08 June 2020

Social Justice Warrior Link Sausage Platter

"The policeman isn't there to create disor[d]er, the policeman is there to preserve disorder." (Hello, police forces in 1980s Central Oklahoma: I remember you and your treatment of personnel under my command. Dah Mayah was understating your unofficial and close to official guidelines with a Freudian-slip truth, wasn't he? And the less said about the Chicago PD he left behind, the happier we'll all be.)

  • Before anyone forgets in the backlash to certain retired officers fulfilling their sense of duty, in a way that active duty and reserve officers cannot (due to potential criminal consequences): The commissioning oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," definitely includes the Fourteenth Amendment with its promise of equal protection of the laws — a pretty good definition of "social justice warrior," if that ambition is actually achieved. We wouldn't allow George Floyd's treatment in the field in a foreign nation; we sure as hell shouldn't allow that at home.

    So if anyone is actually paying attention, that's approximately 225,000 active-duty social justice warriors ready for duty, based on end strengths for FY2019 (albeit improperly distributed due in large part to racist traditions at and arising from the academies), trained in leadership roles and the requirements of the Law of Armed Conflict, and ready for deployment for national security under the direction of command authority. Oops, there's the problem.

    I find it immensely enraging that LOAC requirements are more stringent and protective than US policing standards. And not just because there's no qualified immunity under LOAC.

  • On the other hand, military officers are seldom so directly impacted by self-aggrandizing assholish career politicians as are cops — at least not until they become relatively senior and seasoned. And this is in the form of an explanation — by no means an excuse — for inimical police union leadership unwilling to admit to error or embrace actual justice over technical legal compliance. The American political machine, especially as embodied in both Dah Mayah and Boss Hogg (which is to say, regardless of region, political party, jurisdiction size, or damned near anything else that one might expect to make a difference), has taught police unions (and other public unions like those for teachers) that nature abhors an abuse of power vacuum. So on the all too rare occasions that "management" and "politicians" leave an abuse of power vacuum in the first place, the union leadership rushes to fill it.

    I've seen cops denied promotions and outright fired for not properly deferring to elected officials and the otherwise-powerful — and that leads to the opposite practice. I've seen it in large cities, medium-sized cities, small cities and large towns, and largely rural areas. For forty years. You know what I'm talking about: The deputy mayor of {medium-sized city} who got a police escort home instead of a DUI ticket. The alderman who ensured that none of Those People were made watch commanders or above at any station in his precinct. The city governments that paid the police with vouchers during a liquidity crisis while drawing their own paychecks for part-time white-collar positions (yes, that B-line on Hill Street Blues in the 1980s was inspired by the real world). The president of the small-town Chamber of Commerce never even questioned about his wife's black eyes or his daughter's broken arm (not to mention the near-lynching of her different-ethnicity boyfriend, fortuitously unsuccessful only because the miscreants couldn't tie a secure knot). The deputy sheriff who refused to arrest a county councilman suggesting an armed march on, and violent confrontation with, the state legislature in opposition to "coddling" the "dirty" immigrants.

    Our politicians have taught the police unions how to take power and how to behave with it, and have been pretty consistent about it for the last couple of centuries. We shouldn't be entirely surprised that they've learned the same lessons as any other fraternity: Wait your turn and then you can be the one doing the hazing. And covering up afterward (with resumé–building thrown in for good measure).

  • Or y'all could just try listening to those immigrants for a change… before they become convinced that only "direct action" will result in change. Despite this being a nation composed of immigrants — especially regarding Manifest Destiny.

    It might be more accurate to say that this is a nation of actual and aspiring plantation owners, depending upon the shape of the plantation and whether the preferred afternoon drink is a mint julep, a carefully cellared aperitíf, or a culturally appropriated kombucha. But that would be telling.