Monday, July 18, 2016

Food for Thought

Just in the last few weeks, we've had the shootings in Orlando, the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, then the shootings of 11 Dallas police officers, then a truck attack killing 86 people in Nice, France then Turkey had a failed military coup.  Now there has been 3 police officers killed in Baton Rouge. Let's not forget Britain pulling out of the EU and the subsequent resignation of the Prime Minister and the election of a new one (Theresa May).

How quickly our minds have faded from Hillary's "careless handling" of classified materials.  Americans should really still be talking about Orlando or the state of race leading to the violent conflicts with police but the headlines pop and minds wonder to the next catastrophe.

We may hardly have time to remember that before next week's Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland where Mr. Trump and now Mr. Pence (they of the poorly designed campaign logo) will accept the party's nomination as their candidate for President.  Assuming the Republicans don't decide to add more chaos to the world by demanding

For once, I'm not entirely positive what all of these various things may mean other than they all serve to keep the public uneasy.  Despite all of our advances in medicine, food and technology the headlines can make you feel like we are back in the days of the Wild West where random violence can negate all of these comforts in the blink of an eye.

One of the things that is going to get ignored is the lessons France has been teaching us.  A society of multi-culturism does not guarantee that all cultures feel respected.  A society where private ownership of firearms is uncommon does not guarantee a society free from violence.  A society of tolerance does not mean intolerance doesn't exist.  Call it political correctness.

The US has increasingly become more liberal in recent years and that should not be the dirty word that conservatives make it out to be.  We now have civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, protections for children, animal rights, etc.  But the momentum has swung so far to the left as to become unwieldy.  We now have college students, once the bastions of rebellion, huddling in safe rooms to avoid "hurtful words or speech".  WTF?

The term for this new generation in need of "protection from hurtful thoughts" is "snowflake".  Snowflakes seek to avoid any and all thoughts and words that are contrary to their beliefs.  Earlier generations would have gladly sought out those with different beliefs in an attempt to convince them of the error of their ways, or at least engage in some passionate debate with the opposition and let them know there are those that won't be quiet!

Snowflakes and those that seek to protect them are creating more harm then they realize.  But silencing any and all opposition (read "hurtful thoughts and speech), the existence of pain for the snowflakes didn't go away…there were just not allowed to express themselves.  When you think of it that way, you see that what is created is the perfect environment not to protect delicate sensibilities but a breeding ground for frustrations, anger and rage.

Eventually, someone who has had to keep their opinions to themselves explodes and drives a truck through a crowd.  I'm not advocating in any way allowing hate to fester but misguided attempts to protect snowflakes empires groups like ISIS to find the frustrated and disenfranchise and turn them into weapons.

It is also a lot more difficult in a society of political correctness to notice aberrated behaviors until after they act out.  France is experience that now, a culture of political correctness and protectiveness of snowflakes and the terrorists are finding a rich recruitment base.

Political correctness masks the fact few are truly as tolerant as they pretend.  People are still racist, bigoted, chauvinists, xenophobes, and homophobes but political correctness likes to pretend everyone is ok with everyone.  The Pollyanna PC world is ill-prepares people for harshness of reality.  It also creates a perfect environment for loners who feel isolated due to their incorrect, non-PC views to simmer and seethe beyond the purview of the rest PC land until it is too late.

Mr. Obama reaches out to Mr. Erdogan which should mean the Turkish president is a good guy.  Yet Mr. Erdogan's military staged a coup (which you tend to only do with tyrants), which failed, and now Mr. Erdogan is now going about executing any and all who participated.  In the PC world, we aren't allowed to scratch our heads and ask, "WTF was Mr. Obama thinking?!"

The same PC world is what created the need for Black Lives Matter but not for the reason you think.  Going back to Bill Clinton's time in office, the it what was PC to get tough on crime.  Clinton obliged but passing mandatory sentencing and making extensive use of RICO to leverage asset forfeiture against drug dealers and seize all of their belongings (which drug task forces then sold off at auction to fund their operations).

Two things changed as a result, police departments now looked for the drug dealers as a means to subsidize their departments.  This meant going into crack houses which were heavily armed necessitating the second change, police became militarized.

The poorest neighborhoods (read black and Latino) are the ones easiest to find drug dealers.  Heavily armed police invading (and yes, if you look dispassionately at the tactics used that is exactly what is going on) black neighborhoods using military style tactics.  There was little to no outreach to involve the black communities and the police, regardless of race, became desensitized to their own methods.  Everyone was doing drugs and therefore their tactics became justified as a means of protecting themselves.  Higher ups only what to see the funding streams from asset forfeiture continue.

White neighborhoods were spared, not because of the lack of criminal activity or even racial profiling.  The reason was simple, wealthy neighborhoods are not going to tolerate police raids and shootings in their neighborhoods.  And city hall knows it so the police follow the path of least resistance.

Black Lives Matter arose out of this 20 plus year cycle of asset forfeiture, mandatory sentencing and the resulting militarization of the police.  What the movement was trying to call attention to was not that somehow black lives matter more than others but rather the number of times black suspects die at the hands of the police.  The message got garbled by the media and the PC world into all Black Lives Matter which of course caused everyone to point out that most blacks still die at the hands of other black people.

But it doesn't change the siege that has been going on in the black communities at the hands of law enforcement.  The change started by Clinton in how drug crimes are charged and prosecuted has created a population explosion in our prisons with the vast majority being black.  Cops, without even realizing it, become conditioned to immediately seeing a black person as a suspect.  When confronted with someone you perceive as a "dangerous suspect" your demeanor changes.  Blacks who see cops not as peace officers but as oppressors, react differently as well.

This is what Black Lives Matter was trying to originally say but alas, they too got caught in the media machine (often ironically referred to as "the beast) and now sound like an incoherent mess.

Mr. Obama claims justice will be served and the culprit of the Baton Rouge police shootings yet he has said noting about addressing the issues between the police and black communities.  No more than he has addressed how his actions (on inactions) have created ISIS.

I spent a lot of time and written a lot words on what may seem to be two very divergent topics to point this out.  We had better learn to address our own issues between the police and African American communities for if we don't, ISIS (or some other group) will use this very rich recruiting ground for against (if they haven't started already).  And the police are a very popular target right now.  If the police are too busy going into a hunker down mode, who exactly is left to patrol the streets?

No comments: