Summary: Here are two shocking perspectives on the front lines of America’s class wars, conflicts growing worse as inequality increases in our slow growth era. We close our eyes to these things at our peril; clear vision is the first step to reform.
“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”
— Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Family and nation: the Godkin lectures, Harvard University, 1985
- The murder of Tamir Rice
- Confessions of a Public Defender
- Some good news
- For More Information
(1) The murder of Tamir Rice by police
Here we see how “law enforcement” has become an occupation force, regarding the people it should protect as cattle. It’s a more powerful example than the shooting of Michael Brown after he robbed a store. Here are details about the murder of Tamir Rice from articles in the New York Times and LA Times.
Tamir Rice is playing in the a gazebo outside a recreation center, with nobody near him. He had a black airsoft-type pistol (firing plastic pellets) tucked in his belt. He was 5 feet 7, weighed 195 pounds, and 12 years old.
A police cruiser arrived and skidded to a stop next to the boy. Almost immediately a Cleveland officer, Timothy Loehmann, shoots Tamir. The officers stood by, letting Tamir bleed out on the ground.
About 90 seconds later, Tamir’s 14-year old sister (name not released) ran toward her brother. The second officer, Frank Garmback, immediately pushed her to the ground back-first, tumbling on top of her. Garmback and another officer handcuff the struggling teen and placed her in the back seat of their patrol car. Her brother is bleeding right outside it.
Four minutes after the shooting another man provided the first medical assistance, an F.B.I. agent who was in the neighborhood. Paramedics arrived eight minutes after the shooting; Tamir was taken away on a stretcher five minutes later. Doctors at a Cleveland hospital pronounced Tamir dead nine hours later. An autopsy by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner found that Tamir died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
This is brutal, cold blooded murder. We’ll learn something about America by what happens next.
The NYT falsely describes Officer Loehmann (age 26) who fired the fatal shot, as a “rookie.” He had quit a suburban police force after his supervisors determined two years ago that he had had a “dangerous loss of composure” during firearms training and was emotionally unprepared to cope with stresses of the job. The Cleveland police acknowledged that they had never reviewed the previous police personnel file of Officer Loehmann. It’s common for police not to do background checks on the previous employment of police — or disregard their findings (e.g., the LAPD). This makes it easy for even discharged officers to get new jobs at other police departments.
(2) Confessions of a Public Defender
There are 2 sides to every problem. As the media plays the police brutality narrative, they ignore the rest of the story. For good reason, as it requires mentioning things of extreme political incorrectness. To see what its like to work on the front lines of the see the “Confessions of a Public Defender“, Michael Smith (“pseudonym”), American Renaissance (it’s not a reliable or reputable source; see their Wikipedia entry), 9 May 2014.
I will not even attempt a summary. Read it in full. It’s not shocking to anyone with experience in law enforcement, social services, or anyone on the streets of our inner cities. It’s almost unimaginable news to anyone without such experience. In such thinking we see the origins of shootings like that of Tamir Rice.
Update: The author talks of race (in America it’s always about race) but in fact describes the effect of class and poverty. See the discussion about this article in the comments. Also see the FBI Uniform Crime Reports data.
(3) Good news
We have made progress since the civil rights era began in the decades after WWII. More recently crime rates have come down (for mysterious reasons, perhaps in part because of less exposure to lead).
The good news continues (and can continue, if we try): “The End of Gangs“, Sam Quinones, Pacific Standard (the science of society”), 29 December 2014. Summary:
Los Angeles gave America the modern street gang. Groups like the Crips and MS-13 have spread from coast to coast, and even abroad. But on Southern California’s streets they have been vanishing. Has L.A. figured out how to stop the epidemic it set loose on the world?
For More Information
(a) How we got here. Centuries of slavery for Blacks in America, the century of oppression, then the stormy civil rights era, and then more bad decisions.
- The path not taken: “The Negro Family: The Case For National Action“, Office of Policy Planning and Research, Department of Labor, March 1965 — Largely written by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. So insightful it remains controversial to this day.
- A look back at the path we did take: “The Best of Intentions, the Worst of Results“, Irving Kristol, The Atlantic Monthly, August 1971.
- Daniel Quayle’s “Murphy Brown” speech in May 1992 about the effects of so many children being raised by single mothers, condemned by the Left but later proven prescient.
- Adapting to the bad choices we’ve made: “Defining Deviancy Down: How We’ve Become Accustomed to Alarming Levels of Crime and Destructive Behavior”, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, American Scholar, Winter 1993.
- A look at how we’ve justified the path we took: “The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies“, Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal, Summer 2005.
- A dark path we have taken: “Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America“, Radley Balko, Cato Institute, 17 July 2006.
- The horrific results: “The U.S. has more jails than colleges“, Washington Post, 6 January 2015 — “our national incarceration rate of 707 adults per every 100,000 residents is the highest in the world, by a huge margin.”
- Looking ahead: “Can Our Shameful Prisons Be Reformed?“, David Cole, New York Review of Books, 19 November 2009 — Being a third world nation is a state of mind. Here’s a first step.
(b) About police, law enforcement, and the security services:
- How to Fund an American Police State (aka Weaponizing the Body Politic), 5 March 2012 — Militarizing the police.
- We are alone in the defense of the Republic, 5 July 2012.
- Do not talk to the police (important advice in New America), 4 August 2013.
- Look at the protests in Wisconsin to see how America has changed, 31 August 2013.
- Murder by police. If these incidents do not anger us, then what will?, 19 January 2014.
- Why America has militarized its police and crushes protests, 16 August 2014.
- Police grow more powerful; the Republic slides another step into darkness. Can cellphone cameras save us?, 28 August 2014.
- The shame of Alaska: vast wealth, but little spent to protect its people, 15 September 2014.
- Shootings by police show their evolution into “security services”, bad news for the Republic, 1 December 2014.
(c) About justice in America:
- Sparks of justice still live in America – cherish them and perhaps they’ll spread, 11 September 2009.
- An opportunity to look in the mirror, to more clearly see America, 10 November 2009 — About our prisons.
- Being a third world nation is a state of mind, as we will learn (about prison rape), 19 March 2011.
- Our prisons are a mirror showing the soul of America. It’s not a pretty picture., 28 March 2011.
- The Collapse of American Criminal Justice System — Excerpts from The Collapse of American Criminal Justice by William J. Stuntz.
- More about the collapse of the American Criminal Justice System, 20 September 2011.
- Final thoughts about America’s Criminal Justice System, 21 September 2011.
- Richard Castle shows us the dark reality of justice in 21st C America, 28 May 2014.
(d) Some other posts about race (see all posts about it here):
- The pilgrimage of Martin Luther King: an antidote to our amnesia about America’s history, 14 September 2013.
- A harsh clear look at the history of the Republican Party, 22 September 2013.
- Congress did a great thing 50 years ago, but rot from that day has spread and taken root, 26 June 2014.
- Eco-activists benefit from white privilege. Black protesters get gas & tasers., 11 September 2014 — Hundreds of such stories appear in the news.