Everything in Baltimore Is All Totally the Police’s Fault, Not Mine
Let’s jump into the deep end right off the bat, and just get right down to the brass tacks and call a spade a spade — by which I am totally referring to a gardening tool no matter what you thought, and let’s be honest, if you thought otherwise then who’s the real racist here — and cop to what we all know is the truth that no one but we fine few will dare speak out loud.
Everything that’s happening in Baltimore last night, last week, right now? Everything? It’s all the fault of the police. All of it.
C’mon. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t pretend that you don’t.
It’s clear that our so-called “protectors” have completely and totally “gone rogue,” which is the phrase we use when we talk about cops who defy our collective wishes and beat and unnecessarily kill suspects without due process… unless they’re going after the real bad guys like all those cops guys like Clint Eastwood and Liam Neeson play, in which case I think we have to realize they’re basically the last line of defense against the dangerous street thugs that those paper-pushers over at City Hall are just letting back out onto our streets on technicalities. But aside from those hero-cops, I think we all know I’m right.
In the past when these kinds of incidents have occurred, we’ve too often shamefully looked the other way. But this week we saw the violence unfolding in Baltimore in such a way that we could simply no longer ignore it. In the past all we had to inform us about what was going on in black neighborhoods was news reports and live coverage and government statistics and countless books and documentaries and scholarly academic works and just going to one and talking to people; we didn’t have the miracle of messages that come less than 140 characters. Call me a wide-eyed dreamer if you want, but I say there is simply no force in the world that can stand up to We The People when we’ve had the truth laid out before our eyes in short bursts that appear randomly between snarky remarks about the Lena Dunham and declarations that if the Kardashians can get behind a person who is transgender then, damnit, we can too. And so now, finally, swathed in the comfort of our armies of hashtags we can finally admit that the fault of everything that is happening in Baltimore lies absolutely, entirely, and without reservation with the police and in no way at all with us.
Man, it feels good to get that off our chest!
Still, fellow Warriors of Social Justice, we need to be aware that just saying it’s all the police’s fault isn’t enough. If we want change — really, really want really, real change — we need to go that extra step and do what the great champions of racial justice such as Greg Gutfeild and Geraldo Rivera have done in the past: make absolutely sure that we ourselves are not held up to even the tiniest shred of scrutiny or self-reflection.
And that’s going to require a whole lot of blaming everything on the police.
For example, there is the rather disquieting fact that — uncomfortable as it makes us feel to admit it — the police we keep reading about on The Raw Story all the time aren’t actually all that rogue.
In fact, assuming you’re not African American (and if you are, does it really matter to we white people what your opinion is?) polls pretty consistently show that despite what we might tweet during commercial breaks for NCIS: Some Random City, we actually like the cruel way the police are treating suspects — especially suspects who are people of color.
Last December, in fact, in the immediate wake of the fatal shooting of Rumain Brisbon and a jury clearing the police in their choking Eric Garner to death, Gallup showed that white Americans overwhelmingly approved of the police in general, and more specifically how they treated African Americans. Indeed, the numbers there suggest that last year’s coverage of cops killing unarmed blacks might have actually increased the confidence we whites have in them. Earlier this month we doubled down, and 70% of us let police commanders throughout the country know that we’re really OK with them hitting people.
In the wake of the tragedy and subsequent media circus that was Ferguson, we like to think that we as a nation were horrified at the killing of Michael Brown. This is largely a fiction, at least as far as we caucasians go. In August the Pew Research Center conducted a poll and found that only a third of us found Brown’s outrageously senseless slaying by the police was “going too far.” And as I’ve noted far too many times on these very pages, we actually like our justice system more when we’re convinced it treats blacks unfairly.
The word “thug” is important. When we use it, we do so in a way that communicates our thoughts not just about those who committed crimes but against the entire culture of black people, who we all know have issues with morality because they don’t have fathers. And if it turns out they do have fathers, like most of the unarmed victims of police we keep reading about, then that’s not really the point — I mean, have you heard the music these people listen to?
Meanwhile, if you comb the media coverage of this story of a white man murdering an unarmed black child for playing music too loud in a car, you will see the that the only time the word “thug” was used was, somewhat ironically, in a quote that described the victim.
As John Oliver demonstrated this past February, those in the justice system who are elected to office don’t hide their track records of the arguably abusive treatment of the those that run afoul of law enforcement — they run their entire campaigns on them. In other words, these people — the ones who are in charge of everyone those whose fault everything is — didn’t magically appear out of the ether while we were sleeping. We put them there, and we did so largely because they promised to do exactly what we all now agree they are totally entirely at fault for having done.
The same people who so approve of the way police respond to suspects who are people of color do so knowing that this 12-year old boy was shot for holding a toy gun… while treating these people as either heroes or funny curios, depending on your political stripes.
Every time a jury or grand jury comes back with a not-guilty verdict on some cop, vigilante, or other government official that kills, injures, unjustly convicts, restricts, redlines, detains, or illegally searches a person of color, or otherwise behaves in any other way toward a person of color that we don’t feel all that comfortable admitting that we feel really, really comfortable with, we shrug our collective shoulders and say, “well, we’re a nation of laws, and the law says X” — and then we can’t be bothered to change those same laws.
Obviously, though, none of that is important.
All that is important is this: It’s the police’s fault. All of it. In the shadows cast by the CVS flames that flicker on our big screen TV’s as we flip through the cable news channels, the collective problem of racism in the country remains, as always, the fault of that one group of people over there that isn’t us.
That’s why I’m taking a stand, right here and right now, to do something. In fact, I’m preparing to send out a tweet saying how much the Baltimore police suck as we speak.
Of course, before I can send that tweet out I need to post a few other tweets snarking about the plot holes in last night’s Agents of SHEILD. If I wait too long on those, they just won’t be that urgent any more.
 Ha! Get it?
[Picture: Screen shot of Sudden Impact clip on YouTube. Sudden Impact is part of the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry franchise, which you totally know you like.]