Archives for posts with tag: garner

Hate to say it, but far too many of us don’t seem to realize how little we know about being a person of color (POC) in America. You can tell it from the things that both well-meaning and malicious people are saying. Here is one example of the latter:

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This is from an a**hole cop who is mocking the death of Mr. Garner, a POC who was choked to death by a white policeman in New York.  That is willful, vindictive, hateful ignorance, and it is all too common: here is another example.

This doesn’t mean that all white people are such evil motherf***ers: this writer is fully aware of his ignorance. Just because one has lived and worked among, say, Black and Hispanic friends and co-workers does not mean one fully appreciates their experiences, any more than a father fully understands what a mother goes through when she gives birth to their child.

Participation in an event does not necessarily mean equivalent understanding. Mrs. Blunt and Cranky doesn’t understand what a coronary bypass feels like, any more than your humble correspondent groks her labor pains. Some things you have to feel for yourself to fully grasp.

So here is the challenge to all of us white folks: be aware of our ignorance. It will make us look smarter. And if we listen to our brothers and sisters who are people of color, we might even become smarter.

Can’t hurt, and it just might help.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Mr. Blunt and Cranky has always followed a two-career path: Music and/or the humble Microchip. One or both of the two have helped keep body and soul together since the 1970’s, and although the musical side is preferred from the standpoint of personal satisfaction, the IT Biz has most often provided the bulk of the family income. C’est le guerre. And as you’d expect, some of those manifold IT gigs have been more rewarding than others.

One of the best of those IT gigs has been working for Law Enforcement (yeah, I am sometimes surprised by that, too). On the first day on the job, the marching orders were given, and were simple: “Make sure the right people (guilty ones) go to jail, and the wrong people (innocent ones) don’t go to jail”. Said orders coming from a 30+ – year veteran cop who started off as a patrolman and worked his way up. And the criteria for who belonged in jail was simple: evidence and a conviction. A good attitude, and something an IT geek can help with.

In the course of that employ, a LOT of cops have been met and worked with. Ditto prosectors. Ditto-ditto other types of lawyers and support personnel, the vast majority of whom are on board with those same marching orders. Good cops, you’d call them.

A fair few crap cops have also been met, and they have provided some of the best opportunities to effect change. You see, if we improve the quality of, say DNA analysis, lab analysis, cameras and reporting software, it becomes harder for rogue cops to get away with their fascist, abusive, un-American bulls***. Because of efforts by this writer and thousands of others in and out of IT, many innocent people have been freed and lots of guilty motherf***ers (including some bad cops and their bosses)have been jailed.

It’s a nice warm fuzzy, sure, but the more important reward for your humble correspondent has been seeing how many good, honest, justice-loving people there are in Law Enforcement at local, State and Federal levels. From the blanket 70’s – era labeling of “Pigs” this and “Pigs” that, living in the belly of the beast has been a revelatory experience, one that showed that unique individuals exist everywhere, even in groups we love to heave stereotypes at.

Bad cops suck, and they need to be treated as the corrupt/disrespectful/murdering/lying filth that they are. Lock the f***ers up and throw away the key. Both because they deserve censure and punishment, and because of the pain they cause to good cops, and the damage they cause to the fabric of society.

Some good cops out bad cops, and get punished for doing the right thing. (Serpico is but one example of many.) Other good cops try to avoid bad cops, or even cover for them, to save their own skins or out of a misguided sense of loyalty. Some good cops quit in disgust at the way bad cops have perverted the institutions of justice. All of these are tragedies that hurt us all, by damaging the rule of law that our nation was founded upon. And all of them are the fault of bad cops.

Today in America, there are a lot of stories about bad cops in the media. Other bad cops and numbnuts among Right-Wing, Teavangelical, “Republicans” are trying to shut the discussion down before we can clean up the mess and sweep out the garbage from the Law Enforcement community (a cleanup that is already long overdue).

Some on the Left and Right Wingtips would like you believe that all cops are bad. This is also bulls***. There are good and bad people in blue uniforms, like there are in every occupation. The good need rewarded and the bad need spanked. It does no good to punish the innocent along with the guilty: all it does is encourage lawless behavior.

Remember those marching orders? The bad cops (guilty ones) need punished, and the good cops (innocent ones) need to not be punished. Hammer the bad cops and praise the good cops. That, friends is true justice: the same justice for the police as for the rest of us.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Now it’s the Cleveland PD’s chance to display some truly epic ignorance and stupidity:

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins¬†took the field Sunday in a shirt reading “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford III”¬†in a gesture to bring light to officer-involved shootings in Ohio that have happened in the last three months. Now Cleveland Police Patrolman Union President Jeff Follmer is demanding an apology from the Browns for Hawkins’ actions on Sunday.
He said,”It’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology.”

Not that it is confined to Cleveland: the same kind of cluelessness has been on display in St. Louis, and other cities across the country, large and small. Cops don’t get it. They truly do not understand.

This is because of a long process of “othering” that has gone on for decades. Politicians and pundits have sown the seeds of mistrust between civilians and law enforcement, to the extent that we not only mistrust each other, but we are preparing to be attacked at any moment. (One example: more people wanting to carry concealed weapons, and more cops opposing CCW.) It’s now at the point where far too many people in Law Enforcement feel that anyone who isn’t a cop is a potentially deadly enemy, and they act on that mindset.

On Edit: Here is another example.

The solution is to change the way we see each other. In spite of the media, in spite of regressive jackasses on all sides, people of good will can and must re-establish communication and re-develop mutual respect. There are a lot of good cops out there, and we can start with them. Weed out the “Kill them all” a**holes and get down to business with the real professionals who actually want to protect and to serve.

But this ain’t gonna happen until the police holster their weapons, close their mouths, and open their ears. From the newest rookie patrolman, through the chiefs and up to the District Attorneys, Law Enforcement needs to understand that we have good reason to fear and mistrust them. And that cannot continue to be the case.

Get a clue, cops. Please.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky