Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Swat Culture


Cops-on-blacks has been in the underground for generations. I don’t know how anybody can possibly be surprised by it. Didn’t you know? How could you not know?

Being white I got away with a lot in the sixties and seventies. I mean a lot. No black kid would be still alive. Then, still alive, I got too busy to be an asshole. I almost forgot. Cops-on-blacks was there, I remembered, but nobody talked about it. When black friends and fellow workers talked about "not getting into trouble" they didn't mean with the other guys, although that was in the air too, righteous platoons or families on patrol, but I knew and everybody else knew that they were talking about the cops. I don't remember ever asking them how you get in trouble with the cops. I always thought about white gangs who "protected" certain neighborhoods. I had been lucky with them too, as I went around performing my various youthful errata. They seemed to insinuate that "getting in trouble" involved the cops more than anyone else. And further, it didn't take much. But I was trying to raise a family at that time, trying to make do, and that idea was too complicated for me to wrap my paltry brain around. I knew something must be happening. There were too many black dudes in jail. I had worked in the factories with black folks since I was old enough to work, and it seemed too strange. There were the drugs, but the black workers didn't seem any more interested in that than the white workers. They would seem all right, then they'd go away, disappear. I knew of white folks who went to jail too, but it had bothered me as being disproportionate to the number of blacks, out of kilter somehow. The black folks I knew at work seemed God fearing and too nice to get busted, and yet where did they go? All of this went underground; it was too complicated for anybody to talk about. Besides, who would want to anyway: they were taking jobs, and they were too willing to work, they liked getting paid in order to buy things, but they would not organize in a serious way.

So that's the story I knew from personal experience in my small world. I knew that I didn't want anybody in my family to get into trouble that way or put themselves in tight situations, and naturally, I'd persist in trying to explain that to them. I knew that I wouldn't want to be a black person in some of the neighborhoods I lived in. But I needed non-debatable proof. I needed more than my small world. Well here it is. It's on the Internet. Any reason anybody shouldn't believe a video taken from a cell phone?

There are numerous places you can go if you feel lacking in proof. My personal "favorite"; is here. I have spent hours thinking about that one and of course the shooter did eventually get charged with first degree murder. I am afraid to find out if the shooter is in jail. But there are others, one involving a man in a wheelchair armed with a knife who was shot to death by cop. That incident involved a white man. I don't see suicide by cop as being an excuse for anything unless cops have become involved in the suicide assistance business without my knowledge. Time is always on the side of authority. It is the bad guys who are pressed for time. The big rush astonishes me and I am nauseated to think about it.

It is important to remember that law enforcement is not the only occupation that is dangerous.

Now that the proof is out there, and obvious, where is the data? How many people, for instance, have got it this way? The fact of the matter is that nobody knows. I have seen various numbers for 2015 up to a thousand. Numerous cops have been killed, too, as we know very well. The numbers for 2015 seem less debatable—124. Lack of overall data on this subject is disturbing to me. You don't have to sit around very long to think of more subjects involving cops-on-blacks where data is scarce.

At any rate, whatever the final tally, that's a lot of dead people. If it had been a disease, it would have been a plague. Too many guns; too much secrecy. The Internet is making it harder and harder to avoid thinking about it. Eventually it has to become an issue people want to talk about every day. But then maybe not. Denial is a minor miracle. Even when denial is almost impossible without looking like a moron you can still do it. You just end up looking like everybody else. You'd never think that 28 dead children and school teachers could be cleaned up and shrouded as rapidly as they were. The attention span of the Internet is short. Soon this matter that happened in Dallas will get watered down like all the others, and the next one will happen, and maybe without the overwhelming evidence of somebody making a movie of it on their iPhone, although that debate point is running thin. After all, isn't it bad luck that there are people who have the cool to pull out their cell phones and take pictures of this bullshit while it is happening. How do they do it? It must be bad luck. There might not ever be another time. How many people are there like that in the world? What happens to them afterwards?

My fear is that the authorities will tighten up. Well, so we see the bomb toting robots and the armored troop carriers, the tanks, the NG. Maybe shut off the damned Internet that makes it so hard to sweep these situations under the rug. That would be useful. I am just cynical enough to think that this possibility is the most likely. Man, the toolmaker, has built most excellent robots and guns and bombs to solve these types of problems. Swat culture is bound to become more and more scientific. Swat culture is tough, in fact, it has become an institution. There is hardly any defense against it because it is pragmatic and there is always an excuse for the pragmatic. The Internet, on the other hand, is not an institution; its existence is a lot more delicate than most people think.

Hard to imagine is a "national discussion". The cops will complain that they are unsupported. They will complain how tough it is "out there". They will complain about Obama. About time they should be reminded that there are firemen and electric company workers out there risking their lives too. If the kitchen is too hot then get out. Much easier to imagine is that they will "suck it up" and send in the bots!

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