THIS WEEK’S BUST of that dangerous threat to civic order, a scholarly historian.
Can you count the number of cops in the picture, boys and girls? Seven? Well, maybe. But it looks as if the champion donut-gobbler in the center may also be one of those kindly and helpful protectors of our peace and liberty. No uniform, but that does appear to be a badge on his jacket. And look — yellow police tape, too!
But of course, the crime totally justifies this show of governmental force. We must have an all-out war to end forever the deadly menace of jaywalkers!
Okay, sarcasm mode off.
The world heads for a collision course. On the one hand, the standard “hooray for the brutal cops” TV shows are to be joined this week by Armed and Famous, which puts tacky celebrities into uniform and sends them out to bust us lesser folk. (Although this may be the first time anyone’s made a TV series out of it, it’s not a new game. Shaquille O’Neal was recently caught lending entirely new meaning to the term “Shaq Attack”.) But on the other, at least a few commentators in the mainstream media are finally starting to notice and object to all the overblown brutality.
Unfortunately, you and I know that the paramilitary power ascendency is terrifyingly well entrenched and perfectly serves the purposes of its real masters. (Who, I’m sure you good blog readers hardly need the hint, aren’t you and me.) Anybody who thinks this military-style overkill began with 9-11 (as the above SF Chronicle commentator wishes to believe) hasn’t been watching. It’s had a long, long time to send down its roots. Anybody who thinks mere public indignation will end the overkill and the peacock-like displays of savagery doesn’t know the real purpose of paramilitary policing.
Besides, the people like it. And why not? It makes waaay more interesting TV than the two polite cops of Dragnet ever did. And always remember, it’s only being done to those other people. You know, the ones that are a different color or class or national origin from us and who therefore don’t count.
THINGS LIKE THIS DON’T HAPPEN IN FREE COUNTRIES. It doesn’t matter that the abuse of this respected scholar — for jaywalking! — was perpetrated by local cops. This “throw ‘em on the sidewalk and grind their face in the dirt” mentality is thoroughly entrenched in U.S. police culture.
Doesn’t matter whether such bullying is fostered by federal paramilitary training, violent-cop TV shows and movies, recruiting practices that draw cops from the dregs of society, the poison of an unjust justice system, or what. It just has to stop.
(Found at McBlog.)
This post also appears at