“Our better angels”

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  • Edward

    Well, there is an interesting viewpoint, but it is based upon an assumption:
    “But there are too many numerous incidents to think there is not a problem.”

    What if the problem is not one of assuming that blacks are guilty unless proved innocent, what if the problem is the attitude that is exemplified by the reaction in Ferguson and other cities?

    It is clear that entire communities, especially those that violently demonstrated last night, and many that have violently demonstrated in other similar occasions, have the very attitude that was expressed during last night’s demonstrations and riots: contempt for authority, especially police authority (but also such groups as teachers, employers, and entrepreneurs, which is why they keep targeting businesses for their wrath). To them, to succeed in America is to give in to “the man,” thus the community is condemned to poverty and failure.

    With an attitude like that, then every traffic stop is considered baseless and is talked about as such (even by successful people, for example the Attorney General). This type of contempt, taught to the children from an early age, results in bad behavior being accepted by people’s friends and families, so robbing and roughing up a shopkeeper is not only done, but is not condemned by the community — the community sees nothing wrong with it, and continues to demonstrate and riot on behalf of the violent thief.

    Thus, it is not the case that society is out to get them, but it is their own attitude (the attitude that they carefully teach their children and reinforce in each other), not the attitude of the police or other authorities, that results in higher crime rate statistics (an attitude that they are owed something, so they will just take it from somebody who has it, such as a shopkeeper’s cigars), or even resulting in a young man charging toward police officers or a 12-year old boy (in Cleveland) pulling a toy gun out of his pants when confronted by armed police.

    By the standard that if I get pulled over by the police without being charged with a crime, well then, they are out to get *me,* too.

    Instead, it is their parents and communities that have failed them. By making them paranoid, contemptuous, and unwilling to succeed (far too many students drop out of school starting at age 14, because they believe that an education is useless to them or that they are not receiving an education adequate enough to be useful), they are doomed to poverty and encouraged to demonstrate over their situation, even to the point of rioting.

    Mr. Erickson has one thing right. There are those who “have too much of an incentive to keep tensions going.” But not for the reasons that he states.

    Liberals did not suddenly change their stripes and stop being racists, back in the 1960s. (That sounded ludicrous the first time that I heard it. Use some common sence, people.) They simply changed tactics to a more subtle form of racism. They now encourage behaviors and government programs that keep certain groups down, and they encourage members of those groups who are helpful in this endeavor while demonizing those who see through the new form of racism. Thus, conservatives are called racist because they want to teach each man to fish rather than give him a fish. Liberals make a bogus case that many people are incapable of catching fish, so they have to be given a free ride, but only so long as they remain compliant (which includes the occasional protest or riot) and in poverty.

    This is why I am unimpressed with the people of Ferguson. There is a song that says “Teach your children well.” With these riots, the children of Ferguson (and around the country) are continuing to be taught the same as Michael Brown was taught: not well, but ill.

  • Edward

    Yesterday I got distracted and went off my point:

    From the article: “But there are too many numerous incidents to think there is not a problem.”

    What about all the other times that police officers were right to use deadly force? If we use the “too many numerous incidents” standard, then the police would be allowed to shoot first and ask questions later.

    Be careful what you ask for, it can work both ways.

    If we use the social justice model against Officer Wilson, then it could be used against the people who live in high-crime neighborhoods. The residents become assumed guilty because there are too many numerous incidents of others in the neighborhood that were found guilty. We devolve into guilt by association.

    That is a danger of moving away from justice and toward other forms, such as social justice or economic justice. These two may sound good when said really fast, but careful thought reveals that they are dangerous. In the former, an innocent person is punished for the crimes of others, and in the latter, the productive are punished for being productive (where is the incentive to remain so?).

    You cannot say that just because an injustice occurred over there, that then it is OK to have an injustice over here. This is the “two wrongs make it right” fallacy. The result is that no one will ever be able to trust that doing right will keep them out of trouble, thus an attitude that doing right gets nowhere can develop and result in a lot of wrongdoing. By attacking the shopkeeper and the Officer Wilson, Michael Brown was not trying to do right. Then the question becomes, “what other wrong makes Brown’s wrong right?”

    Those who insist on “justice” against an innocent man are just as bad as they have declared the innocent man to be, and they are actually looking for revenge against others who did wrong but are now out of reach. Isn’t equal justice for all the whole point of the protest? Or is it just an excuse to burn, loot, and pillage for fun? If you are going to make it OK to treat some people unequally, it will come back to harm you later.

    When the Supreme Court ruled that reverse discrimination is OK, it institutionalized the notion of discrimination, as though that made discrimination right. Instead of making up for past wrongs, it has only resulted in a host of new and present wrongs, and two generations later, the children and grandchildren of those who were wronged do not feel that the past wrongs have been made right. Worse, their behaviors have devolved from law abiding to law breaking.

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