Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sentimentality & Self-Righteousness
The killing this weekend of the four unfortunate Oakland cops, presumably by Lovelle Mixon, comes less than three months after the killing of an unarmed man in Oakland by a BART cop on New Year's Day. This cannot have made Mr. Mixon feel any safer when his car was pulled over by Oakland cops, who have a reputation for brutality.
Predictably, online comments are almost all snarky put-downs of blacks and progressives, or glorification of the guns belonging to our allegedly chivalrous protectors.
Sentimental support for the protection racket is very popular, and very dangerous, as it affirms our feelings of powerlessness, and fails to address the accurate perceptions of danger among all residents of high-crime neighborhoods, whether they are law-abiding or the designated scapegoats.
I found no comments about the stupidity of drug prohibition, nor about our inability to even have a meaningful public discussion about stupid laws which create felonies for no good reason. Not even two weeks ago, a Washington Post editor, speaking on C-SPAN, publicly ducked responsibility for not reporting on the idiocy of drug prohibition, let alone on the pathetically bad science which supports it.
Nobody deserves this kind of fallout from our collective failure to practice meaningful democracy, neither Mr. Mixon nor the Oakland cops. But it will continue until we get smart.