Murder Gandhi Takes the Trolley

Kristin Devine

Kristin has humbly retired as Ordinary Times' friendly neighborhood political whipping girl to focus on culture and gender issues. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of

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33 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    Quit taking the murder pill, dudes.

    Or at least hold out for the million dollars, right?

    Good piece!Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    One of the analogies given me as a child is that the Conscience is like a spiked wheel in your brain.

    You do something wrong? It turns and OW! Guilt kicks in ! I shouldn’t have done that!

    As time goes on, though, if the wheel keeps turning, the spikes get dulled. Eventually, they’re bumps instead of spikes. Do something wrong? Mmmm. I guess I can see how that was bad.

    Then the bumps become nubs.

    Eventually the wheel just turns without any resistance whatsoever.Report

  3. Fish says:

    “…I suggest you get a Twitter account…”

    Counterpoint: Don’t.

    Good piece.Report

  4. Damon says:

    I had a similar convo with a then GF who said that we needed to do “whatever was necessary” to stop terrorism. I used the “school buss of kids and a bomb/torture the terrorist to get the info” scenario. We eventually got to the point that she said “whatever was necessary” to keep our (Americans) people safe. She didn’t like it when I asked why that rationale didn’t work with the Germans and the Jews in 1942. Nothing like walking your Jewish girlfriend into a position advocating the extermination of a whole group of people.Report

  5. Swami says:

    “What we have on our hands right now is a perfect storm brewing.”

    So true. The skies are indeed turning foul and millions of people are cheering on the storm, confident that only those they despise (and who really deserve it) will be blown away.

    BTW, I LOVE your blog. Best stuff I have read in months. You are a brilliant writer and social observer.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Swami says:

      “Any day now, patriots are gonna rise up and water the tree of liberty with civil war!”

      Also conservatives:
      “All this violence can end tomorrow if the government just sends in the troops and crushes the rebels. Easy Peasy!”Report

      • Swami in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        On the first part, I have been warning and fretting about conservatives responding in kind to the vacuum. When what was obviously going to happen does happen, please don’t imply I was rooting for it.

        Which gets to the second part. The violence does need to end, and there are established institutional methods within our society to do so. In our case. The police, or if necessary the police and National Guard, are expected to maintain peace and stop all rioting, looting, arson and violence. They are being prevented from doing so by emasculated politicians. This then creates the vacuum that the conservative counter-protestors will, unfortunately, fill.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Swami says:

          Yes, violence must come to an end.

          BLM is very much asking for this.Report

          • Swami in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            No, they are asking for an end to the one percent of violence caused by cops who are attempting to wrestle down people resisting arrest who happen to be black. They turn a blind eye to to the 99% of violence in their community and they are clearly inciting rioting and looting around their trumped up cause.

            When you take a legitimate cause like addressing police abuse and you cloak it in a make believe cause of tribal Resentment and victimology, it is a catalyst for violence.

            Civil war is becoming a very real possibility. We need police reform, instead we get fighting in the streets. Secretly, down deep, I suspect it is what you want though isn’t it?Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Swami says:

              Think of riots like a mutiny in the military.

              A Riot can’t happen with one or two hooligans or criminals. A mutiny can’t occur when there are just a few grumblings and malcontents in the unit.

              In order to have a riot or a mutiny the discipline and order have to break down severely, to where a critical mass of people lose faith in the leadership.

              It doesn’t matter what their claims are or even if their claims are valid.

              Let me repeat that-

              It doesn’t matter if their complaints are valid or not, the inquest afterward will note that somehow the leadership lost the faith of those they were supposed to lead.

              A riot means that somehow the political leadership has lost the faith of its citizens. Even if the citizens’ complaints are invalid, the faith is lost and must be restored.

              Crushing a riot won’t bring back the faith, and will only provoke more riots in future.

              Right now you’re waving your hand and saying that the complaints are invalid.
              I’m saying it doesn’t matter if they are or not.

              Millions of American citizens no longer trust their government or police.Report

              • Swami in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Wow! I always suspected you guys wanted a revolution, I just never thought One of you would say so.

                1) Create anger and resentment. It doesn’t matter the resentment is “valid or not”
                2) Encourage those you have riled up to riot and loot by not stopping them, not pressing charges, extensive white-washing of events, and with a subtle wink and nod.
                3) Watch society burn and pretend there won’t be a counterpunch by (equally?) evil forces who disagree with all your prescriptions.

                Progressive ideology laid bare. Absolute idiocy. You are basically peddling Kristin’s “murder pills.”

                We should start digging the mass graves now.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Swami says:

                So, what you’re saying is that if injustice is allowed to persist without meaningful ability for peaceful redress, the people will resort to violent measures?

                Food for thought, I guess.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Swami says:

                The thing about anger and resentment is that it’s really hard to fashion it out of whole cloth. There has to be simmering undercurrent, some coals that only need a bit of air and fuel to start burning.

                And with regard to policing, well, it’s not like any of this is new, it’s been going on in one form or another for close to 100 years.

                But let me put it to you this way, it sounds like you’d rather see cities burn than you would demand that the police subject themselves to reforms.Report

              • Swami in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                It really gets old the way you and Stillwater refuse to acknowledge others’ arguments. I can only guess this is a measure of your sincerity in argumentation and is representative of your (lack of) basic character.

                I have commented on the need for reform dozens of times. Either acknowledge it or STFU. Seriously.

                The issue here is that people (including you) are intentionally trying to stir up resentment and anger and riots by presenting police confrontations as systemic racism. Floyd and Blake are examples of people (Who happen to be black) resisting arrest, gone wrong. The take-always are first don’t resist arrest, and second, we need to look into reform on practices when people resist arrest to avoid things going wrong.

                The riots OTOH are specifically about racism (hence the BLM mantra). The narrative and the events don’t match. You guys would be just as honest arguing that Capricorn’s matter and publicizing every twelfth police interaction as proof that cops are “zodiacists” With a vendetta against people born in January.

                Police caused-deaths are not disproportionately directed at blacks any more than they are at Capricorns. The riots are based on a lie. A lie which you are fostering.

                Yes, Oscar, you are the bad guy in this story. The villain. One of the guys peddling murder pills.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Swami says:

                I have said, NUMEROUS times, that I find the race argument to be less than helpful. It’s a second order effect stemming from, A) the difficulty in holding police accountable, and B) the difficulty that poor communities have in fighting the bureaucracy (a necessary component if one hopes to hold agents of the state accountable).

                Mitigate A, and B mitigates automatically.

                Mitigate B, and A just finds a new community to impact.

                The fact that BLM wants it to be about race doesn’t make race the root issue. It does, however, hit a nerve, so to speak, and in doing so, it gets the ball rolling. It’s not rolling in exactly the direction I want, but it’s kinda moving in the right direction.

                The question for you, are you simply going to stand in front of the ball and try to stop it, or are you going to try to keep it moving while nudging it in the correct direction?

                Because your rhetoric seems to be more about stopping it, then it does about redirection.Report

              • Swami in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                OK. That was a very good comment. Thank you.

                My issue has been since day one that it is a “misframing” of the issue. By framing it as a race issue, it becomes insoluble and generates animosity and class/race conflict in society. It generates not just heat on the issue, but unbridled hate and animosity within society. And I suspect that is the goal. I always have.

                There is no indication that Floyd and Blake are race issues. They are potential police abuse issues which happened to occur to black males.

                If every time a questionable (or unacceptable) example of police conduct occurs to a black man, people feel empowered to riot, loot, burn and assault people, and mayors and police chiefs step aside and wink and nod at the shenanigans, then we are on the path to complete civil decay. There is no favorable end game, as sooner or later some fuzzy video will surface which can be interpreted as police abuse, even if it isn’t. Rinse and repeat.

                The genie is now out of the bottle and the situation is getting totally out of control. Instead of protesting peacefully around much needed accountability, we see the collapse of the rule of law, and athletes and politicians telling young people that they are not safe going outside because the police are going to target them. As a grandfather, I really resent having to undo this kind of propaganda. It is not healthy for young men.

                Peddling racial animosity is a type of social crime which is every bit as despicable as racism itself. And that is what the BLM narrative is doing.

                I have no desire to stop police reform. But honestly I don’t see any police reform arising from the burning or looting of our cities. And I seriously doubt that the BLM movement is much more than a catchy meme wrapped around some very destructive and opportunist revolutionaries.

                We are being manipulated.

                Sorry for the rant.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Swami says:

                Manipulated? Sure, a little bit. The media does like to focus on the racial aspect because it confirms their priors.

                But you give the media too much credit.

                The racial issue stems directly from the fact that communities of color are generally over-policed. Why this is the case isn’t really relevant if the majority of the community currently feels like the police are constantly up in their business. When a community is feeling as if they are constantly under the heel of the police, then every over-stepping of the police has the potential to flare up into a protest or riot.

                Now we add to that the media putting every potential flare up on blast*, and you get what we have today.

                In contrast, police recently shot an autistic teen. Despite a lot of reporting on this, there is no protest or riot because white communities are not feeling pressure from police, and neither do the parents of autistic children feel such pressure**.

                *This is done partly because it confirms their priors, but media is a business, and one that is desperate for income. Protests and riots keep people glued to the media, which means advertising dollars flow in. I bet if you looked at how much media is taking in during riot coverage, you’ll see rates going up, and income flowing. I could be wrong, but every riot is good for the bottom line. Right now, the media doesn’t even need to manipulate anyone, all they need to do is post evidence of police violence against a POC, and chances are good they’ll get a good protest or riot story.

                **PS Nobody should EVER call the police for help with dealing with a person who has mental issues, or physiological issues that can impact mental health (such as diabetes). If you must call 911, request an ambulance. EMTs are more appropriately trained for such things, and if they need the police, they can call them.Report

              • Swami in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Sorry, I missed this comment.

                Your “fact” that black communities are “overpoliced” is no such thing. How can one define the communities with the most crime as the most overpoliced?

                Seems the better argument is that they are underpoliced. Certainly any mayor, governor or police chief would logically put her policing resources into where the crime is. Indeed, if they did not, they probably are not qualified for the job.

                This also loops back to our prior argument about how the current misframing of the situation will lead to higher crime rates, higher murder rates and more dead black people (IOW black lives really must not matter). If the response of this initiative is as you hope less policing where most needed, then the entire thing backfires.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Swami says:

                I guess it depends on how you view the purpose of police. Is their job to respond to and investigate crime? Or is their job to make arrests and help secure convictions?

                Perhaps I should ask, have you heard of the book, “Three Felonies a Day?” Do you agree with it’s premise that there are so many laws that each of us is likely committing 3 felonies a day, whether we know it or not?

                I’ll follow that up with the fact (& this is a fact) that PDs judge their value and effectiveness based upon how many arrests they make and convictions they help secure. Those metrics are how they sell themselves and their budgets to the communities they operate in.

                Now if I was a department, and I needed metrics to show that my staff are ‘fighting crime’, I’d make sure my officers spend the most time looking for crime to fight in the neighborhoods where people are least likely to be able to afford good lawyers and have political connections.

                But there is an easy way to check. Just pull up arrest stats and look at the breakdowns. How many arrests are for actual violent crime? How many for property crime (burglary, theft, vandalizing)? How many for drug possession or low level dealing? How many for resisting arrest or equivalent (crimes that are often your word against the cop). Etc. Break it out, and overlay it on a map of the city. Hell, go further and look at reported crimes versus arrests.

                I’m betting what you’ll see is that the police make a lot of arrests in certain communities for things that were unreported, and which are very low level stuff that conforms to broken windows theories.

                And before you talk about those communities having more violence, remember that we get back to cycles. If you have the police all up in a place, making arrests, getting convictions, and the population starts being unable to find legitimate work because of that, they will take illegitimate work, and that kind of work tends to involve violence.Report

              • Swami in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Sometimes it is hard to imagine anyone on the planet has such an ability to weave BS in such a way as to convince themselves that night is day.

                So your narrative is that the high crime rates in high crime neighborhoods is caused by overzealous cops?

                Okey dokey, Smokey.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Swami says:

                No, what I am saying is that it’s a self perpetuating cycle because the various incentives align nicely.

                Breaking that cycle requires the police to make an effort to not be looking for the low level crap just to have an excuse to make an arrest. I mean, wasn’t that the whole point of Community Oriented Policing, that the police would engage with the same community for a long time, and would be rewarded for keeping the peace, not for simply keeping the arrest metrics up.

                Alternatively, the cycle can be broken by evacuating the neighborhood and dispersing the population elsewhere (and I do mean dispersing, as in very few people land in the same geographic area). But that second option tends to have little public support.Report

      • I love it on this site when someone comes along and gives a better example of what I’m saying than I could ever do myself! Thanks!Report

    • Kristin Devine in reply to Swami says:

      Thank you so much Swami!!! Really appreciate your time spend reading my blather!Report

  1. October 2, 2020

    […] overt acts of violence. And they’re made this way because sometime in the past, when we were lemurs living in the trees, the lemurs who were greedy and self-interested were the ones who survived. Since we all came from […]Report