- Legal Disclaimer:
- Copyright and Trademark Disclaimer
- Fair Use Disclaimer
- The Current Socio-Political Landscape
- The Harbinger of Chaos
- Qui Bono?
- Normalizing Insanity
- Haunted by the Ghosts of Slavery
- Deconstructing Society, Reconstructing History
- Making a Deal with the Devil
- “Reimagining” Delusion
- That Doors Swings in Both Directions
- Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
- The Psychology of Criminality
- Invariable Variables
- The Psychology of Policing
- Concessions and Uncomfortable Truths
- Untying the Gordian Knot
- Closing Thoughts
[A Policing Manifesto]
The information provided herein is presented anonymously written under the pseudonym of “Centrist Servant.” The purpose for anonymity is two-fold:
1. I am not seeking fame, I am not seeking accolades, I am not seeking approval, I am not seeking promotion, I am not seeking monetary gain, and I am not seeking political clout or any other self-serving interest. My goal, legitimately, is to affect change within the culture of law enforcement and to bridge the divide between law enforcement and the public perception thereof.
2. Some of the information contained within may be controversial, unpopular and unpalatable. Inversely, it may end up being very popular and some of my recommendations may be taken into consideration. In either event it could place me in a situation that potentially endangers me from an unreasonable public, could be misconstrued as insubordination by my department, or would otherwise make my real name and face known to the general public, of which, I have no interest in. It is the message that counts, not the messenger.
Although I myself choose to remain anonymous, I have nevertheless taken legal steps to ensure that no one can falsely assume ownership or responsibility over this material by fraudulently claiming that they are the anonymous figure named “Centrist Servant” and/or use this document to enrich themselves in any manner, to otherwise take credit for my work in any way; or to manipulate or alter this document. The name, “Centrist Servant,” has, itself, been Trademarked. While this publication will intentionally be free and open sourced, it nevertheless has legally been copy written and any use of this work must be followed by proper use of citations and cannot be plagiarized. I certify and encourage the right of anyone to reference and/or to disseminate this material freely so long as it falls under the Fair Use doctrine and cannot be profited from in any manner whatsoever. Any deviation from this may result in criminal penalty and/or civil litigation.
As it relates to my field of employment, law enforcement, the views expressed herein are solely my own and are not necessarily the views reflected by my agency or any other. Within my capacity as an individual citizen of the United States of America, I retain and reserve the immutable right to free speech and freedom of expression afforded to me by the Bill of Rights. As it further relates to my field of employment, I intentionally seek anonymity to distinguish the individual identity of Centrist Servant as wholly separate from my corporate or government identity, so as to thereby remove any perception of bias within a governmental capacity, as when operating in such an atmosphere would ordinarily demand neutrality. Anything written herein is expressly the views supported solely by the individual, Centrist Servant and is not in any sense are views necessarily reflective of views officially espoused by any federal, state, county or municipal government entity.
Copyright and Trademark Disclaimer
Publication: Reimagining Delusion ©
Author: Centrist Servant ®
Year of Publication: 2020
All Rights Reserved
Fair Use Disclaimer
All material herein that is not uniquely mine falls under the Fair Use clause as it will expressly be used primarily for educational purposes and is not used for commercial or for-profit use. The Fair Use doctrine found in sections 107 through 118 of the copyright law (Title 17 of the United States Code) provides limited use of copyrighted material without obtaining direct permission from the copyright holder for the purposes of expressing criticisms, commentary, parody, reporting, teaching, scholarship and/or research. Use of any material not explicitly mine will be sourced to give full credit and respect to intellectual property owner(s).
What is the purpose of this document? Why did I write it? Why do I feel as though it is imperative that you read it? The simplest and most succinct answer comes from the adage, ‘desperate times call for desperate measures.’ America, and more broadly Western Civilization as a whole, currently stands on a thin and shaky precipice that at any moment could give way by crumbling beneath our feet, sending us headlong into an abyss from which there is no return. Without sounding the least bit hyperbolic, I believe the United States is currently facing an existential crisis that will, at worst, manifest itself through the collapse and dissolution of the Republic or, at the very least, will significantly diminish America’s military capabilities and erode the social and economic stability of the nation. The entire international community, whether consciously aware or not, has vested interests and stake in the success of the United States. What happens in the United States reverberates through shock waves around the globe. Even in spite of this fact, there are numerous bad actors on the world stage that have strong incentives to capitalize on the weakening of America’s role on the world stage. Through deliberate and calculated subterfuge, certain entities quietly seek to undermine America by exploiting civil and internal enmities. There are a multitude of reasons that contribute to our current state of affairs, of which, I will expound upon in greater detail elsewhere. Regardless, I nevertheless remain hopefully optimistic that, although we currently find ourselves surrounded by shoal waters fraught with perilous and impending danger, that there is still time to navigate out of these treacherous waters. At the same time I have no illusions that the critical time for scuttling this sinking ship and shoring up the gaping holes in the hull is rapidly vanishing. Eventually there will be a point of no return. The purpose of this document is to awaken others from a malignant apathy that, if left to metastasize, will eventually consume us all.
This ‘Silent Majority’ that I hear so much about can no longer stand idly by on the sidelines, resting on their laurels. If your natural inclinations and predilections are, in general, more passive and non-confrontational, I am going to insist that you learn to be more assertive if, for no other reason, out of civic duty or self-preservation. The time to take proactive measures towards salvaging the union is upon us all.
At the risk of sounding like a self-important jackass with a saviour complex, I had something of an epiphany recently to explain why you are reading this. It came to me after listening to a riveting podcast named, “Making Sense,” hosted by the critically-acclaimed neuroscientist, philosopher, podcaster and best-selling author, Sam Harris. It was episode #207, entitled — Can We Pull Back From the Brink? If you enjoy intellectually stimulating commentary, I highly recommend subscribing to the podcast, but if not, at least listen to that one episode.
I will briefly summarize the thrust of the monologue for those who are unfamiliar with the content. Harris rightly points out the juxtaposition we now face concerning society’s perception of policing in the modern-era and the current trend, as it correlates with race relations, is reaching its intersectional apex. Harris posits that there is absolutely room for reform when it comes to policing, and yet is simultaneously able to recognize that some of the embellishments regarding the need for reform, or how reform might be approached, are often massively overstated absurdities that are mindlessly being regurgitated ad naseum. At the conclusion of the podcast, it forced me to reflect on what anyone is really doing about the current problems we are facing. Harris eloquently is starting an important discussion, but I hardly see any evidence that anyone else is actually implementing changes that need to occur. He, of course, is not a legislator, is not a Congressman, is not Supreme Court Justice, not a judge, not a Senator, not a Governor, not a Mayor, not a City Council Member, is not a Sheriff or a Police Chief of a major metropolitan police force let alone a small township. For that matter, neither am I. The point is that he can only lead a horse to water but he can’t make him drink. I, too, am not in a position of tremendous power to implement any of the proposals that will be outlined in this document. My contribution to the catalyst that Sam Harris ignited within me is, perhaps, my proximity to the profession of law enforcement. There are some nuances that most rational people seem to intuitively understand, but cannot quite provide a detailed analysis without an inside perspective. Perhaps I can be that bridge; perhaps I can be a conduit of sorts.
I am an ordinary patrol officer working for a mid to large sized police department in the United States. My motivations for writing this, I suppose, is that I can only bitch so long to my family, to my friends, to my colleagues, to my supervisors, or to projectile vomit my thoughts and opinions on to an online debate forum before I feel like I’m just endlessly spinning my wheels and not affecting the change that I keep blathering on about. I feel as though I need to get this out of me, lest it be a toxic and cancerous build up of unresolved stress. I enjoy writing, I enjoy the freedom of expression and thought, I like to problem-solve and I believe this cause to be so worthy of an endeavor that I am willing to risk it all to spread the message as far and as wide as I possibly can. And so, here we are.
At times during your reading/listening, it may seem as if I am wandering off on unrelated tangents which, at first glance, may appear to have nothing to do with law enforcement or our current state of affairs. Bear with me as I will always attempt to make salient points on how we arrived at certain positions by pointing towards historical events or facts that may serve to better explain what we are seeing today and why. I will always try to circle the wagon and explain correlations that may seem irrelevant in the interim. Be patient during the process of expatiation, please.
But allow me to be even more direct as to the purpose of this document, so as to be as transparent and unambiguous as possible. It is:
- To identify existing problems that, if not corrected, could be catastrophic
- To bring about a realistic police reform instead of focusing on reactionary emotions that, in the long run, will not work and will unwittingly create more problems than they solve.
- To bridge a divide in our fractured society
Make no mistake, however, that in order to know where you are going you must first know where you are and where you are coming from. If you are a cop, you are going to hear things that you will appreciate, but you are also going to swallow some bitter pills. If you are not a cop, you are going to hear truths that I can almost certainly guarantee that you have never contemplated before that will be eye-opening. But if anyone is expecting some cop apologist to promote a belief about the infallibility of police officers, you won’t find it here. For however critical I am of the current cop-hating trend, I will likewise be the first to admit where law enforcement has been irresponsible and why, what and how they need to change.
In closing to this introduction, I suppose I should offer somewhat of a caveat. I am in no way claiming to be an expert on any subject discussed herein. I am in no way saying that all of my suggestions are feasible. I am in no way saying that I understand the deeper minutia of how to implement these suggestions in excruciating detail. Those are the things that I am not saying. What I am saying is that somebody has to do something substantial and soon. … and if not me, then who?
The Current Socio-Political Landscape
Avoiding political commentary was an initial goal of mine when considering writing this because of how incendiary it is and how much there is a tendency for it to effectively shut down constructive dialogue and discourse. Notwithstanding my initial reservations, I ultimately came to the inescapable conclusion that so much of the current climate is inextricably linked with the polarizing nature of modern, American politics. To navigate the current landscape while totally avoiding politics is simply an impossibility.
So, while I would ordinarily think my personal political stance is irrelevant, in the interest of transparency and as a gesture of good faith, I ought to at least summarize my position in general terms. I deliberately and carefully chose the moniker, “Servant” because a law enforcement officer is above all a servant to the People. The preceding word of “Centrist” is because I mostly consider myself a political moderate or centrist and because I find that more often than not in life that the truth has a tendency to generally be found somewhere in between two extremes. This isn’t to say that on any given topic that I don’t politically align center-right or center-left. While reading this you will most assuredly see how I will invariably take positions that are ostensibly Left or Right on the political spectrum in respect to certain topics of discussion. Regardless, I am genuinely seeking to be as nonpartisan as possible when first approaching an issue until compelling evidence leads to inescapable conclusions. I believe that 90% of our current problems are self-inflicted wounds, greatly due in part because of this false dichotomy and claptrap that is the Left/Right paradigm. In my estimation, good ideas or bad ideas are nonpartisan.
As a conciliatory gesture to advocate my centrist position, I do not identify as either a Republican, nor a Democrat. I am neither a Trump supporter nor a Biden supporter. That will be the extent of my criticisms or endorsements regarding this current election cycle, so as to not unnecessarily derail the conversation.
The hyper-partisan nature that dominates the current political landscape is creating a toxic atmosphere that is forcing adherents of the Republican and Democrat parties into an increasingly compartmentalized state so that in order to fit in with the ‘tribe,’ as it were, requires you to accept all of the tenets and precepts of their respective parties political positions or risk excommunication for not toeing the party line in perfect lockstep. Both parties have become so divergent over time that, whatever overlap between progressives and conservatives existed in the past, almost no core values intersect any longer. It’s not hard to understand why this much tribalism erases the notion of commonly accepted facts and why diplomacy is virtually an impossibility at such an advanced stage of our national dysfunction. Reaching across the aisle used to be a euphemism or a metaphor regarding a collaborative effort for each side to make small sacrifices for a much larger and common good. Now I think reaching across the aisle is to knife your opponent for political expediency.
Indeed, we are so deeply entrenched within our tribe’s respective ethos that to agree on what represents truth is questioned nearly on every point. If we cannot even agree on what reality is, how could there possibly be any meaningful dialogue? It’s not hard to understand how we arrived at this point. Without casting aspersions towards specific media outlets, suffice it to say that most journalism in the United States is now irredeemably broken and toxic. Journalism used to be about presenting unbiased facts as a way to keep the reader/viewer informed on current events that recently transpired. There was no ulterior motive except to present facts as they were and it allowed for the reader/viewer to come to their own informed conclusions. In the modern era, information has become monetized, monopolized, propagandized and weaponized. As print media and cable television die slow, painful deaths, traditional media outlets have had to find increasingly more clever ways to justify their existence in an over saturated market that is the Attention Economy. And what is the best way to hold one’s attention? One word: Rage.
Modern media is not there to present unbiased, factually accurate information for your edification. It now operates purely as rage bait. People watch or read the news to be outraged. Outrage, after all, has a psychological premium that is unconsciously appealing. I don’t need to disparage any specific outlet because practically all of them are suspect. Outrage provides the viewer with a visceral reaction and a perceived connection to the news presented. People en masse in the modern era, whether they realize it or not, are rage junkies looking for their next fix. This is to such a pronounced degree that it is practically for recreational purposes that we endlessly subject ourselves to it. Outlets are more than aware of this fact and seek to exploit an entire nation for monetary gain, for political clout and to drive collectivist narratives. The news is no longer reported, it is carefully crafted and manufactured, as a perverse kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. And sanctimonious Hollywood elitists, Wall Street tycoons and Silicon Valley techies goose-steps along with media moguls to push an agenda that takes fractions of disparate facts carefully mixed in with thousands of falsehoods to create and push an agenda.
Even other non-traditional media outlets and social media networks like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc, operate on algorithms. These algorithms are designed to deliver you with related content based on your search history. This often leads to a reinforcement of ideals that often go unchallenged. This concept is otherwise colloquially known as an ‘echo chamber,’ where opposing viewpoints are unaccepted or unheard because we have been unwittingly confined to our own little bubble, essentially hearing our own voice parroted back to us through confirmation bias. This means that your newsfeed is specifically tailored to you in order to keep you engaged and, quite often, to keep you enraged. This also means that, unlike with traditional journalistic mediums, you are almost never seeing the same content as other people. This just further confines and insulates oneself into a narrow worldview while separating human beings based on tribalistic, political affiliation. If traditional media are overt agents of manufacturing dissent, Big Tech is its covert counterpart. Big Tech quietly runs the show in the background through bans, shadow bans, data mining, the sale of personal information, character assassinations, discreetly hiding information that they don’t personally like; to stifle free speech in favor of political correctness. What is happening, sadly, is prophetically Orwellian in nature. Perhaps equally disturbing is the alacrity with which we allow this to take place, making our world seem unrecognizable to how we remembered it in simpler times. If ever there was a need for the evoking of Antitrust law, perhaps we ought to consider to what degree Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and other tech giants have a monopolistic stranglehold over information and to what degree they collude with one another to manufacture a desired outcome in what seems to be a shared philosophy of the ends justify the means when it comes to censorship.
Why am I mentioning any of this on a document that is primarily related to law enforcement? Simply, because it greatly explains how we have arrived at this incredibly divisive time in modern history. The media has taken the mantra, ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ to a whole other level — a level that is both perverse, unconscionable and antithetical to journalistic integrity.
“It occurred to me that nothing is more interesting than opinion when opinion is interesting, so I devised a method of cleaning off the page opposite the editorial, which became the most important in America… and thereon I decided to print opinions, ignoring facts.”Herbert Bayard Swope
The Harbinger of Chaos
One of the many consequences of selective media coverage is that large swathes of the general public will believe it without fact-checking. For instance, within the last few years it has become big business to show very controversial videos of police using force. Perhaps even more specific is the selective coverage of black subjects killed by white police officers.
In the early 1990’s, a video surfaced showing motorist Rodney King being mercilessly beaten by LAPD officers. The result of the officers eventual acquittal was especially troubling, which ultimately resulted in a race riot in South Central Los Angeles. Millions of dollars in property damage, millions of dollars worth of merchandise looted, and additionally many people grievously injured as a result of the verdict. While I personally found the acquittal just as reprehensible as most everyone else did, the fallout as a result was simply unjustifiable and counterproductive.
Prior to the ubiquity of cellphones, coverage such as this was rare. Once cellphones were adapted with cameras the landscape would forever change. Now the media no longer had to be present on scene in order to obtain juicy content. The media became anyone with a smartphone who could capture images or video that contained footage that would shock the conscience. That footage would then be disseminated far, wide, and with a kind of sickening glee. Endless commentary would dissect the actions of the white officers and the black subjects. Implicit within each instance was laced with a seething and pernicious racial motivation that needed to be exposed and excised from society like a tumor.
It seemed that the media simply could not wait for the next incident in which to titillate the audience with the carnage — spurning a kind of collective righteous indignation in the soul of America. One of these defining events was the shooting of Michael Brown at the hands of Ferguson Police Department’s Officer Darren Wilson. Although the actual violent altercation was not directly captured on camera, the impending aftermath was, where an angry crowd formed near the recently deceased body of Michael Brown.
Supposed eyewitness testimony nearly unanimously corroborated that Brown had essentially done nothing, knelt down, raised his hands in the air in a universal gesture of surrender and allegedly stated, “don’t shoot.” Wilson reportedly coldly and callously shot and killed a kneeling, defeated and surrendering Brown for no other reason than Brown was black and Wilson, an irreverent racist, hated black people. This version of events, although openly disputed, was nevertheless pumped across the airwaves nonstop. What followed on the heels of this event was an impromptu, seemingly grassroots movement and a corresponding catchphrase. The movement was Black Lives Matter (BLM) and one of their signature phrases would be, “hands up, don’t shoot,” which further became a representation of solidarity with the black community.
After a protracted and detailed investigation, it was determined that the injuries sustained by both Brown and Wilson corroborated Wilson’s testimony, and some of the witnesses on scene who provided a factual account, led to the determination that Brown posed an imminent threat of deadly force, lawfully resulting in Wilson defending his life. Regardless, the damage was already done. Former officer Wilson is reputed to still be in hiding, despite his exoneration for supposed misconduct. If this is what winning looks like, you definitely don’t want to see what losing looks like. It was even determined that the phrase ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ was itself prefaced on a complete and total fabrication. It never happened, which we can definitively know to an extremely high degree of certainty at this juncture, and yet, it still is an oft-repeated phrase during countless protests and riots.
A litany of other events transpired since that time and the media, again, rage baiting an audience determined to believe the narrative sold to them, came to a near unanimous consensus that if a white police officer uses deadly force against a black suspect or subject, that the outcome, alone, all but proves racist motivations. From these incidents, deliberately cherry-picked to create the impression of widespread, systemic racism, offered the pretense for a growing hatred and distrust for the American police officer.
This, I believe, was additionally exacerbated by a growing interest in what would eventually become known as 1st Amendment Audits. These auditors deliberately place themselves in situations or conduct themselves in a manner explicitly designed to elicit a police response. The heavy-handed approach of many of the officers being baited simply further solidified the notion that the police, generally speaking, were loose cannons statistically destined to overreact with a disproportionate amount of force. It seems rather obvious that anyone would not have much incentive to post videos of police encounters that go exactly as planned, where the officer behaved in an appropriate and professional manner. Despite several millions of these uneventful encounters, we are inundated by imagery that, statistically, represents the most extreme of outliers… and yet we pretend that it represents the mean.
After several instances of troubling pieces of videographic evidence surfacing, bubbling beneath the surface was a boiling cauldron of rage. It wasn’t until an incident involving two men, George Floyd and Officer Derek Chauvin, would that scalding cauldron of rage finally boil over with an inferno of vengeance. A video surfaced in Minneapolis, MN showing a police officer kneeling, without a seeming care in the world, on what appeared to be the carotid artery of a handcuffed prisoner who was making verbal complaints about a difficulty to breathe. Despite a large and increasingly incensed crowd pleading with Chauvin to get off of Floyd, he remained on Floyd’s neck for a negligent and inordinate amount of time, again, with a look of total indifference to human suffering strewn across his face. Floyd eventually lost consciousness and it was later reported that he had succumbed to his injuries.
When I first viewed the original videoclip, I too, and everyone I know, were horrified, mortified, and felt as though we witnessed the slow execution of a prisoner who, while in custody and under positive control, was needlessly killed. A charge of murder or, at the very least, manslaughter seemed appropriate in the interim. Subsequent information has been released that seems to question the extent to which Chauvin’s actions contributed to the death of Floyd. Regardless, no one can contest that the optics of the event aren’t disturbing, to say the least.
In consequence of this event, the international community, but especially the US, erupted in a cacophony of moral indignation and violent outrage. Hundreds of thousands of protesters quickly mobilized in numerous cities worldwide — descending upon government institutions wherever they may be found demanding some kind of reconciliation. All of the protests expressed moral outrage but were otherwise peaceful despite their consternation. Still other subgroups infiltrated many of those protests and seized upon the moment to sow discord through violent rioting, widespread property damage, vandalism and looting. It was opportunism at its worst.
Police departments across the nation were quickly overwhelmed and struggled to maintain order as their respective cities burned. The fallout from the incessant harangue and media slant concerning videos of police violence, specifically directed towards the African-American community, was laying the groundwork. By the time the George Floyd video surfaced, police officers were no longer viewed in an individual capacity, but were now viewed as a single, homogenized unit. A solitary officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd, but the entirety of law enforcement were now expected to pick up the tab and pay for the sins of Derek Chauvin. My own experiences, which I won’t elaborate greatly, not because I don’t want to but because it could potentially betray my anonymity, were nevertheless harrowing during the fallout from this event. Suffice it to say that it was disconcerting to see so many people blaming you, personally, for things that you not only took no part in, but additionally had zero control over. It was mob violence with mob rule. It was pitchforks and torches; a witch hunt, where if summary execution was an option for each of us, with 100% certainty there were some in the crowd willing to be the judge, jury and executioner. What was my crime? I was a cop; a filthy pig. I was guilty by mere association; it did not matter one iota that I have never killed anyone in the line of duty or that I have done my level best to operate with fairness and without prejudice. All that mattered was that I was a walking representation of everything that was wrong with this country and they were going to punish me for it.
The irony, if not outright duplicity of it all is, of course, that the entire premise of racism’s insidious nature is that it unfairly diminishes people based on specious or nebulous reasons. It makes false assumptions about people based solely on inferences from past experiences and superficial appearances, but overlooks the fact that no human being is the sum of their race, nor are they, nor should they be responsible for the actions of one person based on race. Likewise, police officers are not the sum of their job. Therefore to categorize them solely based on past experiences with some police officers and to lay that at the feet of every officer is every bit as unfair and unproductive. If you truly cannot see the hypocrisy in that then perhaps you are in no position to determine what qualifies as racism.
Qui Bono, a Latin phrase that translates to, “Who Benefits?” Who benefits from all the chaos, enmity and strife that we are currently seeing? The answer is that nobody in America truly benefits from this derision, even if some people think they are benefiting. Some institutions, such as the media, certain political establishments and corporate interests may benefit temporarily, but overall it will negatively impact all of them long-term. Who truly benefits are foreign actors seeking to destabilize America, the West, and overthrow Occidental philosophy/ideology.
(To reiterate a previous disclaimer, at times it may appear that I am going off on wild tangents that do not seem as though they bear any relevance to the topic at hand, but be patient and I will bring it full circle.)
The NATO alliance has posed substantial challenges to communist, post-communist regimes and certain Islamic nations militarily and politically aligned with Russia and China. US technological, economic and military dominance, which was unmatched for several decades, eventually saw both Russia and China making serious advancements that were closing in as near-peer equivalents. The People’s Republic of China (PRC), which used its Command Economy model to eventually surpass the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States, has not been shy in revealing its ambition to supplant the US in order to be at the head of the international table. How were both Russia and China able to make such relatively fast advancements?
Russia and China have been able to compete with the US by studying and following the ancient tenets of Sun Tzu’s infamous, “The Art of War.” The United States has one of the most open, free and diverse cultures the world has ever known. China and Russia, inversely, are far more censorious, insular and homogenous. China has been embroiled in a long-game strategy that employs a kind of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ philosophy in order to achieve their ends. The PRC’s rapacious appetite for technology has led them to undertake the dark arts of corporate espionage on a massive scale for 25+ years. US intelligence believes that no other country has more spies living in the United States than that of Chinese intelligence agents and people on their payroll. The amount of intellectual property stolen, reverse engineered technology and the copying of this information is staggering. They have benefited greatly from the hard work of American ingenuity.
Russia has also sought to exploit the United States, relying heavily on a cyber warfare campaign. The openness of the US and it’s internet which, unlike Russia and China’s repressive firewalls to censor dissenting opinions, the very freedoms and openness that make the US great were used against it. One of America’s greatest assets is also its Achile’s heel. Russia has been caught several times exploiting the division in America by intentionally inflaming existing tensions. Why use direct action and risk open warfare when you can use subterfuge and later claim plausible deniability?
In the late 80’s, a high-ranking KGB agent defected to the United States, named Yuri Bezmenov. Bezmenov was a master propagandist. When he defected to the West he provided documents revealing top secret strategies being implemented by the KGB to subvert the West. Aside from, perhaps, the Mitrokhin Archives, I would estimate that Bezmenov’s contributions were among the most revelatory when it came to understanding the KGB’s long-game strategy against the West. One such strategy, which accounted for the majority of the KGB’s focus, was termed “Ideological Subversion” or “Active Measures.” Bezmenov described its entailments as thus:
“I was engaged in something much more unpleasant than espionage. I was engaged in ideological subversion, which is seldom explained to people by your media, because the media is part of that process… Only about 15% of the time, money, and manpower is spent on espionage and such. The other 85% is a slow process which we call either ideological subversion or active measures. What it basically means is to change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that, despite the abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.”
Does that sound familiar to you? Can the United States’ population come to a consensus on just about anything, despite an abundance of information? Everything is politicized, even science. As a result we inherently question the legitimacy of everything, wondering if there is some ulterior motive or grand conspiracy geared towards pulling the wool over our eyes. If conceptions of truth cannot be agreed upon between the Left and Right, black and white, etc, how are we ever supposed to find the truth and come to sensible conclusions, as Bezmenov heralded?
Shortly after this interview, the USSR and all of its Eastern Bloc fell — the crumbling of the Berlin Wall being its most visible and symbolic gesture for the fall and failure of communism. Much like the East German Stasi, whom Russia’s current president, Vladimir Putin, worked closely with prior to the collapse, the KGB dissolved with it; except, not really. The KGB simply had a facelift and a name change. The FSB is the progeny of the KGB and they are just as active now as they were then at tirelessly working towards subverting the US and her allies by constantly probing for weaknesses and spreading disinformation.
It would seem that the collapse of the Soviet Union significantly slowed this process of Ideological Subversion. But as the Russian Federation stabilized in place of the USSR, it resumed its efforts with a vengeance in a kind of Ideological Subversion 2.0, and it is implemented in four distinct phases:
- Demoralization: This first step in the process takes 15 – 20 years. The purpose of this timeline is because that is the time required to educate a single generation. Media, teachers, Hollywood celebrities or prominent figures who have become sympathetic to the cause unwittingly help propagate the earliest stage.
- Destabilization: For this second phase, the nation being targeted is now pressured by this new generation to make gradual or sometimes radical changes to its social structure, it’s views on education, on foreign relations, military defense, the economy, etc. Under such social pressures, the nation usually capitulates to an increasingly hostile mob.
- Crisis: the targeted nation experiences a period of civil unrest and internal chaos, resulting in that nation’s ethos being changed forever through an assortment of social pressures. The breakdown of the civilization; its banking institutions, its military capabilities, its supply chains, etc, all collapsing, resulting in widespread panic.
- Normalization: this stage sees these changes as what will be the new status quo and society’s apathy and acceptance to its core values being erased and replaced. This final stage weakens the country to such an astonishing degree that Axis powers now have the ability to topple the government militarily due to instability and eventual collapse.
Does any of this look familiar? If you were to guess where on the spectrum the United States is in right now, where would you, the reader, say which phase we are currently in? I would say that we are in the Crisis Phase, but we are so close to the Normalization Phase that when I said at the beginning of this document that the US is in an existential crisis, I meant that as literal as possible.
I also have it, on good authority, that nations hostile to the US will attempt to even further compound the damage by simultaneously dumping the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Of course, if this is done too quickly it would hurt these nations as well. But as the Yuan stabilizes, perhaps numerous governments will use it to drop the dollar simultaneously by selling off its reserves, resulting in crashing the US economy, and creating a new reserve currency in its absence. I believe this plan has been discussed at length by hostile nations with one another and, if implemented, it will come at a time such as now when we are reeling from a global pandemic, a sinking economy, and internal strife the likes we have not seen since the American Civil War.
“The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. “Where is God?” he cried; “I will tell you. We have killed him — you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?… God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. “How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us — for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto…. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars — and yet they have done it themselves.”Frederick Nietzsche; Parable of the Madman, 1882
Wiping away the horizon is analogous to losing your entire frame of reference by trying to play the role of God. In that vein, we are in the midst of witnessing a wiping away of the horizon in an effort to deconstruct society in such a way so as to believe that we will end up with a perfectly clean slate. From this clean slate, visionaries in throes of madness have imagined a world free from greed, free from oppression, free from racism, free from binary gender roles, free from a police state, free from… freedom. Yes, you read that last one correctly. And yet these self-imposed luminaries not only don’t know their history, but have imagined a history of their choosing. Sadly for them, they evidently have learned nothing about the human condition. As Bezmenov also pointed out during that interview, the enemy sees them as useful idiots who ultimately are lined up against the wall and shot.
“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it”Edmond Burke
Now that we recognize who benefits we must recognize where it has taken us, recognize the symptoms of a nation being pulled further into the embracing arms of insanity and how to salvage the nation. Rome is Falling, make no mistake…. but it hasn’t fallen… yet. We still have time to fight; fight we must, and fight we shall.
Should this, the most glorious experiment in freedom falters, the manner in which it falls could best be summarized by former president Abraham Lincoln. There is an internet meme that has been circulating for years. The meme incorrectly quoted Abraham Lincoln, stating, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we lose our freedoms it will be because we have destroyed ourselves from within.” That is actually a misnomer, although I would wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment. What President Lincoln actually stated in his famous Lyceum Address was,
“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? — Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! — All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”Abraham Lincoln
Both the misattributed version and the verified, historical version ring true, regardless. The overarching theme expressed is that the United States surely could never be conquered by an external threat alone. For what it’s worth, I heartily agree. The only way for an invading army to actually succeed at conquering America was that we, as Americans, are first weakened from within to such an extent that we essentially have signed our own death warrant at our own hands. The problem is, that is exactly what is happening. A number of US intelligence agencies have provided substantial and compelling evidence to surmise that Russia, through its Internet Research Agency (an FSB cyberwarfare front and cover), conspired to inflame domestic tensions for the purposes of de-stabilization. The disinformation campaign took existing tensions, such as race relations and political discourse, and created extensive online personas and fake activist groups geared towards engineering outrage from people of disparate backgrounds and worldviews. By nudging them to fight, it helped to further erode trust, create division and moral panic. Media outlets were complicit by aligning their political views based on, in many instances, fabrications deliberately implanted by Russian cyber criminals and intelligence agents.
While attributing a substantial portion of the overall influence, we cannot simply lay this at the feet of foreign powers. At the end of the day we have no one else to blame but ourselves. Because although we were subjected to a large scale social experiment by nudging us in two opposing directions and seeing what resulted from it, it is nevertheless our inability to commiserate, to effectively communicate, and to collaborate on domestic issues that accounts for the bulk of our own problems. Although we, as Americans, share a common enemy, several in fact, we have chosen to see one another as our greatest foe. This phenomena is succinctly explained as, “Oikophobia.”
A poignant expose on the problem was brilliantly summarized by blogger and writer, Benedict Beckled, in a piece entitled, “Oikophobia: Our Western Self-Hatred.” Beckled credits English author, Roger Scrutin, with coining the phrase in his book, “England and the Need for Nations.” Beckled described it as thus:
“Diverse interests are created that view each other as greater enemies than they do foreign threats. Since the common civilizational enemy has been successfully repulsed, it can no longer serve as an effective target for and outlet of people’s sense of superiority, and human psychology generally requires an adversary for the purpose of self-identification, and so a new adversary is crafted: other people in the same civilization. Since this condition of leisure and empowerment, as well as a perception of external threats as non-existential, are the results of a society’s success, success is, ironically, a prerequisite for a society’s self-hatred. What Freud has called the “narcissism of small differences” (in Civilization and Its Discontents)—the urge to compete against others even through minor distinctions like a virtuous action or the newest gadget—becomes one motivation through which a particular interest expresses its superiority over others. This “domestic” competition means that by rejecting one’s culture as backward, one automatically sets oneself above all the other interests that are parts of that culture. Earlier in the civilizational development, the cooperation of a larger proportion of the people is essential for survival at a time when the state is poorer and individuals more reliant on one another for basic security. But once the society has taken off and become affluent, there is greater opportunity to excel and more room, therefore, for people to start criticizing their own culture in an effort to get ahead personally.”Benedict Beckled
Oikophobia and xenophobia are opposite ends of the spectrum — in fact, opposites expressed in their most extreme forms. Shrills voices are often heard maligning the United States with its supposed xenophobic stance which, of course, is not only absurd on the face of itself, but easily contestable given that, literally, it is the exact opposite. America is ostensibly the most generous, most accommodating, and the nation that has taken in more immigrants than any other in human history. In fact, the United States has accepted approximately 47 million foreign-born nationals and woven them into the fabric of America in the most envious example of multiculturalism that other countries have attempted to replicate, but never quite to the same degree of success. To provide scale, the second closest nation with the largest population of foreign-born nationals is Germany, with 12 million. That is almost four times greater than the second most generous, and yet this persistent distortion of truth about an imagined ‘xenophobia’ is incessantly repeated.
As was explained in Beckled’s analysis, the self-loathing we are currently seeing is, ironically, a measure of our own success. Self-deprecating societies are virtually all composed of nations that have historically succeeded admirably in repelling the dangers presented outside of its borders. America, therefore, is essentially a victim of its own success! Without a common enemy that the Left/Right political paradigm can agree upon and stand resolute against, we have now begun attacking each other. We have created a lifestyle so comfortable and free from the travails that afflict so many other nations that we, out of sheer boredom, have created for ourselves elaborate enemies out of one another. Enemies, after all, provide us with a sense of purpose and meaning.
I believe that human beings are hardwired to struggle because in the past adversity was an actual life and death struggle. In the absence of that, we have replaced it with a pampered and nerfed world, with no expense spared in our effort to mollycoddle, placate and endlessly accommodate through public assistance. And we have done so in an age where participation trophies are preferred over trophies signifying high-achievement and exceptionalism. We have grown delusional as to how dangerous the world really is because we have been fortunate to have been so safe for so long. The fact that the US has every accommodation possible and yet is still miserable, as evidenced by the ridiculous nonsense that we complain about, and that we paradoxically have one of the highest rates of suicide and depression, is a tacit admission that we have encapsulated ourselves in an unnatural, fantasy world. Boredom persists despite every distraction imaginable; a life often lived in utter opulence when compared to struggling Third World nations, is viewed as misfortune. We have taken it all for granted. Yet depression and rage are symptoms rampant in a society that, paradoxically, should be free from all of the troubles and travails that afflict us. Human beings are, by evolutionary design, meant to find a deep psychological balance with hardships. The struggle of high achievement and adversity provides the deepest satisfaction and sense of personal accomplishment and growth… but few of us can recognize that anymore.
Despite this, it has become ever so fashionable to trash the United States mercilessly. To do so openly is considered a virtuous and selfless endeavor. American hegemony, American exceptionalism, American conquest, American influence, etc, etc, is the bane of human existence. And the Hollywood elite are all too keen to get in on the action to bloviate about things they truly know nothing about — in a total disconnect with the society they are so determined to represent. This self-induced insanity through a kind of self-loathing signals the highest virtues among the self-imposed gurus our society has to offer. And, again, it is our own success that ironically provided us with the ability to so openly and, without consequence, denigrate one’s own society.
Haunted by the Ghosts of Slavery
The United States of America was a petri dish; a testing ground, a conceptualization of life apart from monarchy, where rights were guaranteed on the basis of Natural Law and not familial lineage. Before the United States, the French Revolution ushered in concepts such as a laissez-faire style of governance, postulated in principle by the likes of Voltaire, Rene Descartes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, but had not yet been put into practice due to several impediments. Contemporaneously, in Britain, a similar movement was espoused by the great minds of John Locke, Sir Francis Bacon, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Thomas Paine, etc. This movement would later be termed as the Age of Enlightenment. As the French and British Empires expanded towards the New World, along with it were implicit concepts of a clean slate where territories under monarchic rule secretly opined on how a form of Classical Liberalism (not at all to be confused by modern-day conceptions of liberalism or progressivism) might flourish. Without belaboring the exploits of the American Revolutionary War, as we know America gained its independence from the Royal Crown.
The Framers of what would be the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution took inspiration from these earlier minds to form what they earnestly believed was a more perfect Union; one where individual freedoms without undue government constraints were among the highest principles to honour, cherish and protect.
And yet, despite this beautiful jewel, an insidious and hideous duplicity paralleled it. The scourge of slavery. Slavery and the displacement of indigenous populations are chief among some of the greatest shames that this nation has had to endure. The legacy of slavery cannot be forgotten and it has irreparably tainted an otherwise beautiful dream. How could the author of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson, speak about the immutable right of man to be free while hypocritically running a plantation filled with slaves? Because like it or not, that is factual. If we were to leave the question both rhetorical and right where it is, the answer would honestly be indefensible. But that fact, alone, doesn’t tell the whole story and we would all be remiss if we oversimplified a topic of untold complexity.
A lesser-known fact about Jefferson is that he wrote a poignant and lengthy treatise on the scourge of trading shackled human chattel in the same way we auction livestock today. The transatlantic slave ships arrived on America’s shores long before Jefferson was born. Indeed, he grew up with the concept of slavery as just being the way things were until he was old enough to understand the true meanings of its hypocrisy. When penning his rough draft copies, he included the freeing of slaves, referring to the practice of it as a, “cruel war against human nature itself.” He railed against the horrors instituted by the British Crown and wrote explicitly about the King of England:
“He [King George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed again the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.”Thomas Jefferson
Notwithstanding his deepest reservations and resentments for the institution of slavery itself, he nevertheless understood that the economy itself was irrevocably connected to slavery — that to call for an immediate emancipation overnight would not only be catastrophic to the economy, but also to slaves themselves. Despite what modern conceptions of slavery entails, where masters were always cruel, sick and demented, history attests that this type of maltreatment was the exception, not the rule. Jefferson called for a gradual emancipation, thereby ensuring that slave owners would be fairly compensated for the loss and former slaves could be integrated into a life outside of its confinements to be free and productive members of society. Jefferson described this conundrum by stating, “We have a wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him nor safely let him go. Justice is on one scale, and self-preservation in the other.” Despite his earnest desire, the slavery clause and provision was removed from the Bill of Rights, cited by Jefferson for the following reasons, among others:
“The [Constitutional] clause…reprobating the enslaving the inhabitants of Africa, was struck out in compliance to South Carolina and Georgia, who had never attempted to restrain the importation of slaves, and who on the contrary still wished to continue it. Our Northern brethren also I believe felt a little tender under these censures; for tho’ their people have very few slaves themselves, yet they had been pretty considerable carriers of them to others.”
While knowing this, does any of it apologize for it sufficiently? It is the most emphatic, NO! The reality is, how could it ever? Slavery is, and always will be, a blight on the nation’s conscience and one of the greatest shames for America to reflect on. There is nothing that we can do to erase it, nor should we. It should never be forgotten. Despite our dubious beginnings, in spite of The Framers best intentions, what should this mean for the descendants of slavery and what should this mean for descendants of slave owners in the modern era?
As we know from history, Abraham Lincoln would finish what Thomas Jefferson started, through the abolition of slavery by provision of Constitutional ratification vis a vis the 13th Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation. The first attempt at reparations was the infamous 40 acres and a mule declaration promised to negros. Additionally, it was supposed to be provided for by something of an entirely black reservation, similar to parcels of land allocated to Native American tribes. This area was set to be a vast expanse covering 400,000 acres of land stretching from parts of South Carolina to portions of Florida. What happened to this promised land that was to be set aside to allow negros the unfettered freedom to worry about their own affairs and on their own terms without the white man breathing down his neck? Long story short, the plan fell through when Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, took the presidency. Johnson, a well-known Confederate sympathizer, reneged on the deal, thereby adding insult to injury.
In some parts of the United States, slaves were not even informed that they were freedmen until years or even decades later. Of those that were freed, they faced considerable discrimination and prejudice. Even while technically free, black Americans faced further injustices when draconian Jim Crow laws were enacted, which demanded racial segregation during what was supposed to be the Reconstruction Era, where blacks were to live out their own version of Manifest Destiny in peace.
This unabashed racism, much of which included heinous lynchings, went on unabated for nearly an additional 100 years. It wasn’t until the Civil Rights Movement, did black folk even marginally begin to see some semblance of equal justice under the law. And even still, during this time and after, have black people faced intolerance, bigotry, and systemic racism along the way. This group, generation after generation, has incontestably faced social injustices for an unimaginable amount of time. There is no question of this and to deny them that acknowledgment is to deny your own humanity. And even still, this is the extremely truncated version of history that can never tell all of the horrors faced by a people who have been systematically marginalized, oppressed, discriminated against and subjugated for centuries.
The good news is that if we were to look at a chart, that year after year, it would demonstrate an upward trend where black Americans were more and more woven into the fabric of the American landscape the way they should have been all along. Through the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s, to the 2010’s we have seen blacks being afforded greater opportunities, have earned tremendous respect, praised for their contributions and have otherwise made remarkable gains year after year. I think we all intuitively know that this nation, although still haunted by the ghosts of slavery’s past and while knowing there are still extant pockets of oppression, that perhaps the year 2017 or 2018 was the pinnacle year for the black American. But then… we stopped making headway and we all began to slide backwards — and not just backwards, but literally decades worth of advancements have been undone. What happened?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer. There is no magic bullet. There is no singular boogeyman to point to. But I am fairly certain that you are now thoroughly confused as to how I can, on the one hand, be so sympathetic to the plight of the black man and yet not support Black Lives Matter. Is this an oxymoron?
Deconstructing Society, Reconstructing History
Should white people feel a perpetual guilt for slavery and should black people feel a perpetual feeling of exclusion? We know that several generations have gone by. Should I feel a connection to the possible past sins of my forefathers? Should black friends, colleagues or neighbors feel a connection to the oppressed? There’s a lot to unpack there. On the one hand, I am able to acknowledge and agree that this historical fact was an ugly and reprehensible part of human history. On the other hand, I really don’t see how it involves me. In fact, it doesn’t involve me. I don’t say that to make light of or ignore the fact that racism still persists. I say it because I am not responsible for shouldering the burden of slavery because I may be distantly related to a slave owner anymore than it makes me a victim of slavery if I may be distantly related to a slave. I am not responsible for the odious segregation unfairly foisted onto blacks. I am not responsible for anyone’s actions except my own, and with a completely clear conscience I can categorically state that none of the ills that face the black community in the past or currently are any fault of my own. I have not and will not partake in anything that further damages race relations. I have not harmed a single soul outside of self-defense, so why should I be treated as though my name is Jim Crow? I am not the sum of my forefathers and no one is supposed to pay for the sins of the father, let alone the fathers-father, and the fathers-fathers-father, and so on. My race and your race is as miniscule, inconsequential and irrelevant as having been born male instead of female, or having been born on a Tuesday as opposed to Friday, or having been born at midnight instead of noon. It doesn’t matter, and our obsession with it is self-induced, unhealthy and counterproductive towards achieving progress. We can accept and recognize that the sins of slavery and segregation were disgusting parts of the past… and in the past is where we should leave it.
Black Lives Matter (BLM). What does that phrase mean to you, the reader? For many it means just what it says. If you were to ask me what I believe about that slogan, without any other implied pretense, of course black lives matter! However, when contrasting the slogan with the movement and their stated aims, I believe it is a dishonest presentation relying on sloganeering and propaganda. How do I mean? If we look at the word “feminism” and we review the definition alone as a basis for what it means, or what it ought to mean, we might come to the conclusion that it is an egalitarian belief that men and women should have equal footing. Yet, curiously, if we polled a group of 1,000 women and asked them if they self-identify as a feminist, we might very well expect to see 500 women identifying as feminist and 500 denying being feminist. Does that mean that one half of women who do not self-identify as a feminist therefore want to be subjugated by men, get paid less than a man, have less respect than a man, lose any rights fought for through the Suffrage Movement, etc? If you were to again poll that same group of woman and ask them if they believe they inherently have the same worth as a man and if they should not be held back merely on the basis of their sex or gender, you would likely see a near unanimous support for equality among the sexes. So why the disparity if they mean the same thing?
Simply put, it comes down to public perception. In my estimation, there is a world of difference between First Wave feminism when juxtaposed with Second or Third Wave feminism. Modern, ardent, self-proclaimed feminists often espouse extremely radical ideas against conceptions of patriarchy and misogyny, in principle, but in practice it often more accurately resembles misandry that’s been dressed up as anti-misogyny. In many instances, so is it with BLM. But in order to truly solidify the notion, we have to look at history as a guide — and not revisionist history, but a historicity that stands up scrutiny when tested.
Just beneath the substrate of BLM is an implicit reverence to Marxist ideology. If you don’t believe it, a co-founder stated publicly that they were “trained Marxists.” There is a necessary duality within Marxism that unduly places people into two distinct categories of antagonist and protagonist, namely — the bourgeoisie (the oppressive class) and the proletariat (worker’s class). Embedded in the very nature of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat is a kind of contrasting duality that is heavily implied. It is darkness versus light. Evil versus good. Victimizer versus victim. Oppressor versus the oppressed. White versus black. This implicit imagery is both intentional and is considered sacrosanct. They want you to view the world as an intrinsic caste system of only have’s and have-not’s, where no other distinguishing features can exist in between. There is no nuance, there are no subtleties, it’s just oversimplified notions of pure good and pure evil.
BLM is not the only subgroup that is infatuated with Marxist ideology. Antifa, short for Anti-Fascist, is a group that has seized upon the times to reek as much havok as humanly possible. This group, a nasty byproduct of the propaganda machine that is the college and university system, has only one clear objective — to deconstruct Western Civilization. Black Lives Matter, although sincerely wrong in their assessment, is at least sincere in their claims. Antifa, by comparison, is typically ranked by disaffected, basement-dwelling, militant-LARPing whitey’s who are more than happy to ride on the coat tails of BLM in order to achieve their own ends; a dismantling of the capitalist system to thereby usher in some kind of communist utopia. Of course, Marxist history is replete with instances of utopian dreams ultimately ending up as dystopian nightmares.
The irony that escapes these groups that seek to subvert law and order is that within Marxist ideology it necessarily must first be managed by a top-down, central form of government. In Marx’s literature, it was only after a hardline, centralized government mandating and managing human behavior to the most minute detail on behalf of the collective, did somehow the government magically and inexplicably dissolve away, leaving an anarchic bastion of perpetual peace in its place. Yet history repeatedly demonstrates its abysmal failure when actually tested beyond the theoretical phase. Its intractable qualities should serve as incontrovertible evidence that it is incompatible with human nature, itself, and yet it still obstinately persists. There is, to date, not a single social experiment or form of government that has ever proven the theory to operate as Marx, Lenin, Mao, Stalin, or any other derivation of communism, as it claimed it would. Every last example ends in a hellscape of oppression. The irony here is delicious. Antifa works tirelessly at dismantling an imagined “police state” of the West so that it can replace it with a Soviet-style form of government that has already demonstrably been proven to embody an actual police state.
It’s also ironic that a group of primarily white males have taken it upon themselves to speak on behalf of black people, often talk over black people, and derail the legitimate protests of black people to push an ulterior agenda.
“A paradox of our time: The far Left is disproportionately white, wealthy, and well-educated. So extreme “wokeness” is now one of the most glaring symptoms of “white privilege.”Sam Harris
Antifa is the group clad in all black, spray-painting slurs like “Fuck 12” and “ACAB” (All Cops Are Bastards) and the usual rigamarole. In the Pacific Northwest, such as we see in its flagship cities, Portland and Seattle, these are the ones hurling molotov cocktails, indiscriminately destroying businesses (many black-owned), intentionally trapping federal law enforcement agents that are tasked with guarding federal courthouses and trying to set them on fire, and the like. These are the people who somehow are delusional enough to honestly believe that they somehow occupy the moral high ground while, night after night after night, they endlessly parade around attacking police officers who are simply trying to maintain order and from stopping their cities from burning.
Even those that are not behaving with explicit violence are still suspect in what could only be rightfully described as the hostage taking of America. Proponents of BLM somehow have the belief that if you endlessly inconvenience and publicly shame people, somehow this is going to lift up a message of solidarity. Blocking streets, parading through entertainment districts with loud horns shaming patrons, and in many cases forcing people to partake of their solidarity under the threat of violent retribution. Take a knee, raise a fist, or suffer the wrath. It’s fascism masquerading as anti-fascism and it is impossible to understand how this antagonistic behavior is supposed to draw people towards the message instead of what it actually does; repulse them.
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”Frederick Nietschze
Among some of the bad faith arguments I recently watched a video of some young ladies cleaning up graffiti from the walls of a courthouse. A driver, seeing this, came to the logical fallacy that if they are cleaning up graffiti with the acronym of BLM, that they could not possibly therefore believe that black lives matter. Of course, had somebody spray-painted BLM on her car, would she therefore be racist for daring to clean it up? These kinds of lazy, intellectually dishonest presentations of fictionalized truth, sum up the current state of apostasy and the willful ignorance on display.
Still, something seems amiss here. Although these groups would love for you to believe that they are truly some impromptu, grassroots, collaborative effort, there is no way for these groups to be self-funded when they are ranked by jobless, full-time anarchists. At the time of this writing who are now at five months of unabated rioting. It seems powerful interests are funding this and quietly pulling the strings. But who?
Making a Deal with the Devil
There are firms who quietly funnel in money from wealthy benefactors to pay for henchmen to do their dirty work. These firms are not shy to admit that they will gladly, yet discreetly, take your generous donations to pay protesters to do your bidding. One such firm, ‘Demand Protest’, boldly posts this on their frontpage:
“We Assemble Movements: From grassroots organizations to advocacy groups, we seed the narratives and gather the groups you desire. When your strategy demands paid protest, we organize and bring it to life.”
On their “services” tab it lists their objectives as such:
“Recruitment: Our top priority is preventing any associations back to you. Our operatives only know us, and we have a proven track record of maintaining secrecy.
Directed Action: We demand actions of our operatives on the ground and provide them in-person support. Create the scenes that will sway the public opinion and perception without any guesswork.
Deniability: By taking every precaution, keeping our clients secret, and only hiring the best individuals, we can ensure that all actions will appear genuine to media and public observers.”
There it is, in black and white. No amount of spin can rescue this from its obvious intent — manufacturing chaos for political gain. Yet, on numerous occasions the media has claimed that paid protestors are a fabrication. In my own experiences we have surveilled some in my own city, tracing them back to being put up in hotels, after many of them bragged about being paid to protest. So much for discretion.
These powerful special interest groups who are actually funding this are colluding with mayors, city council members, city managers, and even chiefs of police in a sick and self-serving game of quid pro quo. What these people fail to understand is that you cannot appease an angry mob that is frothing at the mouth by trying to commiserate with them or capitulating to their unreasonable demands, hoping that you will be spared of their wrath by complying. Trying to make a deal with the devil only serves that you will be the last one devoured — but devoured you shall be, in the end. What these politicians don’t understand is that no amount of radical policies are ever going to be enough to satiate that which, by design, is unquenchable. You, the reader/listener, will have to gain an appreciation for the fact that moral indignation is itself the goal. There is no remedy with which to appease a mobocracy when complaint always has more currency than the solution. In the end, those foolish enough to try and broker a deal with the devil will be strung up like Mussolini when the crowd descends upon you. Portland Mayor, Ted Wheeler, is finding this out the hard way. Ted Wheeler has vainly tried to align himself with a mob that doesn’t see him as an ally and would rather see his head on a pike than to collaborate with him. Instead of dealing with his own failed policies on the subject, he tries to deflect blame anywhere aside from him.
The same could be said of Seattle during the CHAZ/CHOP (Capital Hill Autonomous Zone) incursion, where the Seattle Police Department were essentially ordered to stand down as one of their precincts was overtaken and ransacked by Antifa. When asked about the idiocy of allowing a group of anarcho-militants to illegally appropriate several blocks of Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood, Seattle mayor, Jenny Durkan, tried to make light of it by calling it a “Summer of Love.” The obvious intended connection she was desperately trying to make was that the movement was somehow comparable to a revitalized version of the Hippie love festivals for peace and non-violence. The problem is that unlike the 1960’s hippie movement, Antifa is infested with radical, violent agitators. As the famous podcaster, Joe Rogan, rightly pointed out, everything that occurred inside of CHAZ/CHOP was everything that Antifa hypocritically railed against. It was taken by force, they immediately established borders, they jealously guarded those borders by threat of force, they were armed, those armed enforcers acted as police with sheer brutality, where an ethos of might equals right ruled the day via factions and warlords, etc. It didn’t take long before the crime rate spiked with a 525% increase. Murders, assaults, rapes, etc, were rampant inside of this exclusionary zone. The mayor eventually had to walk back her peace-loving, Flower Power, Hippie-dippy narrative in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary and quietly demanded that the ‘cop-free zone’ be shut down by, wouldn’t you know it, the very police force she originally wanted to keep out.
Yet, in spite of introvertible evidence suggesting that this whole BLM/Antifa movement was predicated on the platform of police reform and police accountability, was in fact a thinly veiled disguise and a smokescreen. We see how callously the city and county officials employing these deputies and officers have used and abused them as cannon fodder; like inanimate chess pieces to move around whenever it is convenient to use them for an actual law enforcement purpose or whether to use them as theater props in which to hurl insults towards and publicly denigrate them for the cheap applause of a jeering mob. It highlights a total lack of respect for these officers and deputies, as they are publicly excoriated. Meanwhile, quietly they are ordering them to restore order and to protect themselves from a mob that they know would tear them to pieces if they had the chance. What shameful and despicable conduct. And for what, some kind of End Game? There is no End Game, and don’t be naive to ever think there is. As soon as their demands are met they will ask for more unreasonable and unrealistic demands in a never-ending vicious cycle. You cannot reason with people by trying to solve a dilemma when wielding a weaponized dilemma itself is the goal. This is why acquiescing to them in the slightest just bolsters their confidence instead of making concessions. They clasp tightly to doublethink; simultaneously claiming that truth is an illusion while paradoxically claiming to be its rightful heirs.
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself — that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.”George Orwell
I have one question to these politicians in the House of Representatives, in the Senate, in the governor’s mansions, in City Halls around the nation; do you honestly and genuinely believe that you will be viewed on the right side of history or is this all self-serving politicking?
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”Theodore Roosevelt
The uninitiated know neither victory nor defeat because their timidity causes them to shrink at the first sign of adversity. The only thing that uninitiated politicians, media moguls, finger-wagging celebrities, multi-million dollar athletes, intellectual hucksters and uninformed citizens know how to do is cast blame. If they did even a single ride-along to experience reality as it is and not how they pretend for it to be, they might develop even the tiniest twinge of understanding. We have heard the shrieking voices of hysteria demanding “police reform,” “defund the police” and to “reimagine policing.” They will gleefully reprimand and publicly scorn officers while not taking even a second to recognize just how demanding the job is, what dangers they constantly face, how they must make perfect snap decisions, and how often times any judgment the officer makes leaves him or her in a futile predicament with choices that ultimately lead to untenable and unwinnable non-solutions. Damned if do, damned if you don’t.
I strongly believe there is a legitimate need for police reform, which I will detail elsewhere, but few of it echoes the sentiments expressed by a piously sanctimonious group of elites who haven’t the faintest clue what they are talking about but use their status or fame to preach the cult-like, woke gospel from the pulpit of social media. So much of the social activism is obviously relegated to performative theatrics and attention-whoring for clicks, but what is most important to recognize is that the youth are taken in by this nonsense. Young, impressionable, idealistic — these are some of the foundational virtues that Generation Z are built upon. And to question anything outside of this woke dogma is anathema. A generation of children listening to childish adults for advice leads to more childish adults in the future.
In Progressive-run city after progressive-run city, there seems to be a self-destructive race to the bottom. If San Francisco implements an asinine policy that is absolutely antithetical to reason, common sense and sound judgment, rest assured that Seattle, Portland, Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles are sure to adopt it and may even up the ante. It has now become so very cosmopolitan and fashionable to “reimagine policing.” But what does it mean? All the cities that jumped on the bandwagon are more or less adopting a piece of legislature that is supposed to be voted on soon, entitled, “The Breathe Act.” The name itself is an allusion derived from a few high-profile cases wherein a black subject died in police custody after having made verbal complaints that they had difficulty breathing, such as the cases of Eric Garner and George Floyd. According to the website, it can be summarized as thus:
“This visionary bill divests our taxpayer dollars from brutal and discriminatory policing and invests in a new vision of public safety — a vision that answers the call to defund the police and allows all communities to finally BREATHE free.
We are rising up against all the ways the criminal-legal system has harmed and failed to protect Black communities… History is clear that we cannot achieve genuine safety and liberation until we abandon police, prisons and all punishment paradigms.”
So in order to help black communities, we need to abandon police, prisons and all punishment paradigms. If you abolish prisons where are you going to send all of the criminal cops?! These measures are going to help black people? One of my greatest concerns is how these policies, designed to help minorities, are going to have tragic consequences for them who, by the way, are statistically the most vulnerable. And to what extent will unnecessary and divisive identity politics damage race relations, not heal it?
“The problem with the social activism we are now seeing—what John McWhorter has called “the new religion of anti-Racism”—is that it finds racism nearly everywhere, even where it manifestly does not exist. And this is incredibly damaging to the cause of achieving real equality in our society. It’s almost impossible to exaggerate the evil and injustice of slavery and its aftermath. But it is possible to exaggerate how much racism currently exists at an Ivy League university, or in Silicon Valley, or at the Oscars. And those exaggerations are toxic—and, perversely, they may produce more real racism. It seems to me that false claims of victimhood can diminish the social stature of any group, even a group that has a long history of real victimization.
The imprecision here—the bad-faith arguments, the double standards, the goal-post shifting, the idiotic opinion pieces in the New York Times, the defenestrations on social media, the general hysteria that the cult of wokeness has produced—I think this is all extremely harmful to civil society, and to effective liberal politics, and to the welfare of African Americans.”Sam Harris
No one, least of all me, cannot understand that the current sentiment is not at least well-intentioned. While I absolutely believe that some people in high places are intentionally obfuscating the narrative deliberately, most of the people in support of BLM have genuine, positive intentions for change. Their only real problem is that they are operating on faulty assumptions that can easily be debunked by actual facts, statistics and datasets. And what is all this leading to? Because the views expressed by adherents of BLM seem to indicate that outcomes alone can prove motives. If your only metrics are, 1. white police officer, and, 2. black person shot by white police offer, and from that you have somehow managed to deduce that it necessarily means that the cop is an inveterate racist, then you are poisoning the well with disingenuous arguments. There are millions and millions of interactions nationwide between the police and the public annually. If this was an out of control, rampant problem the numbers would reflect that… and they don’t… they absolutely do not, as you will find out shortly.
But this issue goes much deeper than just police. Just to be white in the United States is to start out with the implied assumption that you are definitely a racist until proven otherwise, i.e. guilt before innocence. To be very clear, this belief isn’t even shared among the black community nearly as widely as you might think.
“They tried to get me to hate white people, but someone would always come along and spoil it.”Thelonious Monk
This, bizarrely enough, is largely an invention from other white people about white people! In this ultra-dogmatic and toxic climate of Cancel Culture, there is a social currency for perpetuating woke-ology; where scapegoats are dutifully sacrificed atop the altar of political correctness. If you are not constantly signaling your virtues for being down with the cause, then expect to be unceremoniously branded as a racist, more often than not, by another white person. It is not at all uncommon to see white agitators from Antifa attacking black people in the name of Black Lives Matter. Why? Because the black gentleman is “racist” against black people… If there weren’t countless pieces of videographic evidence, I wouldn’t believe it. How did we arrive at this predicament?
That Doors Swings in Both Directions
Leftist ideology has, as of late, gone so hard to the Left to the point where it’s off the charts. It has gotten so bad that many lifelong Democrats who see these exaggerations as wild vagaries are now systematically being excommunicated from liberal circles. A liberal by modern standards is nothing like a liberal from the not-so-distant past, in my estimation. This Radical Left has completely subsumed typical leftist ideology so as to make it virtually unrecognizable. Take for example, Sam Harris, a life-long democrat who has occupied most of his time in the center-left; a champion of black causes, a champion of liberal causes; clearly by any reasonable measure, obviously not a racist or a prototypical Republican in any sense of the word. He is a man who very openly and vocally challenges President Trump’s talking points and policies. Regardless, because he has not gulped on, let alone sipped at the Kool-Aid being passed around he has essentially been publicly maligned as “Alt-Right.” Alt-right, let me remind you, is a phrase coined by an actual advocate of white separatism — Richard Spencer. That Sam Harris, a Jew, would have any affiliation whatsoever with an actual white supremacist is nonsensical… and yet it doesn’t stop radical Leftists from spreading false and malicious propaganda. Fractional amounts of overlap among people are bound to happen, and we see it being abused in the most atrocious ways with lazily constructed logical fallacies. We are inexorably inching towards a kind of invocation of Godwin’s Law or Reductio ad Hitlerum here, whereby anything anyone does or says, eventually reaches a faulty assumption of Nazi collaboration.
Premise A: Hitler loved dogs.
Premise B: You love dogs.
Conclusion: You’re a Nazi-sympathizer.
That’s more or less demonstrable of how intellectually lazy and disingenuous the arguments are becoming.
One of the many problems with this mentality is that it finds outrage wherever it can find it, and if they can’t find it genuinely, they have no problem smashing a round peg into a square cutout to try and make it fit. Why? Because it has currency. In the same way Germans were stupidly led to turn in Hitler’s undesirables to the Gestapo for social status, that kind of rat-bastard mentality is rife in this brave new world of Wokeness. And make no mistake, there is no prerequisite for being an actual racist; just casually tossing out the unsubstantiated assertion alone has more impact than proving it. Usually the burden of proof lies on the shoulders of the person making the claim. Now it is the exact opposite. The common Social Justice Warrior way to denude a legitimate argument face-to-face is to drown out your opponent’s argument by childishly screaming over them. The best way to silence dissenting opinions online is to derail the conversation with an unsubstantiated allegation, like falsely claiming they are a racist. The opposition will spend the rest of their time trying to defend their honour from the Woke-grenade that was just thrown into the room instead of dealing with the substantive issue.
We have unwittingly inverted that philosophical standard so that if someone excoriates you as an unrepentant racist, the burden is now yours to prove your innocence — lest you find yourself facing the Twitter firing squad. And the reality is that once you have the Scarlet Letter, so to speak, you are marked for life. There is no method of atonement, there is no method for return. Once cast out from the city walls you are forever a heretic.
The Radical Left, in true cannibalistic fashion, is eating its own. Out of pure fear for being labelled a racist, many ordinary left-leaning people are finding that they have to go with the flow or risk false accusations. It has gotten so bad and so pronounced that Antifa has essentially become the thug wing of the Democratic Party precisely because they are willing to do the wet work. Almost no one is publicly condemning this behavior because to do so, is to risk the mob from tearing you to pieces, doxxing you, falsely accusing you, etc. It’s not difficult to see, if left unchecked, where this is all headed.
Far left politics brings in Far-Right reactionaries that hurt race relations. You can only scream in people’s faces that they are racist for so long before they lose their minds. If you want to create actual racists, then keep insisting that there is no way for them not to be a racist except by drinking the Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. Keep consigning people to ever smaller concentric circles of compartmentalization in the name of equality, and that is precisely how they will behave. This has all the warning signs of a self-fulfilling prophecy just waiting to happen.
The irony with it all is that the hardline, Radical Left is ceding ground to the hardline, Radical Rightwing, whether they realize it or not. In the process, the Right is shifting even further towards the farthest fringes of Far Right extremism, as action causes reaction and reaction causes overreaction and overreaction leads to bloodshed. When diplomacy fails and two sides are not able to confer amicably by meeting one another in the middle, to find even a modicum of common ground, you only have one thing left remaining on the table… Violence. And that is exactly what we are seeing. The Left and Right have now taken up arms against one another. Several politically motivated homicides have occurred as the fallout. Expect it to get worse; much worse.
It has now gotten to the point where radical leftist caucasians feel as though they can talk down to black folks who don’t see racism in the eyes of every single white person. I am disgusted by the amount of Woke white kids who feel as though they have the right to call black officers “Uncle Tom’s” for doing nothing more than being black and wearing a police uniform. In fact, the amount of vitriol that I see spewed towards my black brothers and sisters in arms hurts the depths of my soul when I see it. But, Black Lives Matter, right? As Dave Chappelle hilariously noted in one of his recent comedy specials, calling a black person an Uncle Tom is a very serious allegation. While obviously being jocular, there is a very real truth behind that. That might be one of the most vicious accusations somebody can level against a black person. But this just serves to further prove that it’s never really been about black lives, as such. This is political and social sabotage masquerading as a legitimate cause. If black people matter then they would matter 100% of the time, and when I uncover the hypocrisy in subsequent chapters, you will see that it’s nothing more than a political expedient.
The Radical Left’s idea of equality is not actual equality in terms of perfect, harmonious parity with one another across the board. They are looking for an inversion; a kind of reverse racism. The extreme patronage, the fawning, the ass-kissing that is going on is not equality. Just because you are complementary to black people doesn’t mean that you are respecting them. I can tell you now that if I were black, I would see this as highly offensive. Why? Because it’s obnoxiously patronizing and it inherently still compartmentalizes black folks instead of being inclusive on actual equal terms; not on a pedestal, not lower; but actually equal. White guilt, in my estimation, is just another form of black exploitation, has nothing to do with cultivating true equality, and I see right through the ploy. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees it…
“The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked or deceived by the white liberal, then Negros would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America, the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Negros think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems. Our problems will never be solved by the white man.”Malcolm X
Racism persists because special interest groups keep it alive on life-support, not because it organically has staved off natural selection. Furthermore, the bar for what constitutes legitimate racism has been set so ridiculously low that virtually anything anyone says or does qualifies, where it most certainly would not have in years past.
The truth may hurt, but I’d rather the truth hurt if, in the long run, it is an antidote towards stopping, inoculating and eradicating real racism. Do not blunt this pain by medicines, as it is a necessary component to the healing process. So let it be.
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
The title of this chapter is taken from a quote from the late and great American writer, Mark Twain. The philosophical impetus behind it is that when we think of statistics, we often perceive them in terms of absolutes by their unassailable qualities to provide us with quantitative evidence. While in most instances that is accurate, nevertheless there are ways in which statistics can be manipulated so as to, not fudge the numbers, per se, but to distort the perspective in such a way that the information gleaned leads to faulty assumptions. This can be done in a number of ways, such as, but limited to:
- Poor or incomplete sampling
- Preference Falsification
- Causation not necessarily equaling correlation
- Selective datasets through omissions
- Too small of a sample size to reliable determine percentage figures
- False Equivalencies contaminating datasets
To flesh out some of these points by example, there are misleading ways to present evidence. Let’s suppose that you are a lawyer and a prospective client wants to retain your services, but will only feel comfortable doing so if they can statistically determine your win to loss ratio. As a new attorney to the firm, you know that you have won 3 cases with 0 losses. That is legitimately a 3:0 ratio. That’s not a lie, and so you can honestly tell your client that you have a win rate of 100%. Of course, you conveniently omitted relevant information in the form of failing to disclose that you have such a small sample size that it would honestly be guesswork as to how good of an attorney you really are.
This, among a myriad of other ways, is how statistics can be misleading without being an out-and-out lie. Consciously aware of this, it is my duty to do everything in my power not to exclude disconfirming evidence or mislead the audience in any manner so as to vindicate my position. I mention this only because there are countless articles that, when fact-checked, depicts a self-confirming narrative but when subjected to scrutiny, it falls apart.
As it relates to police uses of force, we have to first uncover how data is collected to determine what, if anything, can be usefully gleaned. City municipalities, counties, State and federal law enforcement statistics are overseen by the Justice Department. Federal law mandates that a multitude of stats are collected for the purposes of determining trends, patterns, problematic areas that need addressing, etc. A trove of information into a digital repository can be of vital use. As of late, a number of non-government entities have also been following police shootings to an impressive degree of accuracy. If multiple sources seem to have corroborating information along with verifiable evidence to its legitimacy, then we can feel comfortable knowing that the degree of accuracy is probably in earnest.
There is a growing belief that homicide by law enforcement is unacceptably high, and particularly that it disproportionately represents black and brown people. Over the last decade demonstrates that the statistical average of police killings is approximately 950 per year, but for the sake of the argument let’s round up to an even 1,000, assuming that 2019 and 2020 trends, which indicate a nominal increase, continue at an upward trend. There are approximately 120,000,000 calls for service specifically for the police nationwide, when adjusted to exclude 9-1-1 calls for fire or EMS services. That means that 1:120,000 interactions between police and civilians results in a deadly force encounter. To provide scale, the estimated amount of deaths resulting from medical malpractice are in between 25,000 to 120,000, with an average of 72,500 annually. Does the media endlessly cover the epidemic of medical malpractice deaths, even though the numbers are grossly disparate when compared to deaths at the hands of the police? Statistically, for every one person killed by the police, there are 72.5 people who died at the hands of a medical doctor. Does that serve to keep things into perspective? Does the incessant media slant of killer cops roaming the streets sound a little more ridiculous now?
Furthermore, the degree to which police officers have been cleared of wrong-doing during those deadly force encounters is remarkably high. This is very relevant because heavily implied within the narrative of roving packs of killer cops is that, if there was a deadly force encounter, that it is somehow due to a massive failing on the part of law enforcement. Police officers, like everyone else, have the inherent right to self-defense. By virtue that they are dispatched to tense calls puts them at an infinitely greater likelihood of seeing these kinds of incidents, let alone participating in one. Why is there an implied assumption that if someone dies at the hands of police, that it automatically assumes wrongdoing on the part of the cop?
Skeptics and cop-haters have assumed that exoneration is because cops are protecting one another. The fact of the matter is that in an age of unparalleled accountability, where videographic and audio evidence is available to come to rational inferences, it makes it easy for investigators, prosecuting attorney’s, juries and judges to come to logical conclusions. We will go over police accountability in greater detail in subsequent chapters.
According to the US Census Bureau, as of 2019, total population estimates are an approximate number of 328,239,523. Out of that total number, the demographic population for the largest subsets of the United States by race is as follows:
- African-American of pure ancestry: 13.4%
- African-Americans if including biracial or mixed ancestry: 29.4%
- Caucasians of non-Hispanic origin excluding mixed ancestry: 60.1%
- Caucasians including Hispanic ethnicity: 76.3%
- Ethnically Hispanic of any race: 18.5%
- Asian ancestry excluding any mixed ancestry: 5.9%
Of course, it is also important to remember that science is very muddled when it comes to race and ethnicity. A uniformed consensus has never been fully established. Distinctive physical features, which loosely determine races are, after all, extant because of selective pressures through evolutionary adaptations. For instance, the amount of melanin (skin pigmentation) determining one’s skin tone is often reflective of an adaptation to climate. As hominids ventured out of Africa and migrated into Europe, following big game animals, the climate during the Ice Age was extremely cold and mostly overcast. This meant that dark skin became a liability in such a climate because of less of an ability to synthesizeVitamin D, and so deficiencies would develop over time. Inversely, lighter skin acts as a kind of beacon for absorbing what little ultraviolet light exists. However, in much warmer climates with an abundance of sunshine, darker skin is much more advantageous because it protects cells from the punishing radiation of the Sun. Lighter skin therefore absorbs way too much radiation, thereby causing higher than normal rates of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and other forms of skin cancer. Gene selection and long periods of isolation is how and why there are races at all. And even then, we know that skin color alone does not determine race. Case in point, do people with albinism coming from two African-American parents all of a sudden lose their identity as being “black” just because they are albinos? Obviously that is not the case, but it serves to further demonstrate just how hinky racial determinents are.
Why I mention the subtleties of racial identity is because what it means to be black and what it means to be white is largely subjective. It gets even more complicated when two or more distinct races intermingle, and it gets much more complicated when accounting for an Hispanic variable. Early Jim Crow conceptions, for instance, employed a kind of ‘One Drop Rule’ (as in one drop of blood), which meant that if a person had anything other than a pure racial lineage of caucasian, they were tainted and therefore could not be racially classified as white. Many biracial children over the years have felt shunned, oftentimes, by a racist, snobbish and elitist, white society and therefore self-identify as black although having one white parent and one black parent. Still other biracial people refuse to give preference to either and simply identify as biracial or mulatto and do not specifically identify as white, black, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander or any other derivation, just biracial or multiracial.
So if we go back and look at the statistics, we see that I included two sections for African-Americans, one with a purely black lineage and the other interracial. Because we cannot definitively calculate the exact percentage of interracial people that identify as exclusively white, exclusively black or a perfectly bi-sected combination, then in order to be fair we must divide down the middle, giving us a probably more accurate median of 21.4% as the total US black population. Notwithstanding anecdotes, that does intuitively seem to be more accurate.
The same could now be said of the white population as it relates to a juxtaposition between Non-Hispanic whites versus White Hispanics. Again, Hispanic or Latino is an ethnicity, not a race. There are also a lot of notable differences between, say, Mestizo-Mexican and a white Cuban. Both are Latinos, but the Mestizo’s (admixture of Central/South American indigenous peoples and Castillian Spaniards) likely would not self-identify as “guerro/guerra,” (Mexican slang for Cacucasian) or “gringo/gringa” (Caribbean/South American slang for Caucasian). But a fair-skinned Argentinian might. Therefore, in order to truly try to accurately quantify what it means to be grouped as “White,” we are going to have to split the difference. When we do, we see that Caucasians account for 68.2% of the total US population.
According to every source, even the most extreme peddlers of the racist killer cop theory, detail that white people are shot and killed by police in far greater numbers than blacks and hispanics combined. In fact, they account for more than half; approximately 55%. Of course, perhaps it is disingenuous because caucasians account for a greater number of people. Obviously that would statistically place them in a greater likelihood of police encounters simply by sheer volume. Ordinarily that would be a fair point, but unfortunately for the racist killer cop theory, even when you adjust to a per capita model, it still demonstrates that white people are killed more often when you consider the demographic breakdown of crime in terms of each’s contribution to overall crime. Which you are about to see.
The Psychology of Criminality
Why does crime exist at all? Why do some cultures, like the Japanese, have such remarkably low instances of crime and others places, like Chicago, are exploding at the seams? Make no mistake that it is culturally influenced. There are social pressures and societal norms in Japan that keep other people accountable to one another. There is a level of shame and embarrassment that acts as a tremendous deterrent to would-be criminals, much more than any cop or law could do at preventative measures. Chicago, contrastly, is a culture mired in the depths of despair where a kill or be killed mentality continues to rage on. There is no shame and there is no embarrassment. In fact, social pressures incentivize one to look for wealth by hook or crook, as something that should be taken and not earned, a callow existence based on superficial vanity is praised and admired, respect is earned in a beat down or flows out the barrel of a gun.
Criminality and rates of recidivism are complex, and certainly could not be tackled in plenary by this chapter alone. But make no mistake that it all starts at home and as it works its way outwards from there. Dysfunction spreads from the home, to the block, and then to the neighborhood, and then that part of town, and then the city as a whole, and so on. Poor upbringing, generational poverty, generational dysfunction, lack of opportunities, a neighborhood’s imperviousness to gentrification or upward mobility, insufficient or inept education system, slow capital transfer, leniency on crime, the dissolution of two parent homes, a saturation of narcotics, being exposed to crime constantly from cradle to grave, relying on hand-out’s instead of a leg up, exposure to physical, sexual or mental abuse, etc. These intangible qualities are impediments to change. There are hundreds of neighborhoods across the United States that are afflicted by these factors which turn what could be exemplary people to a life of crime. These terrible traits in disenfranchised neighborhoods can be found in small towns where its only industry that was keeping the town afloat collapsed. We see destitute places where no economic opportunity leads to the eventual sale and consumption of methamphetamines or opioids; for the dealer to make money to survive and for the user to cope with their fading hope. But where it is mostly seen is in the ghettos of America and to a lesser extent, the barrios. I am always amazed by the underdogs who absolutely refuse to let it define them and refuse to be victims. Their strength through legitimate adversity is such an admirable trait that needs to be recognized more often.
What I am about to say, I am not allowed to say in our current zeitgeist. It is one of the most taboo subjects that can be discussed in America; a subject so sensitive that it’s like trying to handle plutonium. It is a topic so taboo that we treat it like the 13th floor and just pretend it doesn’t exist, even though quietly we all know it does.
African-Americans commit more crime per capita than any other racial demographic in the United States.
To say what I just said, you can’t even be black and get to say that, let alone be allowed to say that as a white cop. That, alone, is one of the worst things that can be uttered. In our awkward discomfort with the topic, as a nation we will gaslight this thing to death in an effort to cover up this dirty, little secret or to excuse it away. No one is allowed to say it out loud, and by its very utterance is immediately suggestive that you are a bigot, you are a racist, and that you couldn’t possibly have black people’s best interests in mind.
In my estimation, we need to stop being afraid of having difficult conversations and we need to start an honest dialogue with one another. I am not insensitive to how sensitive of a topic it is and, more importantly, why. We can discuss all day long concerning who or what is to blame for creating it and who is at fault for impeding its abrogation. At first, we just have to acknowledge its unflattering existence.
The major city that I grew up in had quite a few predominantly black neighborhoods. I lived in a fairly affluent part of town, but there was a major thoroughfare less than .5 miles away from my home that bisected the predominantly white neighborhood from the predominantly black one. The very structural design of the neighborhood, as it relates to inlets and outlets, seemed to have been intentionally constructed so as to disallow the residents of the poor neighborhood from intermingling with the affluent ones. This kind of segregation-oriented land development is sometimes colloquially referred to as, “The Trap.” And if you cannot surmise how something, even as small as that, would affect your outlook as a black man or woman in America, then you are willfully blind. I distinctly remember feeling bad for the folks on the other side of that wall – to be treated like second-class citizens in their own country and I wondered how, by the 80’s and 90’s, that this idiocy could still be present in America.
There were many programs in the 1950’s and 1960’s geared towards helping the black community that, while well-intentioned, had disastrous consequences for not only the black community but the entirety of the community as a whole. The welfare state came in trying to coddle the black man through endless subsistence and social programs. If we look at “The Projects,” which is a colloquial term for subsidized housing developments for low-income families, we see that it inadvertently increased a concentration of poverty instead of either dispersing poverty or ameliorating it. It literally had the opposite intended effect, which was to ease poverty by removing the burden of high-priced housing, but instead distributed socioeconomic deprivation to an area, causing a cascading effect of crime, poverty, dysfunction and substance abuse. This cycle endlessly repeated, generation after generation after generation until it became normalized and accepted. For many black folks across the nation, this plight is their everyday existence.
As a consequence to this, police departments are driven by crime statistics. The police obviously saturated crime-ridden areas with a greater frequency than they would patrol areas with much lower instances of crime. Criminality led to more interactions between the police and residents of the ghettos. Unsurprisingly, residents fought cops, cops fought residents, and an animosity and rift grew. The black community resented the cops for brutalizing them and always selectively targeting them. The cops, on the other hand, resented the fact that they had to constantly risk their lives for a group that hates them and never seems to appreciate that for however many blacks were arrested, that many more black victims of crime were saved from violent crime in the process. It is not hard to understand how this cycle of resentment can foster long-lasting animosities that continue on for generations. That is exactly what haunts us to this very day.
There seems to be a new trend posited by BLM and other social activist groups that deny that Black on Black crime exists – or if it exists, that it is to such an infinitesimal degree that mentioning it is needlessly detracting from the greater problem; racism in law enforcement. The fact is that in city after city, stat after stat, demonstrates that African-Americans are mostly criminalized by other African-Americans. Let’s look at just one example. 30.9% of Chicago’s total population is black. Of that relatively small fraction, an average of 500 murders annually take place against that small fraction. Another study revealed that 75% of all victims of crime in Chicago were black. Concurrently, 71% of all criminal activity was committed by black perpetrators. That means that ¾ of all Chicago crime is perpetrated by blacks, that ¾ of all victims in Chicago are black, and that in record numbers they are killing one another. Two years worth of homicides in this single US city accounts for the same number of homicides by police annually for the entire nation combined. How’s that for keeping things in perspective? That’s just for Chicago. In city after city you will see a similar trend playing out.
Why am I mentioning this? What relevance is there? Two reasons: 1. If black lives matter (the philosophical concept), then why does Black Lives Matter (the movement) not go into hoods, ghettos and projects to spread a message of love and unity? 2. If we defund the police, as has been the suggested solution, you are absolutely going to have disastrous results for black victims of crime, who are statistically among the most vulnerable subsets of our society.
In fact, it has already been demonstrably proven that defunding of police departments have had disastrous effects for the communities as crime rates have predictably soared. These sobering statistics speak for themselves.
Furthermore, if our only metric for determining the improprieties of police is by measure of uses of force, and more specifically uses of force against the African-American community, then you are setting all of us up for failure. It is a statistical destiny that force will, at some point, have to be applied in order to effect an arrest. Police don’t use force inside of a vacuum. If your goal is to net zero uses of force, then that is going to be entirely dependent on the other party not to use force against the police.
One goal espoused by the Reimagine Police camp is to have no uses of force by a certain year. Utter, pie-in-the-sky nonsense to the point of laughable absurdity. No force used is almost entirely determined by the other party. So instead of yelling at police officers for doing their job, maybe it would be more useful to tell the public to not physically accost police officers, to not resist, to not signal preparatory cues that you are going to fight and to fight your battles in the courtroom, not on the side of the road.
The narrative sewn by the media is that of an unrelenting, brutal, heavy-handed, out of control police force, with its ranks saturated from top to bottom by sociopaths with itchy trigger fingers. The narrative is that this is not the exception, but the rule. Further, it also makes strong allusions which suggest that there is a cavernous, deeply entrenched culture of oppression, particularly against minorities, that is so inextricably infused within the fundamental role of policing itself that, in order to have substantial reform, it all but necessitates a drastic dismantling of the system. It’s a heavy accusation.
The police, particularly in the United States, see and experience things with an alarming regularity that most civilians just honestly cannot understand. I don’t say that to sound holier-than-thou or so above the issue that civilians are just too feeble to comprehend. But listening to laymen speak, there seems to be a very serious disconnect concerning what police actually do versus what they are perceived to be doing. And to be sure, I don’t altogether fault them for this.
What I mean to say is that people dial 9-1-1 because they are having a problem — quite often a problem so massive that they called YOU on the worst day of their lives. People don’t call the police to invite them over for a cup of tea, they called them because a mentally deranged man with a screwdriver is in the throes of such an unnerving hallucination that he genuinely believes that a random woman pushing her child in a stroller was actually the Spawn of Satan sent to kill him. The alacrity at which these things occur necessitates an immediate response by someone who has to be able to simultaneously recognize that this man is ill and needs help, while also understanding that regardless of how or why he arrived at that mental state, or whether or not he can be persuaded to make rational choices, he nevertheless poses an imminent threat to an innocent woman and her baby. He needs desperate intervention… and does the mother and her child. The officer has to adjudicate and adjust based on constantly shifting variables. Is the weapon, by the manner of its inherent design, capable of causing death or grievous bodily injury? What is the proximity of the weapon in relation to the victim(s)? What is the speed at which he is closing in on the victims? What is that mentally ill subject screaming that might offer context clues as to his motivations? Is this a domestic violence situation or is it stranger on stranger? Is he retreating briefly, only to seemingly be overcome by the audible voices urging him to kill? A crowd of onlookers has now descended upon the scene filming the altercation instead of helping in any meaningful way. They are constantly dividing the officer’s attention by yelling things; some helpful, some nonsensical, and some critical of his (in)actions. What is in the background should the officer have to discharge his firearm? Any bystanders? What if he has to fire his weapon 7 times in order to stop the threat instead of just once? Will his actions be viewed after the fact as overkill from a bloodthirsty cop? Will his department and the District Attorney’s office have his back for saving lives or will they summarily throw him under the bus because an angry mob, who don’t understand, or care to understand any of the aforementioned variables, believe that he should be able to always successfully de-escalate the situation with perfect success?
Thankfully, none of that had to come to fruition because the man was able to drop the screwdriver, collapsed to the ground and in a moment of clarity, realized that he was experiencing a surreal, schizophrenic episode. He is consumed with guilt for having even had those delusions. He’s not a fundamentally bad person, he is just a mentally ill man trying to coexist in a world that is increasingly becoming more and more foreign to him due to his unraveling mental state. Now the officer has to switch gears, change hats, and has to help the man he was nearly forced to kill. The man is sobbing uncontrollably as the officer comforts him; promising to get him the help he needs and urging him to focus on the times when he was stabilized.
“Listen, my man, it’s always darkest before dawn. I would never sugarcoat it for you. You’re in a bad place and there is nothing wrong with acknowledging it. I’m not gonna try to gaslight you by pretending that everything is perfectly fine. Things aren’t fine. They aren’t. BUT, at the same time you have to remember that you are 35 years old right now. The overwhelming majority of that lifetime, your condition was under control and absolutely can be again. You have to listen to the doc. I know when you feel good and want to get off the meds, feeling like you don’t need them anymore. That just means the drugs are doing what they’re supposed to, so you cannot get off them abruptly like that. It’s very dangerous. I know you resent the fact that you were born with this condition. It sucks, man, it really does. You know I never bullshit you; I never placate you. You remember me, right? I took another call with you like a month ago and we had a great conversation for like 30 minutes. Anyway, listen, if you were a diabetic and you didn’t take your insulin you would have a serious medical emergency. You need to start thinking of it in those terms. It’s so hard to see when you are in the middle of a crisis, I get it, but you’ve got to keep that in the back of your mind and remember to call us before it gets to this stage. We are here to help you. Hey, look at me… We are here to help you. Remember, you are not the sum of those voices, that you know that the voices are not real and that you are always in control. Let’s get you back on track, friend, sound good?” as the officer gently pats him on the shoulder as a humanitarian gesture of solidarity and to comfort a man in crisis.”
This was the officer’s first call of the day.
An hour after this man was placed under a psychiatric hold for his and society’s safety, the officer clears the call and goes back into service. He just so happens to be the closest officer to another Call for Service and is dispatched to a Priority 0 call (i.e. highest priority call/Code 3/lights and sirens). The call text indicated that the complainant heard several gunshots that sounded like it was on the other side of his apartment wall followed by blood-curdling screams.
Adrenaline is pumping through the officer’s veins as he mentally prepares for what could be his last few moments on earth, or in a fight for his life as he barely survives a violent encounter, has to lawfully take someone’s life, is going to see disturbing images of bloody bodies (sometimes of mutilated children) that haunt his psyche for the rest of his days, not running over a pedestrian with the car on the way to the call, thinking when he needs to strategically cut off lights and sirens to avoid an ambush or whether he should leave them on so as to act as a deterrent to whatever disturbance is occurring, what his approach will be, what he will see when doing a full 360 degree scan of the surrounding area, what kinds of exigencies that might compel him to immediately rush up rather than waiting for his back-up, scanning every single person he sees as the potential suspect, look at the waistline, look at the hands, etc. He tactically gets up to the 3rd floor with his service weapon at the low ready position.
He makes contact with the complainant who looks absolutely terrified. “Hey, man I heard *pop* *pop* *pop* in rapid succession followed by at least three screams. And I mean, fucking screams, dude! Sounded horrible. My neighbor has kids and I heard at least two of them screaming when–”
Just then the complainant was cut off by a distinctive *Pop* that cut through the heavy air, followed by more screams.
The screams stopped abruptly. The officer and his back-up urge the complainant to go back inside his residence as they stand outside of the fatal funnel — doorways, windows, drywall — anything that a round can potentially penetrate and kill the officers. Two other officers radio that they are in position watching the West and South corners of the complex, the other covering the East and North to watch for suspects escaping out the back. Dispatch holds the air for non-emergency radio traffic, giving them priority should they desperately need to radio out vital information. The contact officer bangs on the wrought-iron gate and loudly announces himself. There is a long delay. The officers can hear shuffling around inside and low murmurs. Someone is now definitely known to be inside, but who? Are the potential murderers contemplating fleeing out the back or quickly opening the door and shooting at the officers? There’s no cover in this long hallway. If this goes down it’s probably going to be a mag-dump. The primary officer now realizes they set up incorrectly, as they are now in a cross-fire situation. The cover officer just got off his phase of Field Training Officer (FTO). He’s a rookie, but even still this is an unacceptable, fundamental error in officer safety at this stage of his training and experience. “What are you doing?! Get over here and stack up on me.” Too late, the door swings open. It’s so dark inside. All they can see is a silhouetted figure. Even with the mounted flashlight on their firearms their vision is obscured, as the screen inside of the gated-door is reflecting light back at them.
“_____ police department, show me your hands! Let me see your hands! Hands! Hands! Get ‘em up!”
The cover officer holds lethal coverage while the contact officer transitions to a less-lethal device, a Taser, and orders the subject out. The subject complies and is temporarily detained and removed far away from the door. The cover officer, still holding the door with lethal coverage, calls out to any remaining subjects still inside. He hears children’s voices and sees a small flickering of light from the interior of the home. The detained subject is speaking Spanish rapidly, frantically trying to communicate urgent information to the officer. The officer knows basic Spanish but he is only catching every fourth word or so, as he is dividing his attention from the subject, his cover officer, his immediate surroundings and listening for sounds coming from inside the apartment. He keeps saying something about his son (mi hijo) and about a birthday (cumpleanos).
After tense moments, long story short, it was a birthday party for 6 year-olds. The popping sounds were balloons that got too close to the fire of the birthday candles. The loud popping sounds scared the kids causing them to scream in genuine fear. When they realized it was just popping balloons, they stopped screaming.
This was only the officer’s second call of the night.
Some variation of these scenarios will play out indefinitely while assigned to patrol. Hour after hour, shift after shift, week after week, month after month, year after year, this yo-yoing of adrenaline followed by an abrupt crash into monotony happens countless times; too many times to quantify. In these instances was it an overreaction? Just last week Officer So-and-So was in an officer-involved shooting at this same apartment complex under much less known circumstances. What is the price for underreacting? It’s all so subjective; so fluid; so dynamic.
These two scenarios are tiny, little fractions of a fairly typical day in your average medium to large department. It highlights the flood of information that officers are processing at incredible speeds in an attempt to deliberate on the best course of action from second to second, as new information appears in real-time, adjustments made on the fly, constantly changing in a rapidly and ever-evolving dynamic. It highlights the adrenal fatigue. It highlights how training takes over. It highlights how easily someone can interpret or misinterpret something, both based on logical inferences. It highlights how an officer has to be absolutely ready to kill, if killing is necessary, and ready to de-escalate if time and circumstances permit.
It calls for being harsh, blunt and forceful in one second, and gentle, compassionate and calm in the next. It’s a tightrope and there is no room for error, and yet error seems like a statistical destiny eventually. It is live or die. It is making the right decision or wrong decision and absolutely nothing in between. The measure between a justifiable or an unjustifiable homicide sometimes comes down to fractions of a second. While there are incalculable variables, in this brave new world you will be measured and judged by the outcome and rarely the totality of the circumstances involved. You are a human being like anyone else, prone to making incorrect decisions, but when it comes to decisions about force applications, the public expectation is perfection and infallibility. And the bitch of it is, for however critical and judgmental the general public is on the officer, or Internal Affairs, or the brass, or the prosecuting attorney at his trial, still no one is harder on him than he is on himself.
“A policeman is a composite of what all men are, I guess — a mingling of saint and sinner, dust and deity. Culled statistics wave the fan over stinkers, underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are ‘news.’ What that really means is that they are exceptional, they are unusual, they are not commonplace.
Buried under the froth is the fact, and the fact is that less than one half of one percent of policemen misfit that uniform… And that is a better average than you’d find among clergymen.
What is a policeman?
He, of all men, is at once the most needed, and the most wanted; a strangely nameless creature who is, ‘sir,’ to his face and ‘pig,’ or worse, behind his back. He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won, but, if a policeman is neat, he’s conceited, if he’s careless he’s a bum, if he’s pleasant, he’s a flirt, if he’s not, he’s a grouch.
He must make instant decisions which would require months for a lawyer but if he hurries he’s careless, if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be first to an accident, infallible with diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp, or expect to be sued.
The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run and hit where it doesn’t hurt. He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform, and without being brutal. If you hit him he’s a coward, if he hits you, he’s a bully. The policeman must know everything and not tell; he must know where all of the sin is and not partake.
The policeman from a single human hair must be able to describe the crime, the weapon the criminal, and tell you where the criminal is hiding but, if he catches the criminal he’s lucky, if he doesn’t he’s a dunce.
If he gets promoted he has political pull, if he doesn’t he’s a dullard. The policeman must chase bum leads to a dead end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw everything but refuses to remember.
He runs files and writes reports until his eyes ache to build a case against some felon who will get dealed out by some shameless shamus, or an Honorable who isn’t honorable. The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy, and a gentleman…
And of course, he’ll have to be a genius, because he’ll have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.”Paul Harvey
The Psychology of Policing
“Most people are like sheep. Nice, harmless creatures who want nothing more than to be left alone so they can graze. But then of course there are wolves. Who want nothing more than to eat the sheep. But there’s a third kind of person. The sheepdog. Sheepdogs have fangs like wolves. But their instinct isn’t predation. It’s protection. All they want, what they live for, is to protect the flock.”Barry Eisler
On my oral board prior to the police academy, the most obvious question in the whole world was posed to me. I am sure you can probably guess what it was… “Why do you want to be a police officer?” It sounds simple enough of a question to answer; one that deserves an open, honest and straight-forward answer. The problem is… Most of us don’t actually know. When someone asks you why you joined the military, did you give them some cheesy, canned response like, “I want to serve my country.” Nothing wrong with the sentiment, but it sounds like a bullshit, non-answer if you ask me. It’s not authentic, terribly unoriginal and it sounds as if you are giving them an answer you think they want to hear, rather than just being honest. Even if that is a genuine answer, don’t ever say that shit unless you want to hear a room full of veterans erupt into a full on guffaw.
Back to the question at hand: Why do you want to be a cop? To that, I say, “Some things are simply ineffable — that is, incapable of being explained or expressed through words alone; all attempts to express it or to rationalize it seem to fall woefully short. Some people have certain affinities and innate qualities that others do not. It is really difficult to explain it to others. How do you genuinely and accurately convey to others why you like music? How can you describe someone’s soul; their essence; their being? I don’t know why some people shrink under adversity and others use it as fuel. Does the pitbull know why it jealously guards its owners with the intensity of a thousand burning Suns – literally ready to die, while paradoxically capable of being so tender and loving towards that owner? If the pitbull can’t explain it, why should I? Some things cannot be explained in words, they can only be displayed through deeds and actions. So day in and day out, I would rather show you why I want to be a police officer rather than trying to explain something that cannot be expressed verbally.
What are your conceptions or expectations of the ideal police officer? What attributes, in your estimation, detail not merely the prototypical police officer, but the exceptional police officer? In this current age we know that accountability is at an all-time high due to unparalleled scrutiny. The increase of technology has been a double-edged sword, not just in policing, but across the board. The improvements we have made in accountability have also had deleterious effects attached to them. The public’s perception of the ideal cop differs widely from person to person.
For me, my two biggest pet peeves are cowardice and corruption. I have almost no sympathy for an officer who doesn’t get in the fight when their brothers or sisters or the public needs them the most, just because they are scared. As a police officer, I guarantee there will be times when internally you are shitting yourself while maintaining an external look of repose and self-control. No one expects you to be inhuman and have no fear. Fear is a very reasonable and a very necessary survival mechanism. It helps keep us safe. Bravery does not mean going into a situation without fear. Quite the opposite, actually. We commend Medal of Honor recipients, not because they weren’t scared, but because they were terrified and went into the fight anyway.
Listen, I am not at all suggesting that I am some kind of badass. I’m not. But my people know and trust that in their darkest hour, I will be there when it is called upon me. If you do not possess this innate quality, then turn in your badge so as to not disrespect it any longer. I promise you will be exposed sooner than later. This is an unforgivable sin and an uncompromising character flaw that simply cannot be tolerated as a police officer.
The second might just be the exact opposite. This is the guy who bullies people; the guy who after you have calmed the situation, shows up and inflames it by trying to be some kind of badass with a bad attitude. 9 out of 10 times these guys are little bitches that would get their dicks stomped into the dirt. Anyone who behaves this way and acts as if it were some kind of admirable trait, simply does not need to be a cop. I utterly despise dirty cops. There really aren’t, as best as I can tell, as many as people might think, but there are definitely more than a handful in many departments. This cannot and should not be tolerated.
There is a growing belief that cops don’t police their own. While in rare instances, this definitely happens, to the degree that I think the public thinks it happens likely is grossly overestimated. They might be shocked to know how much it is the opposite. Behind the scenes it is not uncommon to see officers get into screaming matches or even throwing hands to settle grievances.
Moreover, modern policing has made it so that if officers don’t rat each other out, then you are just as guilty as the guilty party. There are scalp-collecting supervisors motivated by scalping good cops along with bad cops. In a lot of ways there is a sick incentive to climb the ranks by doing so. While definitely not always true, you have to be suspicious of people whose only real ambition is to promote. Obviously most people want more money, but that is not the main motivating factor. It is power and control they crave. It is the same reason why politicians have political ambitions. Isn’t it interesting that, generally speaking, the people who want to be in control are often the worst candidates for such a job? Much of the time, it is also with the brass, although I know of wonderful high-ranking leaders too and definitely don’t want to paint with too broad of strokes.
There has to be in place an unbiased and objective standard of accountability. This cannot be tainted by any external or internal factors, just the rule of law and department policy. Transparency and honesty is the only way to establish trust with the community. However, departments that incentivize others to cannibalize their own, needs to be amended immediately. That is not accountability. Dirty cops need to be exposed. Improprieties need to be punished. Officers don’t need to hide behind the Thin Blue Line, protecting shitty cops. But there is a way to go about it without incentivizing cannibalism.
Speaking of accountability, the people critical of police will like this next chapter very much.
Concessions and Uncomfortable Truths
“No one is compelled to choose the profession of a police officer, but having chosen it, everyone is obliged to live up to the standard of its requirements”Calvin Coolidge
Do you remember at the introduction where I stated that this document was not merely going to be some cop-apologist book, whitewashing the sins of police and gaslighting social ills as virtues, and that you were going to swallow some bitter pills? Well, we have arrived at the portion of this document that, for however misguided and unconstructive some of the “Defund the Police” narratives are, that there are nevertheless elements of truth and areas where we need to take a hard look in the mirror. Introspection of self and introspection of collectives need to be examined regularly to keep things in balance; to keep things in perspective. Egos need to be set aside, and I will tell you now that the number one way cops fall short is through an unchecked ego; through a fragile ego. This has led to the imprisonment of more police officers than any other factor. This has led to more division between public and servant than anything else. And now it is high time we lay in the bed we made.
If you are a cop, I want you to stop for 30 seconds and answer this question to yourself: Why do you think so many people think cops are assholes? 30 seconds is up. Are you ready to answer? It’s because so many cops are fucking assholes!!! You are going to have to accept the fact that you are cloaked in immense power and with that immense power comes immense responsibilities. You have the legal authority to arrest almost anyone on planet earth that is in your jurisdiction who committed an offense within your presence. You can arrest other cops, you can arrest judges, lawyers, district attorneys, defense attorneys, politicians, celebrities, musicians, even foreign diplomats with diplomatic immunity, given a high enough of a charge. A Washington D.C. beat cop that has been on the job for one day has the power and the legal authority to arrest a Supreme Court Justice should that Justice have committed an arrestable offense within the presence or view of that officer. Ponder that, deeply. You have been afforded a position that you cannot, and must not, ever take for granted or abuse. You have been afforded this right because of the notion that no one is above the law. That is a truism of incontestable reality, but you better never forget that you are judged by that exact same standard. Rigid, unyielding, robotic, impersonal; these are adjectives I can think of that embody some of the virtues that the general public might assume about the bulk of police officers in the United States. And who is to blame for that? The public or the officers that put out that vibe? Take some fucking ownership!
It seems terribly unfair to you that shit heads (career criminals/habitual offenders) — people that you know are walking dumpster fire’s of human beings, who take willful advantage of and hurt others without remorse sometimes become martyred while the cop who day in and day out does his job honorably gets spat upon. I get it, completely. But at the same time you need to understand that the critical difference that needs to be distinguished is that to the general public, on some unconscious level, a shit head is expected to be a shit head because they’re a shit head, will likely always be a shit head, and so there are no surprises in regards to whether or not they are going to act like shit heads.
But a police officer, under the color of law, should (s)he violate his/her oath, is rightfully met with a level of disgrace and disgust that in many ways is perceived as worse than the same crime committed by anyone else. Why? Because unlike the shit head, you hold a public trust position, not them. You are one of the most trusted people on earth to do the right thing, to do the honorable thing, to do the lawful thing, to objectively and without compromise follow the law, to remain steadfast in your integrity, to be impervious to breaking your character, to never, ever, ever, ever waiver in your commitment to honor an oath of office in total selfless duty for the sake of others. By adding corruption to the table is simply an unforgivable act to the general public and who among us, except the corruptible and the defiled, can not understand why?
When a cop violates this sacred trust, it is with utter contempt, disdain and disgust does the public look upon that officer. Give me one fucking reason why they shouldn’t?!?! If you don’t understand what it means I want you to consider the terrorist group, ISIS. We loathe and detest these sick, psychopathic torturers and murderers of human beings. But on some subconscious level, you expect them to do it because they have no rules. They operate under virtually no moral dictates shared by Western philosophy. Now imagine watching the exact same carnage, except replace ISIS as the perpetrators with police officers. How much greater did it enhance your disgust? This is the same exact reason why traitors engaging in espionage against their own nation are considered so much more reprehensible than a foreign spy. At least the enemy is behaving in a manner consistent with their role as the adversary! But when your trust and your patriotism is betrayed? Oof, it is a level of shame and anger that cannot be overstated and can never be undone.
The police, in many ways, are society’s referees. I think society forgets that and I think cops forget that. They should have no skin in the game concerning conflicts between two parties. They ought to be neutral and simply allow facts and law to dictate the appropriate outcome. But we, along with shitty civilians, have created an Us vs Them mentality, to the peril of both the public and the police.
We know that most of the time we are treated so unfairly and it feels like the good cops are thought of as being as rare as the rarest mineral on earth. We all know it is the exact opposite; that the criminal cops are the ones that are exceedingly rare. But the public doesn’t know that because people don’t post videos of police officers doing the right things, they post them behaving in ways that contradict public expectations. While the media knows that they are distorting the truth, we can never forget that even the ones that spat upon us are, in some way, are also victims of the game. So why in the holy fuck would you behave in a way that substantiates that false narrative?!?!
Get this through your goddamn head if nothing else I write sticks… your actions and your words come with a price tag. How you conduct yourself has a direct effect on what will either glorify other cops or help get them killed for having done nothing except being a cop. We already know that it is inexcusable to make blanket assumptions about cops, but like it or not, unfortunately our actions collectively have consequences attached to them. It is not fair, I agree, but it is what it is regardless of how unfair it may be. Deal with reality as it is, not how we wish for it to be.
Look at what one man did; the untold damage that resulted due to Derek Chauvin’s actions. I honestly think it is irrelevant if you think he is a murderer or whether he will ultimately be no-billed in light of new evidence. It is irrespective of the greater point. The point is that this is how much power it has and you had better take note. The fact of the matter is that this position is considered so sacrosanct that to uncerimoniously rape it, is to jeopardize the entire profession of law enforcement as an institution, let alone for a single police department or for a single officer. These are the stakes and they are exceptionally high.
There are untold instances of supposed police brutality that we, as cops, know are totally justified uses of force. But there are others instances, like the Daniel Shaver, Kelly Thomas or Walter Scott incidents that violate our sacred trust with the community because it vindicated an otherwise false narrative that we have, collectively, worked so hard at discrediting. The nature of the job itself leaves us so open to interpretation by laymen who do not understand why we do what we do, even when we have good reasons to, but when you have cases such as those listed above, it is incontrovertible and incontestably wrong. And you should be able to openly and honestly admit it publicly. Public trust is like a bank account. You need to fill that account with as many positive and professional interactions as possible, because as careful as we can possibly be, there’s always going to be some controversial incident or some sociopath that slipped through the cracks despite our best efforts to identify them and weed them out. If you don’t have a positive balance in that account, the public trust is going to become insolvent. So make wise investment strategies.
If you don’t root it out, identify it, and kill a culture of misconduct, it will spread like a virus and, soon enough, will infect an entire police department.
While the incidents deserving of this level of consternation and righteous indignation are uncommon, there are traits that, while not nearly as extreme, are previews or a foreshadowing of things to come the longer they are set in their ways instead of correcting the deficiencies. In my department I have never personally seen anything that rises to the criminal level that I shared above. But I will gladly call out some of the bad behavior that I have seen, like speaking down to people for no reason, unnecessarily barking orders instead of providing a calm directive, unconstitutional searches based on bad probable cause, being unapproachable, arrests made from the fruits of a poisonous tree, arrests made in bad faith, officers not knowing the difference between the spirit of the law and letter of the law, padding arrest numbers because they think some specialized unit will be impressed, etc.
It is so easy to disarm people with politeness. Polite but firm. Firm but fair. There was a tale of two cities, so to speak, that I observed very recently. While anecdotes can never have the same evidentiary value as proper statistics, they nevertheless have much more of an emotional impact than stale, dry statistics. The reason is that it humanizes our shared experiences. With these two anecdotes, I would like to share them as cautionary tales.
I saw one cop interacting with the public during an arrest. The arrestee had been with a group. One young lady with that group simply wanted to quietly and politely ask how to get in contact with the arrestee at a later time. Instead of answering her politely, she was met with a hostile threat of arrest for interference. He was barking orders for her to get back with a raised tone of voice, even though she posed no credible threat. There is absolutely a legitimate time to arrest people on an interference charge, but that damn sure was not the appropriate time or circumstance. In all actuality, it didn’t even meet the elements of the crime, let alone would have been necessary even if the elements were met in this particular instance. I looked at her face and I knew that her heart hardened that much more for police, and at such a pivotal time in history, as the wounds from the recent protests and riots were still fresh. This cop single-handedly solidified whatever notion was in her mind that police departments are infested with angry, spiteful, and mentally unstable cops ready to shoot first and ask questions later. And for what?! What was gained by treating her that way? Respect for authority? Absolutely not. If anything, she lost respect for the very institution of policing itself during that interaction. How damaging was that one interaction in terms of her perception of police? I just cringed watching it and did my best to do damage control by trying to allay her concerns and answering her very reasonable questions with patience and with empathy.
That very same night, maybe 30 minutes after the above incident, I saw another officer trying to engage in conversation with a black gentleman. The black man did not at all look receptive to the offer of dialogue and I could see on his face that he thought he was either being baited, mocked, or both. The officer saw that he was wearing a Glock patch on his jacket. A good conversation starter, as the citizen apparently had a similar appreciation for firearms as the officer did. It took a long while for this citizen to become receptive and to warm up. I could tell he was suspicious that it was some kind of way to entrap him into admitting he had a firearm in his possession. Instead, the officer encouraged him to always remain vigilant in protection of the 2nd Amendment. The black man was stunned that a white officer not only did not act afraid of a potentially armed, black man, but encouraged him to continue to do so. He kept saying, incredulously, over and over again that he’s never met cops like us and how he wished all cops were like us, with a huge smile from ear to ear.
To be honest, I felt a lot of emotion welling up inside of me. There was such a simplistic kind of beauty being shared in this unguarded, unscripted moment, but I paradoxically felt a kind of sadness that paralleled my joy. As great as it was, there was also such a sad postscript attached to it, in the sense that this genuinely seemed to be his most positive interaction with the police, and all they really were doing was just shootin’ the shit like old friends catching up. And that was his best experience with cops? Pathetic. This cop did nothing extraordinary; all he did was treat this man like he would anyone else. And yet the impact for this man, for this black man, was so revelatory and meaningful. I could see the scales falling from his eyes.
Whatever subsequent experiences he has with police officers from here on out, I feel as though he will remember us and how, even if every other interaction is negative, he will in some way cling to this hope that if he met two, halfway decent white officers, that there simply has to be more out there… luckily for him, there are… I just fervently hope that he meets them and not like the aforementioned dickheads that ruin it for him or for good cops.
Your actions as a police officer have profound consequences. You don’t have to do very much to earn respect from the public. All you have to do is honor the oath of your office and be a marginally decent human being. So why do we have so many officers that fall short and how do we correct it?
Untying the Gordian Knot
Untying the Gordian Knot is a metaphor derived from a poem of antiquity. The Gordian Knot is a reference to a problem with a seemingly impossible or intransigent solution; meaning that the knot is so complex and so entangled that it requires exceptional wisdom and patience to undo it. As it relates to our current topic, we have an intractable problem on our hands. We have a problem of perception about law enforcement. On the one hand we have boot-licking, ass-kissing Thin Blue Line apologists who think the police can do no wrong and we have a brash, arrogant group who truly believe that All Cops Are Bastards and who deliberately misconstrues every police action as reprehensible even when they manifestly are not. In between the two extremes, elements of truth can be found in both, but neither occupy or can rightfully lay claim to measured truth. The centrist position in between the extremes lay the answers to solving the problem of how to reform law enforcement in a way that makes cops actually better. The only way we are going to do that is by meeting in the middle.
I won’t pretend that this will be easy, but it is necessary. As also do not have all of the answers in how we institute all of the chances necessary to happen. But I have a few ideas and concepts that I would like to share.
In my estimation, it starts from the top-down, because shit rolls down hill. I think we forget just how important good leadership really is. It is of inestimable importance to have the right leaders at the helm to do the right thing; not the popular thing, not the maneuver that is going to politically elevate them, but the right thing. Extremely conservative townships have a real problem with a thinly-veiled Good ‘Ole Boy system of policing. From the mayor, to the police chief or Sheriff, down to the officers and deputies do we see a systemic problem of fleecing your own citizens just to pay the bills. The term, “Road Pirate,” comes from you because you have placed an emphasis on issuing tickets and Asset Forfeiture to keep your shitty little department up and running. It is nothing short of racketeering. There is a huge conflict of interest there and, while I do not in any way endorse separatist philosophy or the Sovereign Citizen movement, you are who I think of when I see videos using the word “tyrant” being thrown around. You richly deserve it, Chief/Sheriff, at the expense of your own officers/deputies who will be the ones taking the bullets for your garbage policies and at the expense of your own community through extortion! Fuck you, you fat, bloated sack of shit!
Likewise, in a lot of big cities we see Progressively-run cities whose officials are installed like puppets. These community leaders — sycophants who mastered the art of sophistry and double-speak, are installed more than they are voted in, not only by their own uninformed community, but use other liberal cities’ failed policies as a template for their own. The police chiefs and his band of minions have been given the job with so many strings attached that they are, in effect, puppets doing their master’s bidding. These are the kinds of leaders who create an atmosphere akin to North Korea; where ratting out officers looks good to the Glorious Leader! Your leaders are measured, not by any actual law enforcement standard, but by how many cops you threw underneath the bus on your way to the top. Career politicians so focused on themselves that they could give less than half of a fuck about the well-being of their officers and, by extension, their own community. Instead of putting their foot down and growing a pair of balls, they will do whatever it takes to save their own ass rather than do what a leader should do, which is to admit that the buck stops with me, and take control of the situation, even at the risk of your job. Look at nearly every major city in the United States. Almost every single police chief and his/her staff were installed there by career politicians and bureaucrats who later become career politicians and bureaucrats. It’s one big circle-jerk.
Worse still, these are the people so disconnected with the streets that they could not possibly know what it is actually like. Furthermore, they damn sure have never worked as a beat cop in this kind of cannibalistic, political climate. Modern-day cops have no reprieve from the onslaught. A public that hates them, leaders that don’t have their backs; and we have the temerity to wonder why they are so insular? We have the audacity to wonder why their rates of suicide and depression are at unprecedented levels? We have the balls to wonder why they are quitting in record numbers or not applying at all? This is the same thing that happened to Vietnam Veterans. They were mercilessly castigated by the public calling them baby-killers, only to have their own nation and their own military turn their backs on them.
Who, then, is the kind of leader we should all aspire to? In my estimation, the very first name and image that came to mind is somebody like Jocko Willink. Jocko, a former Navy SEAL and commander of Seal Team 3; this decorated combat veteran has taken everything he learned as a SEAL and a fine military officer and has continued on with his leadership with a book, co-authored by his compatriot, Lief Babin, entitled, “Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win.” What does that title, if you knew nothing else about the man, say about his moral character and the impetus behind the book? Extreme Ownership; being a leader must be taking the brunt of all the scrutiny and not shift the blame onto others or hide behind convenient circumstances. To be an effective leader he or she must be willing to do, and will do, every single thing that (s)he asks of their subordinates. Earn the respect of your troops. You think they won’t see through fake humility or fake platitudes or fake gratitude or fake politically correct grandstanding or fake tears for the cameras?
The number of police officers in this country are, unsurprisingly, plummeting. At first glance we believe it to be at a time of unrivaled disrespect and increased danger. All true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. I promise you that under the right leadership, we would not be hemorrhaging the same numbers of attrition that we are currently seeing. Cops, by and large, are pretty resilient creatures. If they’ve made it that far, chances are most of them are pretty solid. They can take the street fights, the firefights, the public scorn, etc, and keep moving forward with a mission-first mentality. What they absolutely, positively cannot take, nor should they take, is deceit and duplicity from their chain of command.
There was a study conducted concerning military attrition. The Department of Defense wanted to know why some people were lifers and others seemed to get out after their first enlistment was up. At the conclusion of the comprehensive study, they determined that the most significant reasons for the disparity were two-fold. The number 2 reason: Low Morale. The number 1 reason: Bad leadership; and make no mistake that the first is directly related to the second. There is no difference between the military and the police force at large, in this regard.
Morale is possibly at an all-time low. The media unrelentingly excoriates us, the general public pisses in our face, we are being held to an almost superhuman standard that oftentimes is dictated by the criminal and not us. But above all, the politicking by senators, governors, mayors, city councilmembers, chiefs of police, or sheriffs is simply toxic. The job is dangerous and disconcerting all on its own without the additional stressor of a chain of command that sees its officers as scalps to be taken as political trophies or tokens to give back to their masters, masquerading as correcting deficiencies.
When Jocko was on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Joe asked him what he thought was necessary to bring about real reform. Jocko, without hesitation, stated that training was preeminent. I couldn’t agree more. Jocko was amazed at how little police in America train for the job and how it has resulted in an unacceptably inept police force. Rogan has theorized that police ought to be trained to standards commensurate, or nearly commensurate, to that of special operations units. While an admirable goal, that is totally unfeasible. It is difficult enough to find special operators and their ranks are infinitely smaller than an entire police force nationwide. Likewise, it is becoming almost as difficult to find police officers willing to put up with this shit. But it is far more realistic to expect them to be at an efficiency similar to standards imposed on grunt units. That is both a reasonable and attainable standard with already proven results in the military.
Your first priority is offering them pay commensurate to the task, or you will never get quality officers. If you have to cut asinine and bloated pork-barrel programs or projects that lead to nowhere, then do it. These lunatics asking to defund the police fail to understand the ramifications associated with it, just to exact vengeance where they think it will hurt the most — the officer’s wallet. The adage ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true here. If you want a guaranteed prescription to make things infinitely worse, then defund the police instead of what you should be doing, which is increasing the budget, increasing the training and increasing the standards. Policing should be nearly as competitive as computer engineering currently is; because the demand is currently outweighing the supply. Every agency in America should be clamoring and competing to recruit the best and brightest this nation has to offer. But the cities who hold the budget hostage have got to come to sensible conclusions, and stop letting reactionary, emotive, virtue signaling sentiments to dictate their rationale.
But higher pay demands higher quality, which is why the bar for entry needs to be set very high. Many police academies do the bare minimum, state requirements to push bodies through. Your goal as a department cannot be the bare minimum. Your tax-paying citizens are entitled to exceptional service.
What the defunding crowd seems to forget is that your city is going to pay, regardless, in one form or another.
Keep paying them shit money and demanding unrealistic expectations and eventually all you are left with are the garbage assholes; which is the reason you wanted to defund in the first place!
You are either going to pay in the form of a respectable, well-trained, knowledgeable, capable and courteous police force or you are going to pay in endless lawsuit settlements. You get what you pay for; which oftentimes are cops who should have never been cops in the first place.
But in the end, you are going to pay one way or another.
Either in the form of lawsuits, in the form of a loss of revenue due to a mass exodus like we are seeing in California and New York, or in the form of rampant destruction of property as a result of unfettered lawlessness. City Council and Mayors, have you forgotten that you are subject to civil liabilities for not adequately providing public safety to the public?! Lawsuits in Seattle, Nashville, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, etc, and expect many, many more. And guess what? They’ll either win those lawsuits or receive a substantial settlement, at the expense of the tax-payers.
Stop being foolish. You are going to pay one way or another.
Would you like to pay the intelligent way or do you want to keep pandering to people with the emotional stability of petulant children throwing a temper tantrum?
You are going to pay one way or another.
Instead of endlessly and creully raising taxes to cover the costs, you need to look for pork barrels in your spending and trim away unnecessary fat. Invest in your police department! Invest in your citizens! Invest in your infrastructure and the money will come in the form of a prosperous and stable environment. Why would any company want to deal with the nonsense that is going on in Silicon Valley, or the slums taking over the streets of Los Angeles, or New Yorkers wanting to pay outrageous taxes as punishment for jobs and revenue they bring in? They’ll just leave and take all that cash somewhere else and dump it into an economy that has a friendly economic climate. How is it possible that people this stupid and inept are in charge? Absolutely, mind-bogglingly baffling.
You are going to pay this outstanding bill one way or another.
There is a reason why, despite how sophisticated and expensive fighter jets are, that the pilots themselves are still considered the greater asset and are more expensive than the equipment they use. Investing in your public safety is investing in your community; and you will reap the benefits, or by cutting corners you will reap the consequences. The choice is yours.
Either way, you are going to pay one way or another.
And to the defunders, I would be careful what you wish for… you just might get it. You just might get exactly what you asked for; but in the end we’ll see if you want what you’re going to get. When the angry mob comes banging on your door, and eventually they will, you will have no one to blame but yourself when no one is there to come to your rescue.
You will pay one way or another.
Better training includes stricter standards for entry. A lot of departments have exceptionally lengthy processes to determine entry. Intelligence tests, detailed background investigations, demanding physical standards, etc. But more needs to be done and, honestly, there needs to be an even better vetting process. You have got to place an even greater emphasis on the psychological front. A ton of sociopaths end up becoming police officers, because it is a great way for them to hide in plain sight and to be a chameleon. It is the same reason why so many arsonists become firefighters. Many sociopaths gravitate to it because they can pass a polygraph with ease and blend in. First of all, polygraphy is junk science as it relies on people’s own sense of morality to be anything of value. To detect sociopaths it is not going to help. You have to administer a series of psychological exams that are very detailed and they must be very secretive, in the sense that the tests be considered as classified material. That kind of information cannot get out or else it becomes compromised.
Then, in addition to it, you need to get an early sense of someone’s ability to handle stress. Why is the police academy the first place, where you are paying cadets, the place where you are finding out where their heart is? That makes absolutely no sense. With the right liability waivers, there are plenty of ways to test someone’s heart, their commitment and whether they possess the mental fortitude to handle such a demanding job. A shoot/no shoot simulator followed by an oral board will give you a preview into the mind of the applicant, their thought process, their mental acuity under stress, their timidity or assertiveness, their ability to rapidly process critical information and to react timely and appropriately.
Then you have physical ways; not just a PT standard to measure fitness, but also run them through a gauntlet of sorts. You will weed out untold amounts of people using this methodology. And your job is not just to get bodies! Your job is to get the right bodies! Yes, some people will still pass the basic requirements and still fail out of an academy, but you will trim a lot of excess fat from people who simply do not possess the mental, physical or emotional standards necessary to be a cop. And you definitely should not have two standards for men and women. Those standards need to be met uniformly. Minor deviations, like adjusting for biological differences, such as the amount of pull ups required can be in place, but anything that measures someone’s heart and a gut check needs to be uniform; no gender bias whatsoever. You either have what it takes or you don’t. Period.
The high academic standards, the unrelenting stress, the careful and scientific measure of physical pain and physical exertion needs to be up to par. There are a ton of academies out there that are already doing an outstanding job on this front. I don’t need to belabor it because I am speaking about reform. I need to be focusing on what we should be doing and what we are not doing.
Why is it that departments do a pretty good job with their police academies, but such an abysmal job at continuing education? This is an area where almost all police agencies fail. You are putting police on the streets that don’t really know how to fight and don’t have the confidence to fight. Why are we not implementing an on-going Combatives program, taking the best elements of Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, Catch-wrestling, Muay Thai, and building a mandatory training program that spans the course of their career? Why are we not shooting more, especially practicing shoot/no shoot scenarios? This should be a condition of employment to maintain or you don’t get to be a cop, period, end of discussion! If you are in patrol, in a specialized unit, or any other frontline officer, you have to maintain a certain standard or else.
De-escalation training also needs to be infused with the Combatives training, in the same way shoot/no shoot scenarios are implemented. We need difficult scenarios that challenge our empathy, that challenge our ego, that challenge our heart, that challenge our intellect, that challenge our ability to know when to ratchet it up or to dial it back.
Roll Call, at the beginning of the shift, should have rotating days that focus on different areas of perishable skills or knowledge. One day of the week goes over case law, another day is penal code, another is scenario-based training, etc, so that we aren’t losing knowledge over time. The streets are still our best educator, no argument there. There is nothing quite like the value of on the job training, but in training is where you want to make your mistakes, not when lives and livelihoods are on the line. The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat. Etch that into your minds.
We need to have a greater emphasis on mental health and admit that we have an enormous problem, especially now. Many of us are in crisis, have at some point been in crisis, and even more either don’t realize they have PTSD or are not far off from developing outward manifestations of it. If you believe in the motto that I am my brother’s keeper, then you have a duty to watch out for one another and to make a concerted effort to implement safeguards that protect the mental and physical health of our officers. a process and there are ways to get out of it and to be the best person you can be. We are all susceptible, and until it happened to me, I thought I was above it.
I am asking police officers to take on more responsibility, but I am also advocating better and more comprehensive methods of decompression and recalibration of our fractured psyche’s. Police officers lead the way in heart disease and suicide among our counterparts. There is no reason why we cannot do something comparable to the military or even more cutting-edge and innovative. Police officers are exposed to so many traumas; many of which are compounded by previous military deployments. You have to protect your mind just as much as you have to protect your physical health or you are no good to the public.
To be honest, I have so many concepts and ideas, I could not possibly flesh them all out here. I want to gauge the reception of this, which I hope will be a first installment of more to come. Based upon the success of this document, I will make a concerted effort to go over how, in greater, the changes that need to happen and how we might be able to pull it off. We have on our hands a Gordian Knot that will be difficult to undue, but we will be such a better society for having made the necessary changes. We have no choice but to valiantly try with our might and to welcome bright minds to help bring it to fruition.
I have so much more to say that is rattling around in my brain, but if I don’t wrap this thing up, I will run out of time. What do I mean by that? From the time of my ‘epiphany,’ mentioned in the introduction, to now (as I type this), has been about two weeks of frenetic and furious typing. The reason why there is a timeline is because I believe that the 2020 Presidential Election will be a defining moment in this nation’s history, and not for the better, but more likely a preview to the infinitely worse. We are potentially facing an existential crisis and if I don’t get this message out there and have it go viral, it will become quickly forgotten or overshadowed by the chaos that I think is coming our way.
I am only one man and can do only so much, which means I am relying on you, the reader/listener, to do whatever you can to help our nation heal and to prevent it from imploding. Please spread this into the universe.
I found the writing process to be an incredibly cathartic experience and very therapeutic; as these thoughts have been struggling inside of me begging for utterance. This book, or whatever you want to call it, basically wrote itself. I wrote this in under two weeks out of necessity. Had I been afforded the option to take my time, my thoughts probably would have been fleshed out and organized more clearly. I still have so much more to say, but for now I just have to get out what I feel is necessary and hope that the public responds receptively.
I want to thank you all for taking the time to hear what I had to say and I hope that it can serve as some minor contribution towards solving a very serious problem. One last thing to remember as I pass the baton on to you; to do your part in spreading the message as far and as wide as possible. As Andy Rooney once said, “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
Centrist Servant ®