23 April 2015

Dreamer's World April 23 2015 - Resisting Injustice

     There is so much going on right now that really impacts me in a deep way. I am saddened and stunned by the ongoing problem of Police Brutality that is sweeping across the country like a plague. I am not directly affected by these tragedies, but it does not lessen my hurt that I feel when I hear about them.
     I know that part of this has to do with who I am and with something that others might find not that reliable. I am a cusp, born on January 20th. When I see my astrological profile there is always something there that speaks about my strong sense of social justice. I simply cannot stand to see others being subjected to abuse and not speak up. It is something that appeals to my inner being, so to speak.
     I was brought up in a relatively small town in Kentucky and because I am white, I was taught to respect the police. Not to TRUST them, but to respect them. My parents were under no illusions about giving the police carte blanche in terms of motives. I was taught to never answer anything but a direct question if I ever had trouble with a law enforcement officer, and to keep my answers to a short “yes or no” as much as possible. Later in life I found that my African-American friends had been taught the same thing by their parents, so it seemed rather normal to me at the time.
     As I grew up, there was never any trouble with the local police that I was aware of, but I never forgot what I had been taught. I had a cousin  who worked as a police officer and I remember asking my parents about his job because he always seemed on edge around his own family, as well as around extended family like myself. My parents told me that this was a result of being a police officer. They explained to me that I had to see the bigger picture. I had to realize that if being a police officer in a small town like ours could adversely affect someone, that the problem would only be worse when I ventured out into the larger world. My parents were absolutely right in this assessment.
     When I went away to college at the University of Kentucky, I found myself in a much larger city. The behavior of the pp;ice seemed to be the same at first. I soon realized that because I was just a student,the police there perceived me as being a different class of citizen. I would be more suspected of having done something wrong because I wasnt local. This was my first experience at being perceived as an object by the police rather than as a person. Once again, my African-American friends and I felt the same way. I do NOT mean to say that I felt the sting gf racism as most of them did, only that we perceived the police as being less than trustworthy.
     Once again, I return to the astrological aspect of my life. Judging from my profile, I have a problem with accepting authority without proof of their intention. That is based on behavior rather than respect for a title. I realize that this makes me a somewhat difficult person when it comes to authority, my time in the Navy is proof of that, but I just cannot accept someone having control over me without them demonstrating their ability to handle such an important position in a fair and honest manner. Respect has to be earned, it cannot be given before that, as far as I am concerned.
     Fast forward to now. We have police that are out of control all over the country. The only obvious problems that can be identified are all very troubling. We either have the issue of selecting people for law enforcement who are basically unfit for those positions. This explanation fits the facts and also fills in the problem rather nicely. The trouble with this blanket explanation is that it does not dive deeply enough to uncover exactly WHY these people are unfit. Their behavior demonstrates not only dangerous instability and lack of self-control, it also becomes apparent that these flaws are too often directed at minorities. This indicates a tendency of law enforcement to hire people who harbor racist tendencies and views.
     The second explanation is that the current problem of police brutality is planned. Most RWNJ politicians play on peoples fear of others and are already well-known for their own racism. When they gain control of local governments, it makes perfect sense that they would hire those who share their views and put in place policies that would make the police less accountable to the community at large, particularly the minority community. This possible explanation fits rather nicely with several RWNJ points. Treating minorities as criminals and arresting them and charging them disproportionately help to achieve a goal of restricting the franchise of minorities, who seldom vote for republican or RWNJ candidates. There are numerous attempts by RWNJ politicians across the country to purge voter registration rolls, and those are all directed at minorities. It seems to be a perfect match for them to automatically eliminate minority voters by having them classified as criminals.
     The third explanation ties in with the first two. It is up to each of us to determine if they are all in fact one big problem, I tend to think so. The police are being directed to attack minority communities in order to placate the racists that we have mistakenly elected to office at the local level around the country. This creates a false sense of danger to the white populace, and an implicit understanding that “something has to be done”, and “desperate times call for desperate measures” mentality. This also covers the RWNJ refusal to believe that there is a problem because "if they would do what the police tell them to, then none of this would ever happen". This is the true lack of acknowledgement of the problem, and is typical of RWNJ refusal to accept evidence and FACTS about anything that they disagree with.
    A rather sinister aspect to all of this is the reaction, or lack thereof, from the media. Unless things turn violent, the media will NOT truly cover these tragedies that happen every day. Like shootings, it now takes something truly spectacular for them to take notice. The media has bent over backwards to remove the blame from the police for each of these tragedies. This smells like complicity, if not outright cooperation, between the police and the media to me.
    I could be totally wrong about all of this. I only say that these explanations fit the pattern that we see. The outlook if any of these explanations are correct is disturbing. For my own perspective, I can honestly say that I trust the police less now than I ever have. The color of my skin offers some protection, but I cannot accept that protection and forget about those who are the victims of police brutality on an everyday basis. We are all in this together, and to ignore the problem simply because it does not immediately apply to me is a coward's way to avoid the real problems mentioned above. I am NOT a coward, and I stand with those who are resisting this epidemic of police brutality. Where do you stand on this?