Saturday, July 9, 2016

Is It Enough To Stop The Hate?


If you want to reduce the number of violent deaths in the United States is it enough to "stop the hate"?

I say no.  No it isn't.

There are some ingrained habits to be changed and and bitter statistics to be overcome.

It has been said that more civilians have been killed by police since 9/11 than were killed by terrorists on 9/11.   I have little problem with justifiable homicide and self defense.  I do have a problem when due process is short circuited and a policeman becomes judge, jury and executioner.

It should be the yearly goal of all police departments in the United States to kill no unarmed people in that year.  Although the media emphasis is on the unjustified killings of black men this is not the most difficult arena for cops to try to enforce a goal of zero defenseless killings in a calendar year.  The most difficult place to enforce this goal will be to avoid the killing of the mentally disturbed and the mentally ill.  How to determine that someone is not all there and how to disarm such a person is, as far as I know, a specialized skill.

In order for the scales to be balanced something has to be done by both sides.  For African Americans a reduction of black on black violence is in order.  In fact a similar goal would not be out of place:  No unarmed people will be killed at any time for any reason.  No one, not even gang members should be exempt from this goal.  Enforcing it may be easier that one might think.  The ban on snitching or ratting someone out should be lifted on anyone who kills an unarmed person especially if that unarmed person is a child or a woman.  Anyone who has any contact with black boys and young black men should teach the lesson early that only traitors and the untrustworthy kill their own.

Also, there should be some commonsense training and education for young black men.  White cops do not routinely enter churches and kill the first black preacher they see.  Although this is an extreme example it can nevertheless be very instructive.  A peaceful man who is where he should be,  doing what he should be doing is rarely accosted by the police.  On the other side of that equation, if you read the police blotter you would not be at all surprised to  find that  individuals of every race who become loud and confrontational with anyone after leaving a bar, drunk, at 2AM are very likely to have an unpleasant encounter with the police.  I will leave discussions about whether you should be getting drunk or high or how often you should party to you and your minister and your family.  My advice is actually the same advice that wise people give to young women.  Never be drunk or high in public.  Some recreations are best enjoyed out of the public eye for several reasons.  It's safer because that way there's no intoxicated driving and you are less likely to encounter the police in a circumstance where your judgment impaired.  Just in case you couldn't tell, we are actually trying to keep you alive and unharmed.

Don't hang around gangs, criminals and those who incite or invite violence.

If the police appear, be polite and comply with their requests.  Just in case no one has pointed it out in the last 5 minutes let me observe that the police carry lethal firearms.  If you must get into fights, join the army infantry or the marines where you can actually be rewarded for violent behavior as long as you know when and where to fight.  Even if you really think that police are too violent or not respectful enough they are still not your enemy.  It is their commanders, police chiefs and political masters whose minds you must change.  And never forget the age we live in.  If you have video and audio of people being disrespectful or unnecessarily violent and if the video shows that you were respectful and compliant, the police will lose the moment you post the video and you will win and also live to tell the tale.


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