each other. And nothing, in my opinion, is more judgmental and sanctimonious than some of these commentators with all of their tripe about ‘systemic’ racism.
Now the police do, in fact, get it wrong. But they get it wrong for the same reasons that all other people do: because they are simply people and therefore, occasionally, get it wrong. Isn’t it possible to make a mistake just because you made a mistake? Not if you are a police officer – and you are listening to the sanctimonious dribble coming from a lot of commentators.
More real world analysis: a White police officer, as a person, is identical to every other person White, Black or otherwise. And a White, Black or other person, is identical to every White police officer. That is also why the police (and all of the rest of us) make mistakes for the same identical reasons.
When is a White or Black (or other) everyday citizen the most likely to make a mistake? It is when something clouds our judgment: usually some form of stress and adrenaline – and nothing about racism. Or there is something about our environment that we might be operating in that creates stress and adrenaline.
Similarly, when is a White police officer the most likely to make a mistake? It is when something clouds their judgment: again usually some form of stress and adrenaline – and not anything about being a racist. Or there is something about the environment they are having to operate in that creates the stress and the adrenaline.
Consequently, you ultimately have all types of people who are all capable of making the same type of mistakes. And that are all capable of making these mistakes for, essentially, identical reasons. So, at the end of the day we are all, essentially, the same types of people.
Therefore why is there any legitimate reason for all of this judgmentalness towards the White police officer? Or to have there be some type of a hate fest going on towards each other? I believe it reads “For ALL have sinned and fall far short of the Glory of God.”
But back to Point 1: I repeat …. police officers do get it wrong, they do get it wrong, they do get it wrong. And we (both I and you) do want them to get it wrong as rarely as is possible. But they do not get it racist – and I just find the sanctimonious of too many commentators to be way over the top.
THE REAL DEBATE: ‘RACIST’ VS. ARITHMETIC (Posted 6/26/2020)
Unfortunately, the wrong use of statistics can lead to some (presumed) connection between the police and racism. This reality is also combined with one other unchangeable (and non-racist) fact: that there exists some inevitable rate of error in every human endeavor.
That is, that no police officer will ever operate with a zero error ratio. It does not matter what their color is, how ‘racist’ or un-racist they are, etc. There will always be some rate of error (above zero percent) in every human endeavor.
So … to use a real world example to demonstrate: let’s say a police officer is at a boundary line between two neighborhoods. The one on the left has a victimization rate of African Americans against other African Americans that is several times higher than another rate of victimization to the one on the right.
First: this is a situation that was not caused by the police. Secondly, however, it is a place where they are being used as the scapegoat. People could look in many other directions:
1) how historical events may have had an impact (African-Americans used to be rural dwellers; they did not make up very much of the inner city populations until some economic dislocations occurred during the Great Depression).
2) socio-economic factors, or
3) how social policy (on both the left and right) has been disastrous in aggravating the problems or … or… or … or … any number of other things BESIDES the police officer. But they DONT!!
So … now we are back to the police officer having to live in the right here and now – and dealing with a situation that he had no part in causing. Therefore explain to me (so long as this situation continues to exist) just what, exactly, he is supposed to do? To get the quality of life between both communities to ever be on a 1 to 1 parity?
Suppose, as he should do, he tries to get the victimization rates down to an equal level in the two areas? But then he will have to police the community on his left at a higher rate than the one on his right. This, however, is where the (supposedly) ‘racist’ arithmetic starts kicking in.
Because he is policing the area to the left at a higher rate, he will make a higher number of arrests in the left hand community than the right – a ‘racist’ statistic. And as a result of this, there will be a higher number of convictions in the left hand community than in the right – a ‘racist’ statistic. This will also lead him into having a higher number of violent run-ins with the community on the left than on the right – another ‘racist’ statistic.
But it gets still worse. For now we get to the Inevitable Rate of Error that I have referred to earlier. For he will get it wrong on some of them: therefore he will also have a higher number of wrongful arrests, wrongful convictions and wrongful run-ins with the community on the left than the one on the right. And all because of …. his racism?
Ergo, to people of all races: stop expecting other people to save you from yourself. I am always hearing young African Americans (and others) talk about how “you’re the White person so you somehow have this power to make these things stop.” I do NOT have any such power. And neither I (nor the police officer) have any such power because of the simple arithmetic involved.
Once we all fix our own root problems (so that you can park at the boundary line between any two communities and there is a 1 to 1 victimization ratio) then I and/or a police officer can start making guarantees. Guarantees about 1 to 1 ratios in quality of life, quality of policing and quality of whatever. But until then there is not the damndest thing that either I (or a police officer) can do about it, our White skin, Black skin or whatever skin not withstanding. Any more, that is, than any one else can do anything about it. And it is not racist, racist, racist but simply arithmetic, arithmetic, arithmetic.
THE REAL DEBATE: ANTI-‘RACISM’ VS. ANTI-STUPID?(Posted 6/28/2020)
In this answer, I will admit to using some loaded language. But, further, I will even make use of a very loaded reference source: Louis Farrakhan. I like little about the man and little about his presentations – except for a one and only one instance. For whatever reason, and long ago, I saw him on my television and kept listening to a one time where he seemed to be on a good roll. His subject matter was “Who’s the fool?”
Quote: “All of the correct things that the White Man does you do not emulate. But all the incorrect things he does – the immorality, the drinking, the drugs – THAT you emulate! So, who’s the fool?” This is the essential distillation of what he said in an address on “Who’s the Fool?” Now speaking for me (and not him): I do agree, on this one thing with Farrakhan, about society teaching the current generation virtually every wrong behavior there is to teach them.
But here is where I feel a need to raise the question about a (possible) cultural divide. Because I am a White citizen addressing an African American audience, I may not always know the best way to raise some of these kinds of points. If I should err, I hope that you will be willing to be the better man and still try to understand the basic logical point I am trying to raise – that should be applicable to one and all of us. It is also my intent to say things for the purpose of helping one and all of us – and equally alike.
To begin: contrary to popular mythology, there are a lot of Caucasian people who dislike the police also. I am not one of them – but they exist also. Where there tends to be a separation between White perceptions and (some) African American perceptions comes from a cultural matter that I am hoping to address.
A scenario: I, as a Caucasian, am talking to other Caucasians about my story of woe. I got pulled over by a police officer, told him to go to Hell, resisted arrest and got my butt kicked in. Says every other Caucasian (whether they like the police or not): “What did you expect Dumb A _ _?”
How many of them will form a grievance committee on my behalf? Zero. How many of them will exalt my name up in some way? Zero. How many of them will even be that interested in listening to what I have to say? Zero. How many cases of civil unrest have ever resulted from a Caucasian being shot by a police officer? Zero.
Therefore (and be it right, wrong or indifferent) there is simply a higher sense in the Caucasian community that if you do something stupid … then blank you. And this is, in fact, where the Caucasian community (and any others who might agree with us) are right – and where I need to go back to “Who’s the Fool?” This is one of those cases where the White community should be emulated – not resisted or resented. For it is still anti-stupid that will save many more Black lives than anti-racist.
Now, yes, I am not oblivious about the different histories of the White and Black communities vis-a-vis the police. But what difference does it, ultimately, make in the real world of actions having consequences? If you resist the police there are inevitable consequences, regardless of your skin color, that will have to happen – and that will force the matter to end badly. Until people simply accept this reality, and act accordingly, there is nothing that either a ‘White’ society or anyone else can do to save people from their own behavior.
And, again, I do not, do not, do not maintain that the police always get it right. But I do maintain that they do not get it racist. Being wrong – regarding the police – is factually correct on at least some occasions. But being racist is bullcrap.
For look again even at those cases where the police have gotten it wrong: in 99.99999999 …% of all such instances it always starts with an arrestee who does something stupid. Ergo, never do something stupid and nothing will ever happen in 99.99999999 …% of all instances. And it is as (arithmetically) simple as that.