Analysis by Kyle A. Lohmeier
Sunday night, protesters in St. Louis correctly demonstrating against the non-stop brutality of police in this country foolishly turned violent and destructive, prompting the police to gladly arrest and disperse them and then chant “Whose streets? Our streets!” back at the protesters, the phrase being a refrain commonly chanted by Black Lives Matter. As expected, comments on the story as posted at Yahoo news were already filled by this morning with racist right-wingers lauding the cops and calling for more violence against presumably black protesters.
It’s just sad.
It seems this nation is allowing itself to be torn apart by its own government and its media puppets. Is there “institutionalized racism” in things like government and their various arms and agencies? I’d bet on it. But, that’s not really the problem. See, there are always going to be stupid people upon this planet. Stupid people tend to be motivated by stupid things, like pettiness and hatred, and no set of beliefs can be more petty or hateful than racism. So, if an institution can be brought low and made hopelessly corrupt simply because it came to be run by stupid people with racist motivations, then it’s the institution itself that is flawed; clearly it has too much power over too many people. In this case, police departments and their officers are obviously institutions that have too much power.
Of course, the government loves to try to govern itself. So, when a city police department gets into trouble for having systemic, institutional problems, it gets “help” and “guidance.” But, from where? The Federal Department of Justice. The cops get more cops sent in to train the cops to be better cops. The problem, however, isn’t with the individual cops so much as it is the institution they serve. Getting good people to run a bad system is only ever at best a temporary fix.
Oddly, on some level liberals are starting to see this, even if they don’t quite recognize it. For nine months now we’ve listened to liberals moan and cry at Trump’s presidency. They simply hate the way he’s moving the levers of power, the same exact levers their beloved Barack Obama manipulated (and in shockingly similar ways) for eight years to their delight and to the dismay of productive people and economists. It’s not yet occurring to enough of them that the problem might be the institution of the office of President of the United States more than the individual who gets to wear that hat for a couple years at a time, but hopefully soon. Eh, probably not. Statists gonna state.
However, just like there can’t be a “good” president, there really can’t be a “good” cop, even if the individual human wearing either hat is nominally a good person; they’re still opting to serve an evil institution. Most police officers join up because they truly do want to “protect and serve” their community, the way we’ve all been indoctrinated to view the institution of law enforcement. In reality, the state is violence incarnate and the cops are its literal incarnations of violence at the individual level; they are the gun that is behind every law on the books, no matter how innocuous-sounding said law is. Some cops realize this and continue to work as cops to earn a living. Some, like those noisy St. Louis Police Officers caught chanting on video, come to relish and enjoy their roles as the state’s prosecution-immune dealers of death and pain.
As long as we have the hopelessly inherently corrupt and evil corporatist oligarchy we have, we will always have the institution of law enforcement whose only purpose is to serve and protect the interests of the oligarchs. As such, it’s foolhardy to applaud when some demographic you hate out of your own pettiness and stupidity is getting roughed up by the cops; it’s only a matter of time before the jackboot gets around to kicking in your teeth too.