Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for gin and tacos. A taste:
I can't say it surprised me that people defended the cop. There are always people who will defend the cop. Believe it or not, I was taken aback by just how stupid their arguments were even though such things should not surprise me anymore. Most of all, though, it's amazing the extent to which these people who believe that government is pure evil will argue that A) the role of the citizen relative to the police is one of absolute, unquestioning obedience, B) the police are to be taken at their word at all times, and C) whatever type and amount of force the police choose to use is inherently right ...

Maintaining this curious set of beliefs depends on their equally curious understanding of what exactly the police are for. To the average conservative – old white people, suburbanites, the wealthy, moral traditionalists, etc. – the police are a personal valet service charged with protecting them from the brown people, the poor, the homeless, and the punk kids with their boom-boom music and bouncing cars. The rights of those groups are not an issue, you see, because they have no rights. Only "good, hard working Americans" truly have rights, and others forfeir their rights by their actions. If the police ask you to move from the sidewalk and you don't, then you no longer have any rights. They can do whatever they want and it's your own fault.

Needless to say, I've come across defenses of what the cops did to protestors on the UC campuses. (Naturally, from the very same sort of people who were protestors in their youth!) I'm thankful that when I joke about those people here, my students have a hard time believing that they're real (and also thankful that they don't get all worked up when I set Williams' Jim and the Indians example in the states).

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