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Forums - Politics Discussion - So, are we not gonna talk about this?

Flilix said:
I don't get it. Why is this suddenly such a big topic? Just because of one guy? There isn't any more police violence right now than there was a few months ago, or than there will be in a few months when everyone will have forgotten about this. Just like in a few months people will be outraged because of the next school shooting, and will then forget about it the week after.

Also, why are people acting like this is the biggest problem in the world? It's clearly not. Some people are even going as far as saying that you're not allowed to question it's importance. They are calling other people out for 'staying silent'. That's stupid. Any issues can and should be questioned, within reason of course. Otherwise you're creating a dangerous hivemind in which no one is allowed to deviate from the accepted opinion. More and more, people are not able to accept a different opinion anymore.

By the way, is there any actual proof that the killing of that guy had anything to do with racism? Or is that just the default assumption now? And is there even any actual statistical proof that black people are being targeted by the police? People are acting like that's an objective fact, but I'm kind of sceptical. Yes, I know that the number of black people getting shot is a lot higher than the number of white people. But I don't think that it's that simple.

The number of blacks versus whites getting killed by the police matches quite well with the total crime rate of blacks versus whites. No, I am not saying that black people are inherently more criminal. What I am saying is that poverty is a serious problem in the black community. And poverty is often quite directly the reason why people get involved in crime. Especially crimes like street violence, robbery and drug dealing. I would imagine that these are the exact types of crimes that could potentionally get you shot by the police. So why aren't people protesting economical inequality instead?

I do realise that the correlation between people getting shot and people living in poverty is not perfect. However, it is definitely strong enough to be noted and to nuance this whole 'cops being racist' thing. The issue is clearly a lot more complex than that. But apparently nobody cares about that. That's what bothers me most about this outrage (or any outrage for that matter): there is no room for nuance. Everything needs to be as simple and extreme as possible, since that's what gets people to share it on the internet.

I think that unnuanced outrages like these are a direct cause for the growing political polarisation. I searched on the internet for more level-headed opinions on the matter, but I was severely disappointed. Basically, most of the people who I found disagreeing with the protests are far right racists, who were pushing an opinion that was of course even less nuanced. Apparently, you're only allowed to choose between two opinions nowadays: left or right. Anything in between will make each side think that you actually secretly belong to the other side.

Remember, reality is rarely as simple as a headline or a Twitter post.

(Btw, why do issues like climate change or people dying in poor countries never get this amount of outrage, despite being objectively far worse? Could it be because people would rather not change their own behaviour, since it's a lot easier to just paint the police as evil monsters so you can feel better about yourself?)

It's seems like this should have a simple answer but it doesn't. I'm a black male and a former police officer. I'm just going to make a few comments based on my experience. The area I lived in was about 50/50 black and white with a small percentage of "other" races. 

-We would arrest roughly half and half. Yes, often for different crimes but still, on any given month, it seemed about the same, give or take.

-Despite the previous statement, it seemed like the jail held like 75% black and maybe 25% other. This was just my area so take it with a grain of salt. I did notice that black people often couldn't bond out of jail, no matter how low the bond was.

-On a select few occasions, my arrests just disappeared. Never heard anything about them again. Never went to court. No idea what happened. I have seen people walking out and back on the streets before the paperwork was even done. I'll leave that one alone.

-White people on the whole seemed more cooperative. Yes, I've had to fight and chase after them but if somebody was going to resist, I'd say 2/3 of the time, it was a black person.

-White officers did seem to be more afraid of black people. Often seemed like they were over reacting. Maybe it's because they were dealing with another race and they just didn't know how to relate. I don't know.

-On occasion, i got assigned certain tasks simply for my skin color. Even got credit for certain warrants even though I played a small role. In some ways, I think I was used for political reasons. Working clubs, a dinner for MLK's brother, talking to kids, they made sure I was present.

-I have personally seen black people treated different. Over time, some cops start feeling like everyone is guilty of something. It's just something that slowly creeps over them. Years of dealing with people at their worst. I think they start hating people. They say they don't but you can kinda pick up on it. 

-Maybe 60 years ago, a generation of blacks were denied many rights and education. That spilled into their kids and their grandkids. Think of what life would be like if your grandparents had to start with almost nothing (and who's to say they didn't? I know lots of white families that have struggled and still struggle). That translates to their children and, even though things eventually changed on paper, a lot of people's hearts stayed the same. There's still that hatred being passed down. I've seen it from both blacks and whites. 

-long post. Probably rambling. Probably answered none of your questions. I get scatterbrained sometimes when I have a lot to say and only a few minutes to say it. Gotta go to bed. I'll just say that people want things to get better/change but often don't have the words to articulate exactly what they want. That doesn't make their feelings and complaints invalid. We all need to compromise and maybe have a little empathy.

It's easy for many to say "Everyone in that group is wrong and they need to change" rather than admit that "Maybe my group is part of the problem". And people get defensive so quickly. But, nearing my mid 40s, I can say things are mostly better than they were when I was in my 20s. They're better than they were when my mom was younger. My mom's youth was better than her grandparents. And I feel like we're on track for things to be even better...if we just focus on the good.

Or maybe I'm just naive. Have a good night.

Twitter: @d21lewis

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Nautilus said:
Hiku said:

You're addressing a lot of things I didn't talk about. Like looters.
I don't want to equate the looting with the reason for the protests, because they are different, and the protests started before anyone looted.
Even if some looters sympathize with the cause, they are looting for personal gain. Protesters are trying to help other people.

Also it's more difficult for looting to occur now, but the police brutality continues every day against peaceful protesters. The reason it's important to focus on police brutality should be obvious. There's a clear answer to the looting. They violate the law with their selfish actions, so they should be punished accordingly.

However they were not entrusted with our safety. They didn't take an oath to protect and serve.
So when police get away with crimes, and they help each other get away with it, we're facing a much more complicated problem.

How do we get justice for all the people brutalized, maimed, killed etc when police cover up their name and badge numbers, remove body cams, cover up face or wear riot gear to avoid any form of identification?

This is the main issue we should be focusing on right now. However, there is a problem with that, which leads me into your comment about 'All Lives Matter'.

Over the past few days I've seen more videos of police brutality or otherwise illegal actions against peaceful protesters, or just people reporting the news, standing on their own porch, or in their house even, than I can count. It's dozens and dozens every hour on my news feed.

But when I look at the timeline of some conservatives, how is it possible that they retweet a ton of stories about this, but not one single word about police brutality?
It seems like it should be unavoidable.

One big reason is the "All Lives Matter" tag. By avoiding the Black Lives Matter tag, and using a different tag, they effectively filter out any unwanted stories they don't want to see, or show their followers, and separate and/or disrupt the newsflow.
So even though police brutality should be by far the most concerning topic here, for some people it may as well not exist.

Of course, the BLM tag is probably not highlighting much looting, but it is still a subject that's near impossible to avoid because it's the given reason for police and now military deployment. And you inevitably see videos of protesters stopping the looting and vandalizing.

Either way, you don't have to support the Black Lives Matter movement. But you can avoid it without undermining the message by countering with "All Lives Matter", and suggesting people are saying white lives are less valuable.

And two things about the Roman empire.
Roman fathers were given the right to sell their children as slaves. They enslaved their own people. So a Roman person today doesn't carry the stigma of slavery. It's hard for anyone to tell whether they would have been a slave in the first place. But black people can't avoid it due to the color of their skin being a giveaway. And unfortunately too many people (one is one too many) in the US still think the wrong side won during the civil war.

I don't understand you... a crime is a crime. I'm adressing the situation at hand, and the looting and killings done in the name of black rights has everything to do with the situation. These looters and murderers were part of these protests and many of them did that under that banner. I know idiots exists everywhere, but the same can be applied to both sides if you are going to use that argument. Human stupidity is linked with the brutality done both by the protestors and the police.I could understand you if that were an isolated ocassion, but it's not. In fact, every time such protests happens, looting and killing usually follows suit.

I didn't say you shouldn't address looting. I'm saying your reply, copying what you said to Mzuzek, in large part was not as relevant an answer to me, because you're covering some subjects I didn't touch. So then I have to jump into the middle of a discussion I never brought up, and don't know how it started.
If you could cut out the rebutals to the arguments I never made next time, and just keep the ones relevant to my post, that would help.

Though regarding the looters/killers you adressed. You followed it up with"by these so called ''protestors of black rights''".
By conflating the peaceful protesters with the rioters, looters and anarchists, —erasing any distinction between the criminals and the citizens exercising their 1A rights—you can justify any action against them.

These people do not diminish the cause that is being protested either, which is police brutality.
And the police committing crime is not the moral equivalence of the ones looting and being violent. It's a much more serious problem. Especially when it's systemic, like covering up their badge numbers and removing the bodycams, etc.

There is no question about what police should do with criminals.
But what should peaceful protesters do vs violent abusive cops? How do you find out which cop shot the bullet that took your eye out while reporting the news?

Nautilus said:
What I mean is, a problem is a problem. If something is wrong, truly wrong, it has to be discussed and never be excused because it was done either " for a greater good" or because the other problem is slightly worse. You have to remember we are dealing with human lives here. For a black person, this topic might be more important to him, but for the person who just got his bussiness completely ruined and he was already swimming in debts, you may as well have setenced him to death.

Of course. But without backhandedly equating the gravity of the problems with "both sides", when one issue warrants a lot more scrutiny.
This is how the police behave during a police brutality protest. When they're supposed to be on their best behavior, knowing everyone is watching and recording them more carefully than ever before. That's what's so shocking to a lot of people. I expected a few incidents to happen, but I did not expect this. This is unprecedented. Normally people would have gone home after the original officer was arrested and charged. But it's still escalating.
Around the world even. Here's New Zealand:

Probably not just because this was yet another murder of an unarmed black man. What's different this time is how the police reacted.

Though I find it hard to believe that unarmed civilians (which is 99.99999999% of them) are instigating violence against the police at the same rate that armed police officers are instigating violence against civilians. Because the cops are armed and geared up while civilians usually aren't. If we count things like throwing bottles I can see that. But since the police are using batons, bullets, teargas, etc, I was thinking about things on that level coming from the crowd. It should be significantly lower.

Though either way, the issue is that it's the police doing it, who took an oath to protect and serve. This is their job, and should be held to a higher standard than a random Joe in the crowd.

You can't vet who shows up to a protest, but you can vet who joins the police force, how they are trained, and how they are supervised.

And like people said, it's Black Lives Matter. Not Only Black Lives Matter. So pointing out that all lives matter is redundant.
Everyone participating in a BLM protest is referred to with the tag. That includes the abusive cops. And the good cops.

Last edited by Hiku - on 03 June 2020

end of the day the protests and the accompanying rioting/looting/arson/anarchy will just bring unnecessary death and cause lasting damage to minority areas.

-coronavirus will definitely spread more in these areas as a result, disproportionately affecting people of color

-burning down and damaging of local businesses will just bring long-lasting economic destruction and stagnation(who's going to want to invest and rebuild in a financially risky and dangerous area?)

-the economic problems will exacerbate the drug use and crime rate there, causing residents with the means to leave giving you a negative economic and increasing crime feedback loop

-cops being demonized and vilified will just bring about police being less likely to show up and intervene in troubled minority areas, thus crime and homicides go up further

look at what the locals think about chaos that went on

 Almost everyone supports peaceful protests.  but obviously, the vast vast majority of the locals DO NOT want the rioting/looting in their neighborhood. Funny that some people here are condoning, excusing and giving the destruction a pass.

Peaceful protest does not work.  Without the violence women would never have had the right to vote.  Big screen TVs are owed to people! If Gandhi hadn't kicked asses the Salt March would have failed. Burning down someones shop is a reasonable statement.  The Montgomery Bus Burnings was the only way to get people's attention and bring about change. Equating opportunist to protesters and using the justification of the latter to excuse the former is the only logical stance to take.  


This thread will be closing soon.  The title violates the forum rules on using improper language in a title and it's redundant. We will be closing the other threads as well to consolidate this discussion into one Official Thread.  This will enable better flow of discourse (rather than multiple threads and having to bounce between them) and easier moderation.

For anyone that already has an ongoing discussion and you are wanting to continue it or are awaiting replies, copy your posts into the new thread to continue them.

The Official Protest Thread.

Massimus - "Trump already has democrat support."

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oh well

mZuzek said:
oh well

Copy anything you want to carry over.  We're just consolidating given that the discussion is taking place across 4 different threads.

Massimus - "Trump already has democrat support."

Hopefully BLM momentum will continue and real change will happen.
An end to police brutality and corruption.
An improvement in police treatment of non-white people.