11 December 2014

Lady Atheist on rational responses to racism and police brutality

Fellow blogger Lady Atheist has written an essential post on the recent spate of police shootings epitomized by Ferguson.  If you're a liberal, I urge you to read it -- especially if you're convinced you already know the rights and wrongs of these cases and already know the correct way to respond to them.

I have some reservations about her analysis.  I'm convinced that racism often plays the biggest role in why some people get shot by the police and others don't.  There is a terrible problem which divides the country -- an institutionalized injustice, often deadly, against one-eighth of the American people.  We have to eradicate that.  The status quo is intolerable.  I've added a comment on her post which expresses these reservations in more detail.

But the liberal blogosphere's response to the crisis has often been flawed and simplistic, and Lady Atheist's post does the best job I've seen of elucidating that.  Read it with an open mind -- resist the urge to close off thought with labels and clich├ęs.  We make our case best when we recognize the complexity of the situation, not when we dismiss facts and observations which don't fit the narrative.


Blogger LadyAtheist said...

Thank you for the props. I do agree that racism may be a factor but not the only one. Otherwise, there would be no white people being shot by cops, which of course isn't true.

11 December, 2014 04:39  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Certainly not the only factor. I think we just have a difference of opinion on degree -- how major of a factor it is.

11 December, 2014 05:04  
Blogger Tommykey said...

I also think there is a class element to it. People who commit petty crimes in low income and minority neighborhoods, like Brown and Garner, are more likely to encounter police officers and provoke a response from them. Meanwhile, the Bernie Madoffs of America never have to worry about being confronted by police officers while committing their crimes from the safety of their office desks, even though the financial harm they are causing is on a much greater magnitude. I wonder how it would affect the way people feel about this issue if people like Madoff got shot, tasered or put in a chokehold by the police.

11 December, 2014 09:26  
Blogger Woody said...

I am Australian and can hardly speak of societal factors in America with much personal fervour. I've never been there.
I am liberal, I am conservative, I take what I want from both sides and it is not always easy to separate Aussie politics cleanly between the two.

What I appreciate about LadyAtheist's post is that it's a dispassionate view or at least more dispassionate than we usually hear on this or most subjects.

A sceptic like me hears so much passionate debate about things.
But so much practice I've had looking into claims of supernatural things, faith-healing, 'psychic mediums', cryptids and ghosts have forced me to appreciate a dispassionate view in order to gain the most balanced and fair attitude that I can.

I know that this subject of racism and police brutality in America is not a paranormal claim of any sort, but a dispassionate view is still my best method of finding out what is true, what isn't and what may be. I'd rather look at ALL of the available evidence before I develop a view on it.

I understand how great damage can be done to a person without a gun.
During the time I was a bouncer in seedy nightclubs, I was attacked by all manner of weapons but never shot. The security group I was a part of occasionally lost a member to severe injury. I don't think any of them died but everyone knew about other security groups working in the same areas who had lost members to a fatal attack.
If and when the stationary security cameras were needed to judge an event, we sure hoped that the nightclub owner would present all of the footage related to the incident.

Whatever else we think we know about a subject, that is the case when we look at the slutty media. Politics will effect what is shown to the public and what is not.
Even if the other parts of footage which are not shown don't make much difference at all to a fair evaluation of the event, we should be shown it all anyway.

An American friend of mine recently stated, "It's not a black problem or white problem, it's an American problem.

The truth is that I still don't know, I only know that better can be done about this in America, it's just up to them to make things better, using all of the information, not just the parts that scream within our hearts.

All the best folks!

11 December, 2014 16:48  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Tommykey: That's certainly true. If anything, racism is largely an instrument of class warfare, used by the 1% parasite class to keep the masses divided against each other.

I think a lot of people would have liked to see Madoff and people like him tasered, etc. People are well aware of the immunity of "big fish" criminals, and it infuriates them.

Woody: That's a good approach. Passion is important -- it's a motivator and a natural human response. But it isn't a tool of analysis, and the process of figuring out what's actually happening has to be insulated from passion in order to work properly.

Racism is a huge problem in the US, but the tendency to see racism absolutely everywhere and to interpret everything in racial terms has frankly been pushed to absurd extremes, and seems to blind people to other issues like class and religion.

12 December, 2014 03:14  

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