Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Death Eaters

The admittedly horrific story about the Minnesota dentist who hired guys to help him kill a lion is getting a lot of play.  People are outraged and upset.  Even most hunters think this guy is a tool.

Meanwhile, we have yet another - sweet Jesus, yet another - police killing of a black man.  This time by a University of Cincinnati cop who killed a man for the crime of not having a license on the front of his car.  (As I consider the case of Sandra Bland, we have to allow for the fact that she did kill herself.  But she killed herself because of the situation she was put in by a bullshit arrest.  Whether the cops killed her or the situation drove her to kill herself, she's dead because the arresting officer was a fucking punk.)

Anyway, I made the fatal mistake of wading into a Yahoo comment thread about the killing of Samuel DuBose.  Two things stuck out to me.

A few people said that they always kiss a cop's ass.  I admit that I do this, too.  I got out of a ridiculous speeding ticket (60 in a 55) by rolling over on my back and peeing on my belly (metaphorically speaking).

The others basically said that DuBose was a criminal - he did have a bunch of other arrests - and so, whatever, it's all good.  "Political correctness" is now apparently the same as prosecuting cops for shooting non-violent offenders in the head.

The broader point is this: we live in a country soaking in fear.  White cops fear black people.  And so they are quicker to draw, quicker to shoot, when the person in front of them is black.  (see Rice, Tamir) and other whites are quick to explain away clear acts of extra-judicial killings (see Garner, Eric).

Meanwhile, actual crime rates are falling. But if you watch the news - especially the local news - you would never believe that.

Fear makes you dumb and the media make you afraid.

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