Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Injustice Society Of America!
The past month or so has been most remarkable in the history of the United States. We have witnessed two overwhelming news stories, both of which uncover harsh truths about the nature of society in general and American society in particular, the harsh and evident truth that not all of its citizens are treated equally under the law.
The first case was the never-ending drama which is the Hillary Clinton campaign. I am not especially a Hillary supporter, but I will in all probability be voting for her if that's an option later this year. Now that she has eluded prosecution (something some say was never a real option given the actual nature of the law as opposed to how many want it to be) nonetheless the impression is that she as a person of influence and money has escaped the claws of justice. Convicted in the court of public opinion, she has not been forced to explain her choices to an actual court of law.
Without doubt she had her baroque computer system established so that she could blend her public and private affairs without proper public scrutiny. That's a fundamental breach of the public trust even if it isn't a breach of the law. I'm not startled, but the hubris is staggering. That said, since her opposition in the fall will be the openly bigoted Donald Trump, I am left with the choice of the lesser of two evils from which to select my president. I will choose the competent one and hope that she has been sufficiently shaken by this pubic debacle to mend her ways (though frankly I doubt it). She's a proven liar and that's potentially tragic, but Trump is a liar of infamous and unparalleled proportions and that's a disaster. Sigh.
On the other hand.
We have been once again subjected to the gorging in the cable media on the tragic killings of two black men by police, men killed with little or no provocation. New Orleans seems a bit less certain, but the Minnesota event is the very evidence of our eyes. But we've had that evidence squandered before, because the standard is not always what we see happen, but what the perpetrator was thinking. If the cop felt threatened, or claimed to be, then his actions are mitigated, or have been up to now. It's a pity and shame that the black citizens of our society live in dread of the very people who are supposed to help them in times of need. But there's no denying that's the case and those who do are fools or liars or both.
The murders of policemen in Dallas and Baton Rouge do not in any way undermine the legitimacy of those who raise those issues. I am proud that the officers in those cities followed through bravely on their obligations to protect and serve and did so with honor. But I am most disturbed by the notion which I hear legitimized in some circles that we as citizens are somehow at fault for making our protectors nervous and should remain especially calm when we're stopped by the authorities so as not to rouse a too strong response. Ridiculous. It is not the responsibility of the citizen primarily to control the situation when they encounter a policeman, it is the duty of the cop to perform his or her task professionally.
Likewise, those who are immediately prone to blame guns as the primary culprit betray their political agenda, just the same as those who rush to suggest that guns are irrelevant to the situation. The truth is that access to military grade weapons is a significant concern for any police force and the culture which promotes ready availability of that kind of gun to any citizen is deficient in the extreme. The argument, specious at best, which says a criminal will get a gun regardless, ignores that the sanction of such weapons by the society only makes that access easier. You don't see fifty caliber machine guns being used because they are mostly illegal for civilians, and likewise semi-automatic assault weapons would become scarcer also. Dry up the demand and the supply will diminish, as any conservative devotee of free markets should be able to discern. The attitude that police need to armor up to operate in the society only admits that the weapons they face regularly are too potent for the streets and avenues of America.
There are solutions to these problems, but they require admissions of mistakes made by all parties. That's not likely to happen in a political climate where politicians more and more have to appeal to a smaller and smaller segment of their general population, and have all the cash they can carry to make that appeal.
The harsh truth is that in many ways the United States is a nation rife with open corruption and still bristling with a racism which informed the very formation of the nation itself. There's plenty of injustice to go around. Life ain't fair, but justice before the law must be.