Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Cop-Out


In a superficial view and common one on the left, in the Democratic Party, and especially among the lawyerly talking heads:


"What it might take to get rid of the bad cops is the good cops mobilizing" is a good point from Kirschner, seen often as a contributor to MSNBC. Properly emphasizing the importance of police officers not reflexively defending everything done by colleagues, Kirschner unfortunately coupled that with

It's time to take head-on the racial disparities that exist in policing in a full-throated way (and)  that may be what it takes- that together with a President of the United States who in a full-throated way says that we have racial disparity in policing and it needs to be addressed.

The full-throated way in this case was the President of the United States of America, not a juror nor the prosecutor, pronouncing a defendant guilty before the jury had determined guilt or innocence.  "I'm praying the verdict is the right verdict. The evidence is overwhelming in my view" is no more than a wordy way of declaring "guilty, guilty, guilty."

Jury tampering can be especially effective if attempted by a president. However, given that conviction was unavoidable anyway, more significant was Biden's reference, as favorably quoted by Kirschner, to the obvious "racial disparity in policing."

Kirschner and Biden let police departments off the hook by attributing the problems in policing to race, and only to race. Compare that to the remarks of The Young Turks' Ana Kasparian, who never has minimized the role of racial bias in the criminal justice system but nonetheless understands (at 5:20 in the video below)

.... policing is brutal overall. It disproportionately impacts communities of color but it does not matter if you're an elderly man protesting in Buffalo, New York. They will brutalize you if you dare to challenge their authority.



"Brutalize" is an exaggeration, at least as applied to most police departments and most of their members. However, she recognizes that problems of policing in this nation extend beyond race. Yet Kirschner and Biden, who unlike Kasparian are lawyers, suffer from a disturbing and counter-productive myopia.

These guys are not outliers- the left and the center routinely recognize racial disparity. The distinction lies in those who realize that class and other factors play a role and those, such as TV lawyer Kirschner and the President of the USA, who appear unaware.  They are stupid, naive, or pandering to interest groups and the power elite.

In the short run, that might not matter because change can be legislated into existence. But real and enduring systemic change will require buy-in from the public at large. But systematic and enduring change is unlikely if a large number of Americans believes reform was undertaken with an unrealistic and disunifying obsession with race.

 


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