Friday, April 23, 2021


Longtime favorite.

•   I have one free Roy Edroso Breaks It Down item for you this week -- the one on the Chauvin verdict. I recommend a subscription (cheap!) so you get this stuff fresh five days a week. But if you won't spend money on me, and even if you will, maybe throw a few bucks to the family of Lance Mannion, the great internet writer who passed on unexpectedly the other day. Lance (real name David Reilly) was writing at such a high level for so long that I tended to take him for granted, though some of his essays -- like this one unsentimentally explaining Asperger's Syndrome from the perspective of a parent -- have stuck in my memory for years. But it was always a good idea to look in on him, because he was a serious thinker whose considerations of a wide range of topics were just what I would have wished for my own -- attentive, perceptive, and generous. It's terrible to lose a voice like that, and it comes at a disastrously bad time for his family. So, you know, if you can.

•   No conservative I've seen so far has had the grace to say yes, the people have spoken and the Chauvin verdict seems just, and leave it at that, the way smart conservatives used to do. Many take the Tucker Carlson position that Chauvin was railroaded by a Woke Mob, notwithstanding the extraordinary video evidence of his crime. Some, like Andrew C. McCarthy, try to have it both ways but essentially take the same position. 

Others said, yes, okay, maybe Chauvin's guilty but how dare you blacks and liberals question the death of Ma’Khia Bryant, she had a knife, that was a clean kill and proves that You're the Real Racist. The apotheosis of this is Peggy Noonan's column, which starts out congratulating America for the verdict, proceeds as per current rightwing protocol to Bryant, and then swerves into this: 

If you are a cop you know that in the current atmosphere you are going to be assumed by the press and others to be guilty whatever you do, because the police are the Official Foe now. Everyone talks about the blue wall of silence, but do police officers think anyone reliably has their back?

There are people who looked at last summer's protests and saw hundreds of incidents where the cops beat the hell out of people for nothing and wondered if perhaps reform were needed, and others who looked at it as ARGH NEGRO RIOT BURN. Noonan appears to be in the latter camp, and to believe we're all thinking too many bad thoughts about Mr. Policeman.

We aren’t being sufficiently sensitive to the position of the police after decades of being accused of reflexive brutality and racism. We should be concerned about demoralization—about officers who will leave, about young people who could have become great cops never joining the force, about early retirements of good men and women. We should be concerned that more policemen will come to see their only priority as protecting the job, the benefits, the pensions for their family, so they’ll quietly slow down, do nothing when they should do something.

Imagine thinking this isn't happening already, in cities where the cops don't even live in the jurisdictions they police and come to think of their inhabitants as skels and saps. And if you're thinking of defunding the police, Noonan has a comeback:

If I ran the world, we wouldn’t be diverting funds from the police...

[Which we aren't, but it's rightwing protocol to talk as if we were.]

...we’d be spending more to expand and deepen their training—literally lengthen it by a year or two, deepen their patience, their sense of proportion, their knowledge. Because they are so important to us.

A year or two! No doubt she means give them more money and call it "training" or whatever, just so they know whose skulls not to crack when the time comes. Later she trails off into gibberish about how "hypermedia and videogames" have ruined society. It almost makes the more straightforward white supremacist articles feel refreshing for their honesty.

No comments:

Post a Comment