Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meh.....

In a follow up to yesterday's post about the never-ending cycle of stories about the way the police treat minorities, particularly black folks, I thought I'd talk about how minorities within the police department often are treated.

I've seen several recent stories, including one out of Philly and this one out of Los Angeles where minority officers have complained of racism and discrimination within the department. In addition, I've had the pleasure of hearing some of these complaints firsthand in my regular life.

It seems that many minorities are denied opportunities for advancement, are subjected to bigotry and are generally treated like second class citizens within police departments. Apparently there are police officesr and then there are minority police officers. They are not all on the same team, all of the time.

I just have one thing to say about that...

Meh.

Y'all know I like to call out racism and I think it's an important task. But, when I hear about minority officers getting shafted by white folks, I can't really work up too much outrage. My reasoning is simple. If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas...

What do I mean? Well, I wouldn't be so stupid as to claim that ALL police officers are evil. However, from what I've seen and heard, becoming a police officer seems to imbue folks with a certain sense of superiority that does not respond well to being challenged. Yesterday's story about Professor Gates was a prime example of that, but I've seen it on multiple occasions in my regular life. Many police officers expect everyone to obey them immediately and to meekly submit to having their rights violated. Period.

Minorities who join police departments have this same attitude. More importantly, they often tend to apply racist standards to other minorities who are not a part of Big Blue. To a certain degree, being a police officer overrides all other considerations of race and class, that is until minority officers are forced to confront their own subordinate status within the hierarchy of Big Blue.

I find it ludicrous that the same folks who turn a blind eye to racial profiling and other abuses would expect the general public to be outraged when their rights are violated. In the story I linked to, the Asian officer bringing the lawsuit worked in the narcotics unit. If there is one thing I know, it's that officers in those units bend or break rules all the damn time, and have no problem violating the civil rights of "bad guys" to make an arrest. Yet, this officer has the nerve to be upset that the same folks he regularly allowed to mistreat others would turn around and mistreat him?

That's just stupid.

I don't have sympathy for folks who are wronged if they've consistently wronged others, or watched while others have been wronged. I don't feel bad when minority police officers are mistreated because they knew the organization was rotten in so many ways, but they allowed it to continue to discriminate against other minorities, particularly young black males, unabated. They are complicit in every act of wrongdoing, and any abuse they suffer at the hands of their fellow officers is likely deserved.

I don't care.


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9 comments:

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hi there!

Why should we be surprised?

I mean, really...

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Lisa

Imhotep said...

I'm glad the Asian dude called these pigs out. It's always good when someone from the "model minority" camp bring racism to light, especially as it relates to the police department.

Lisa J said...

I feel ya. Part of me agrees but then to I figure some, do help to tamp down SOME instances of racial profiling and they are trying to fix the system from within. The problem with that though is that people who decide to do that often get coopted into the system and become the thing they wanted to change. Sigh.

Deacon Blue said...

I can sympathize with your stand, Big Man, but it's that horrible you win/you lose scenario.

A police force should have minorities on it, but how do you keep from becoming corrupted by the system from within or keep from simply spitting into the wind? An all-white police force wouldn't be desirable...and yet most police forces still have heavy-duty issues within that lead to abuse of power/corruption/profiling/etc.

I don't have any answers, but I guess from that standpoint I do have at least some sympathy for minorities within the police force.

Big Man said...

I've always believed that it's more important to have a diversity of worldviews than a diversity of skin tones. Too often, the world settles for the latter.

I think that happens with the police.

Deacon Blue said...

Diversity of worldviews in the police is such a hard one, though, isn't it? I don't think the field has really done anything to become appealing to people of different viewpoints, socioeconomic backgrounds, education levels, etc. Which is a damn shame because, more than many other dangerous skilled trades (construction, firefighting, etc. being some others), the police could benefit greatly from a much more diverse workforce, esp. as things like cyber crime become more prevalent.

Big Man said...

Deac

I agree, and that's the problem. That job attracts certain kinds of cats, and they really aren't the cats you want toting around guns, no matter what color they are. And if they aren't like that when they sign up, they quickly become like that from hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Deacon Blue said...

It's funny, because every once in a while in life, I have been struck by the notion that I should enter law enforcement. But part of the reason the idea never sticks is that I know I would either compromise myself at some point, or be put in a position where by not compromising myself, I would be ostracized and perhaps put at risk.

Lisa J said...

Deacon and Big Man you are both so right. I have thought for years that they need to 1) Give every cop in the country a full psychological profile to determine if they are fit for that type of work, i.e, dealing with people, emotional intelligence, discernment of different types of people, ability to stay calm and rationale in different situations, etc, 2) more should have to get a college education and have to include a strong component of liberal arts not just criminal justice, just to make sure they have a greater world view and exposure to lots of things beyond just law enforcement so they might have a broader perspective on the world. I think about a guy like Frank Serpico and they need more guys like that in the police force. Unfortunately too many folks with the wrong mindset go into the police force and it seems like some of the cops with more people skills aren't in the big cities where they might be of more help. Then again, some may start out with good intentions and then they get burned out after dealing with so many shit-birds and they get jaded and distrust everyone. That doesn't help either. Even though I thought the movie was trash, I think the ending of Crash sort of shows that, when the "good cop" who tried to be open minded and talk his partner down from his nasty racism and then killed someone because he sort of snapped and seemed to have been too worn down and jaded from seeing to much of the wrong thing. Of course I was one of the few folks who found the movie to be an epic fail on race issues despite all of its accolades so that point was clumsly handled too.

Raving Black Lunatic