Sunday, January 4, 2015

I Am Pretty Nervous

I have never liked cops.

When I was about four years old my mother was double parking, waiting to pick up my father from work.

A cop came up and was quite abusive to her.

One of my earliest memories is that of the red faced, big bellied blue presence just on the other side of the driver’s side window of the car yelling and screaming at my mother.

That was not an auspicious beginning.

Double parking being among the most heinous of crimes, if I had been a bit older I would probably have understood why the cop had needed to act that way.

But I was so young my mother was still the center of my universe and anyone yelling at her naturally fell into the category of being an enemy.

Later, when I was about ten or eleven I realized that, from my viewpoint, cops were the guardians of the rich.

And they were the controllers of the poor (in support of their defense-of-the-rich mission).

That was a refinement to the blue-bellied beginning.

Later still I realized that there were a bunch of other people – I had heard the term middle class, and had assumed that that must be me – who were left out of the mission of the police: “guardians/controllers”, and who (the middle class) were therefore an anomaly from the viewpoint of the cops, and who, therefore, from their (the cops) viewpoint, were a threat to be dealt with.

But the middle class needed to be dealt with off the record.

I should point out that I have no idea what the middle class might be if it indeed exists or ever did exist; and if it does or did ever exist, as I have gotten older, I have modified my viewpoint to be that cops just kill anybody that they can get away with killing and bide their time with the rest – except for the rich. 

They are the hired pigs of the rich.

Defending the rich is their mission.

And they do a lapdog job of performing it.

So I have  always been careful around cops.

But I have never felt other than queasy when I have been around that sort of slime.

There has been nothing in my subsequent lifetime to change my viewpoint.

I remember it from an early age and carry it with me today.

On the other hand, I can see many things that reinforce that viewpoint.

Cops killing unarmed young black men comes to mind.

Or the New York Police Department – employees all, and therefore subject to what the elected executive believes to be the right thing to do - being in open rebellion against that elected executive also pops into my thoughts.

We need to keep this in mind: these guys – cops - are paramilitary thugs. 

We need to keep that in our minds.

And we need not to just accept that what they do is all right.

We need to keep that in our minds.

And we need to drop the farce that what they do is laudable.

And we need to drop the changing of the subject from the cops’ deep culpability in murders of unarmed young men to the “tragedy” of a couple of them getting gunned down.

And we need to refuse to join them in their farcical frenzy of lashing out at “all those black people who are the root cause of the tragedy”.

And we need to support a mayor who believes that killing black people indiscriminately is a bad thing.

And we need to support a mayor who believes that people have a right to dare to oppose the cops’ belief that they have a carte blanche to kill.

I am sure that these are unpopular viewpoints.

But then, I guess being “safe” is better that being “free”.

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