5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

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5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby DamianaRaven » Thu May 07, 2015 3:17 pm

This is a very good article, in my opinion. Apparently, taxation without representation doesn't mean what I thought it meant. Paying taxes to support an entity that not only doesn't serve your interests, but actively thwarts and oppresses said interests is pretty fucked up and shouldn't be tolerated by any civilization, much less one that prides itself on freedom and equality.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civili War

Postby Askias » Thu May 07, 2015 3:50 pm

DamianaRaven wrote:This is a very good article, in my opinion. Apparently, taxation without representation doesn't mean what I thought it meant. Paying taxes to support an entity that not only doesn't serve your interests, but actively thwarts and oppresses said interests is pretty fucked up and shouldn't be tolerated by any civilization, much less one that prides itself on freedom and equality.


I actually think it's ATB that's using the term wrong. The phrase means what it says on the tin: Taxation without representation. It's an argument over technicalities which I'd rather not have while discussing a serious problem, but I do think he's using the phrase wrong.

How long is that going to hold up? It's taxation without representation of the highest order. If you pay a cop's salary, then that cop should keep you safe.


That is not representation. It is a bad situation to be sure, but ''Keeping safe'' is not representing someone. It could be compared to failure of payment on the cop's side. He gets paid but doesn't deliver the service paid for. Which is problematic, but trying to call that ''Taxation without representation'' just because you want to make a comparasion to the war of independence is... I don't know, political? Political as a negative term?

However, overall... Slightly reaching too far for comparasons at times -surely the events mentioned are unjust enough on their own without comparing them to historical wars- and the points were a tad losely connected but a good effort from a comedy writer who mere months ago was synonymous with ''Skip this article''.

I have not much to say on the subject of the article. Not my nation (The Netherlands has its own problems with racism), not something I can personally relate to, not something I could say something about everybody else hasn't already said.

PS. I did notice a few times where ATB should have made a much better joke. He mentioned the ''State guard employed to guard military because idiots think Obama is going to occupy Texas'' thing in passing and did not really make a joke with it. If you're not going to take the free shot, don't set it up.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby sunglasses » Thu May 07, 2015 4:07 pm

Yeah, D.C. is going to have to argue with his definition of 'taxation without representation.' Since, you know, everyone who lives in D.C. gets shafted in that regard.

It's even on their license plates.

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But overall ok read.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby Crimson847 » Thu May 07, 2015 9:57 pm

Can't say I liked it. I certainly agree there's a big problem here, but I'm not on board with most of his arguments.

Regarding his take on taxation without representation, here's the relevant part of one of my posts in the comments:

#3: "Taxation without representation" doesn't mean "I don't like where some of my tax money goes and what's done with it". That's pretty much everyone; I hate that some of my money goes to our fucked up prison system, many conservatives hate that some of their money pays for abortion or birth control coverage, and so on. It sucks, but it's far from what you're describing. Taxation without representation means what it says on the tin: taxing people without allowing them a vote in the political process. It could be argued that many US states are creating such a situation in practice for some people, but that has more to do with Voter ID, reducing voting hours, and so on.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby scary-mike » Thu May 07, 2015 11:34 pm

I think #1 was the most poignant. I avoid getting involved in politics because between continental drift and the treaty of Tordesillas I'm barely sure where or who everybody is. Kenny the politics camel however has explained to me that when one group arranges a power dynamic wherein another group can only achieve their goals through violence the only possible outcomes are 1 perpetual violent conflict, 2 a change in the dynamic, or 3 the destruction of one group.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby Askias » Fri May 08, 2015 12:24 am

scary-mike wrote:I think #1 was the most poignant. I avoid getting involved in politics because between continental drift and the treaty of Tordesillas I'm barely sure where or who everybody is. Kenny the politics camel however has explained to me that when one group arranges a power dynamic wherein another group can only achieve their goals through violence the only possible outcomes are 1 perpetual violent conflict, 2 a change in the dynamic, or 3 the destruction of one group.


That is little more than a statement of the obvious. 'If one group gets screwed over, they struggle(1). This ends if they stop getting screwed over(2), or else if one group goes extinct(3).'

I kind of agree with what's said in #1, but it leaves out a lot of information. 'Behave or else I'll beat you up.' is no better a starting point with cops as with any other group of people. Violence is a very blunt tool and it tends to break more than it fixes. It's fine for destroying, be it objects or institutions as a whole. But it's very bad at adjusting. The USA is a first world country, you should be able to start working out police brutality without setting the streets on fire first.

ATB is technically correct: the riots have, so far, been the only tool to force justice. In the same sense a carpet bombing fixes housing vacancy. It also causes and feeds an us vs them mentality towards and within the police force, obstructing long-term improvements in the justice system for policemen, as well as a siege mentality in the police force that will make them close ranks. It caused major property damage and numerous injured. It actually justifies the militarized state of the police - we don't expect them to stand there and let people beat them up. It politicizes what should be a justicial issue.

Protest is a good thing, and even violent protest can be justified in some cases. Wanton destruction qualifies as neither. Attacking the police isn't likely to make their higher ups more likely to tell their people to back off. They are responsible for the safety of their men and women and will answer violence with harder violence ten out of ten times. Even if they want to help, any calls to combat police brutality is now siding sith the people throwing rocks at them. In this current situation no chief is going to call his or her people to talk about how they treat suspects, or how to report misbehavior. People assaulting you tends to take priority, see.

I am not saying that protests, even unruly ones, are bad or don't have their place. But I strongly disagree with the sentiment 'Well, nobody is listening unless I break stuff, so let's break stuff!', especcially if your objective is more sophisticated than 'Let's get rid of X!'. It invites violence and in most cases damages long-term improvements.

Then again, it's easy for me to talk. I've never had a bad run-in with the cops, and my resumé involves zero solved national problems concerning police brutality. I can say 'Violence is a bad idea', but then who's stating the obvious? I don't really have a solution. Damn you complex socioeconomic issues, ingrained attitude problems and long-standing historical tensions! Damn you!
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby DamianaRaven » Fri May 08, 2015 12:33 am

Askias wrote:Then again, it's easy for me to talk. I've never had a bad run-in with the cops, and my resumé involves zero solved national problems concerning police brutality. I can say 'Violence is a bad idea', but then who's stating the obvious? I don't really have a solution. Damn you complex socioeconomic issues, ingrained attitude problems and long-standing historical tensions! Damn you!


I was already to rebut your post and then this paragraph shut me right the hell up. Well played! You're very articulate and thoughtful about the things you believe.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby ShuaiGuy » Fri May 08, 2015 1:07 am

<Redacted>
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby Askias » Fri May 08, 2015 1:10 am

DamianaRaven wrote:
Askias wrote:Then again, it's easy for me to talk. I've never had a bad run-in with the cops, and my resumé involves zero solved national problems concerning police brutality. I can say 'Violence is a bad idea', but then who's stating the obvious? I don't really have a solution. Damn you complex socioeconomic issues, ingrained attitude problems and long-standing historical tensions! Damn you!


I was already to rebut your post and then this paragraph shut me right the hell up. Well played! You're very articulate and thoughtful about the things you believe.


Articulate, maybe. But there is only so many unresolved incidents, and so many consecutive years one can say 'let's remain civilized' without offering any concrete solutions before one just becomes an annoyance. I can't exactly blame people for protesting. While this problem may call for a long-term solution, so far I haven't noticed any solution at all. And then there comes a point where I can say 'riots, in issues like this, tend to be counter- or unproductive' all I want, the answer will more and more become 'well staying quiet sure as hell didn't fix anything so now we're trying something different.'. I want it clear that while I disagree with rioting, stating that it doesn't fix the problem doesn't mean there is not a huge, widespread problem. There is one, it is a big one, and the riots didn't cause that. There are plans to combat police brutality that do not involve out-and-out skirmishes but if nobody makes a start...

In the end and over time, I might be telling people who literally have to fear their protectors to accept that situation. That is not my intend, but it could have the same effect. If the situation does not change, at some point I really should just keep my mouth shut, because I'd be telling people not to attempt to change a clearly unjust situation by any means available.

I already regret giving an opinion. I stand by it, but pretty much as I typed it I could hear the 'and then what?', and the bad consequences do not end up on *my* doorstep. I hope things get better. Let's keep it at that.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby Andropov4 » Fri May 08, 2015 1:25 am

When it comes to riots, I think the revered Dr. Martin Luther King had it right.

MLK wrote:It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby DamianaRaven » Fri May 08, 2015 1:57 am

The biggest problem with violent, "we're fucking serious and ain't gonna take this anymore" protesting is that (in my observation alone - sit down, Avi!) it doesn't usually seem to be the protesters themselves that engage in the looting and wanton property destruction. Any time something takes up the attention of the entire police force, there's going to be an opportunistic crime spree. I think that's human nature and we should be smart enough not to let this phenomenon cause us to disregard every social upheaval that starts getting serious. As soon as the demonstrators start getting national attention and distracting most of the local police force, a different group of people can start tearing shit apart and cause all of America to say "fuck 'em, then - they're just a bunch of animals."
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby Crimson847 » Fri May 08, 2015 4:11 am

Tbh, I think the thing a lot of people miss about "rioting for civil rights" is that these riots generally don't target the people who are responsible (even tangentially) for the situation, they target people who are even less able to defend themselves than the rioters. They didn't burn down City Hall or a police station; they burned down a pharmacy. This is unfortunate but not surprising; people who are abused often abuse others in turn when given the opportunity.

An important aspect of MLK's wise words on the subject is that they cut both ways. It's morally irresponsible to condemn bullying and victimization of the innocent on one side, while ignoring or praising it when the other side does it. Both sets of wrongs can and must be condemned in the strongest terms.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby Andropov4 » Fri May 08, 2015 4:50 am

I think the reason rioters don't go after cops or city hall is because they'd prefer to not get dead.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby DamianaRaven » Fri May 08, 2015 4:54 am

Exactly! If rioters were to target the people who have wronged them - y'know, the people who matter - there would be drones leaving smoking craters where brown people used to stand.
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Re: 5 Ways Police Have Started the Next Civil War

Postby Crimson847 » Fri May 08, 2015 5:08 am

Andropov4 wrote:I think the reason rioters don't go after cops or city hall is because they'd prefer to not get dead.


Precisely. They don't have the power to strike at their actual tormentors, so they pick a safer target to vent their anger at.

The dreadful irony is that I suspect this is often what the cops who brutalize people are doing as well. They can't get to the drug lords and sex traffickers and serial killers that haunt their nightmares, or the chief who keeps bullying them, or the bitch ex-wife who cheated on them before leaving with the kids, so they take it out on people that they can reach without serious consequences.
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"If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them; but the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
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