Quiche on a cloud? Ohhhhhh
What did I say that was victim blaming, or exonerating? Just as their attitude and actions are affecting your attitude, so is your attitude affecting theirs. However, attitude does not excuse behavior.
Some cops think of citizens as their enemies. That’s a problem. While how things came to be how they are today may be of some use in fixing the situation, what’s of more use is figuring out where we are now and where we need to be. All that I’m saying is that your attitude isn’t going to make things better: it can only make things worse.
We need to get the police and public working together. Adopting an “Us vs Them” attitude is not going to get us any closer to that goal, even if they adopted that attitude first.
Uh - Source?
Yeah… not sure where you live, but bad people doing bad things are everywhere. There are even more “ok” and “good” people doing things they shouldn’t. Cops, are a necessary “evil” in some cases. If people could all get along and behave, we wouldn’t have the need for laws. And since we have laws, we need some means to enforce them.
Granted there is a lot of room for improvement in our policing system, but it also varies widely in how good and bad they are. There are towns where police haven’t drawn a weapon in years.
Well, this looks promising… Go on, poke it full of holes, though.
I wouldn’t call his suicide a good outcome here (as many seem to be saying or insinuating).
Here’s my thinking:
He’s caused havoc in some number of lives already- assuming he’s done the things he’s accused of.
But him killing himself almost certainly caused a good deal of harm to his family- whereas (I should think) his imprisonment would have caused less. And if we’re about minimizing harm, it seems that what he’s done here hasn’t accomplished that goal.
Regardless of his crimes, I think it’s tasteless to applaud a suicide.
Asking nicely has really paid off over the past fifty years.
It’s not applause from me. It is simply an acceptable outcome.
His crimes mean that he needed to be judged. That his ability to choose be removed- that he have taken the most basic of privileges: the right to decide. He shouldn’t have gotten to choose his fate.
His family is likely innocent- and they suffer because of his choice.
The victims don’t have the chance to see him held accountable. Because of his choice.
This wasn’t a punishment for him- it was an escape.
I don’t think I’m the only one who would quibble with that. Not that I hope to change your opinion, just pointing out it isn’t a universal truth of some kind.
Nor is the ban on suicide. So without applauding it, one can still feel it’s the less-bad outcome.
That is an interesting take. To me, his absence leaves the rest of us in peace, not worried that he could be acquitted or paroled or some other shenanigans. It is over. And the victims may mourn their losses, heal their wounds, move on with their lives and think of him only in the past tense. To me, that is a positive outcome: finality. Not a cheer for his death. Simply a nod that the outcome means the victims no longer need to trouble themselves that he will go after them again. Small consolation, but something.
I remember the original story and as many people I was amazed and stunned at such an obscene idea. I also remember many snarky comments about how he must have wanted the photos for his own gratification. Now sadly it seems like that was true. I say sadly because some creep had to approve the warrant so that means the idea was acceptable to more than just Abbott. What does that say about our legal system and it’s lack of respect for human rights. Yeah, I know, what respect what rights, but still wanting to inflict that kind of pain and humility on a kid is warped. It’s also sad that Abbott could not accept himself for his own sexual desires and interest. I have to wonder if he was hiding from his own sexuality and acted out of fear and shame. Perhaps he was a pedophile who knew he could never express his sexual interest and knew that no hope for proper treatment existed. Regardless it’s done now, his family forever wounded and his victims left with no resolution. What a wretched and tormented hell his life had to be especially in the period of time before he killed himself. I’m not offering pity or excuses for him, rather it’s just sad for all of society. Wouldn’t it be amazing if mental health needs had an advocate as powerful as the NRA is for it’s interests. So I’m a dreamer so shoot me…just not with needles or bullets.
“Sure they’re awful, but let’s just not point it out ok?”
Yeah. Poor guy, just wanted to aggressively victimize children. What’s all the fuss about?
The Cartoon Villain school of analysis has never proven to be helpful towards understanding why people do bad things. Asking “What must have been going on in that guy’s head?” is very much not the same as saying “Aw, poor misunderstood fella, he was the real victim here!”
That’s not actually true, though.
With a “War on Drugs” going on and an increasingly militarized police force, I’m not surprised that nothing has improved in the last fifty years.
However, in the last ten, the ability to record police officers and catch them misbehaving seems to be starting to swing public opinion the other way, which should help lead to some reforms.
I’m not saying that we should ignore the wrongdoers. I’m saying we shouldn’t lump all of the police into the same bucket as the wrongdoers, especially on those forces that are dealing effectively with these issues.
“Cops” aren’t the enemy. The enemy is the all-too-human tendency to dehumanize someone based on a stereotype, and the enemy exists in everyone, whether they wear a uniform or not. You can’t fight this enemy with hate, because it feeds on hate. You can only fight it with empathy, compassion, and understanding, and by exposing wrongdoers for what they are: flawed human beings. Some, like this guy, are more flawed than others, but he was still human, and the whole situation, starting with the abuse and ending with his suicide (although the pain caused by both will never really end), is a tragedy.
Call me a fool, but I think that no one is beyond redemption, and I think that it’s a shame that this officer chose oblivion over trying to repair some of the damage he caused.
I said nothing of the sort. I have nothing against pointing out awfulness. I’d be an awful hypocrite of I did, as I’m critical of others about all sorts of things. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to record every conversation they have with police. That’s not adversarial, that’s just prudently cautious. Bringing the bad things that cops are doing to light is a good thing.
However, setting the world up as a dichotomy, with “us” on one side, and “them” on the other, is the surest way to continue the cycle of violence, not to end it.
Here, let me Google that for you.
@jerwin 's source is also good.
These are only two of many sources readily available, @AcerPlatanoides and @PhasmaFelis. Although the widespread favorable view of police isn’t generally aware of this history (in fact ignorance of this history is a strategic cornerstone in the formation of pro-police worldviews), the historical record is free of controversy on modern police origins.
@nimelennar and @L_Mariachi, placing blame on civilians opposed to the police is victim blaming if you consider that it’s part of the narrative that says citizen attitudes put police on the defensive and that’s a big part of why they treat citizens like crap. We can hear this narrative all the time on Fox News, e.g. when they cover BLM and police violence. BB recently covered a funny comic on the subject dealing with Philip K. Dick’s famous Voigt-Kampff empathy test.
Police are always on the front lines of social conflict, ready to beat and cage protestors, with a mandate to infiltrate their groups and sabotage them from within. They are frankly terrorists in a lot of black and brown neighborhoods, even taking into consideration their contradictory role in imparting some relative safety to the communities that they police. (Virtually no institution is free of contradictions, which often point the way toward potentially better institutions to replace them.)
Again, taking a position against the police is not about the individuals; it’s about the institution. Regardless of how the individuals feel, or how ethical they are at their jobs, when they put on the uniform, they follow orders and policies that are opposed to the best interests of the working class. Even more reprehensible, the power that police have was created by political and economic elites in order to quell popular resistance to their policies, and today that power is irrevocable; it’s not ours to give or take. Already, in advance, there is an “us-them” dynamic that is beyond our control.
In the way of remedies, as @ActionAbe pointed out, and as the article I link to stresses, reforms haven’t worked. Calls for police reform should be weighed in the overly optimistic light of this futility. I don’t think that an alternative is near at hand by any means (I only raise this question for counterpoint), but being resigned to an oppressive situation is not the same as lending it your support. Granted, we are all implicated in supporting the police through taxes.
Yes, there’s crime, and I stress the need for organized community safety. However, it’s worth pointing out here that the overwhelming majority of crime generally comes from poverty and desperation, and capitalism creates poverty in abundance. To paraphrase a quote from Lefebvre, capitalism and the state excel at creating problems to which only they can provide the solutions. (This dynamic applies in a lot of other situations, like the creation of a landless working class in the 19th century, later extended in the following century, that no longer has anything to sell but its labor, and so is obliged to seek work from the very capitalists who worked with the state to squeeze farmers off of their lands.)
Marx’s chapters in Capital on the fencing of the commons, child labor, and the struggles for the 10-hour workday provide invaluable insight into the decades during which capitalism established itself. In these chapters, Marx quotes at length numerous public health and factory inspections as well as newspaper articles, editorials, and interviews that shed a very harsh light onto the extremely brutal realities of capitalism’s beginnings, including data on skyrocketing death rates in factories and cities that compelled capitalists to import labor from the countryside, as well as public justifications for chaining children to factory machines. This is all part of the public record, so not even pro-capitalists can dismiss its value merely because it was Marx who preserved it for us.
Capitalism’s beginnings were neither democratic nor humane, and in numerous cases laws were invented to justify what capitalists and their allies in the surviving nobility were doing to the farmers and workers at the time. This was all met with tremendous resistance and skyrocketing crime, which led to the creation of police. Primarily they were used to attack social movements and squash political opposition. It’s also worth remembering that unions at the time were illegal and their leaders were regularly killed…by police. Two famous cases that relate to early modern policing are the Haymarket Massacre and subsequent anarchist witch hunt, and the Ludlow Massacre. (The former was part of a successful nationwide struggle for the 8-hour workday in the US, led by anarchists and socialists, that led to the international holiday, May Day, on May 1, to memorialize the “Haymarket martyrs” and their struggle. Ironically, the holiday isn’t celebrated in its country of origin largely due to repression from the authorities. The US celebration of workers struggles was muted and moved far away to Labor Day, and May 1 was dubbed, with Orwellian cynicism, “Loyalty Day.”)
Today, conditions in developing countries are very much as I describe above, and the same violent drama, with police playing an important role, is still unfolding. Privileged Americans who take the role of the police for granted as an absolute, a universal, would do well to weigh this belief in consideration of worldwide echoes that largely started in their country, where police continue the authoritarian project of enforcing contemporary capitalism.
Given what we have established as the origins of modern policing, one would think that the issue would be resolved. However, I dare say that supporting police, as well as reforms that have failed since their inception, is aligned with an ideological framework that wants to use force (the police) to maintain capitalist property relations that, from the very beginning, were also established and maintained through force (as were those of its predecessor, feudalism, which we can all agree was horrible, but whose power structures nevertheless survived the capitalist transition in numerous ways, creating more problems for support for police under capitalism). In fact, maintaining the police seems to be the primary goal of their supporters (otherwise their abolition would be on the table), with peace and justice as secondary objectives.
What’s more, one would think that recourse to such history would be unnecessary in an age of mass incarceration, when we have ample video evidence of huge masses of police attacking peaceful demonstrators. (Does no one here remember watching them savage Occupy and Veterans for Peace a few years back?) Such is the power of police apology, I suppose.
Quoth Jello Biafra: “Wanna see child porn? Join the vice squad!”