ABG ArtBookGuy
  Art For All PeopleŽ    We Talk Contemporary Art    April 2017
POLICE STATE

Right now, people think it's cute.

However, the truth is we're edging closer and closer and closer to living in a full-on police state in America, if not the world.  At this point, it seems unavoidable.  Give me a moment to build my case.

I'm sitting here watching TV news coverage about three police officers shot in an ambush in Baton Rouge.  Three other officers were hurt.  This comes on the heels of so much gun violence involving police and military authorities all over the world.

I'm telling you, we all know that there are bad cops out there and that that so-called, "Blue Wall," is a terrible problem when it comes to racism, sexism and how police departments nationwide engage with their communities when it comes to accountability and transparency.  In so many ways, these police departments perpetrate and perpetuate their own problems.  However, I must say that I would not want to be a police officer these days.

Your typical police officer is overworked, underpaid and overwhelmed by the added societal issues and consequently, new chores that are continually poured on their heads.  These days, they're frequently dealing with people with serious mental health issues, they're dealing with people who are in possession of sophisticated firearms that rival or surpass their own, they're dealing with people who don't have much respect for the law, they're dealing with anger and rage from people whose issues go far deeper than the police and perhaps most of all, they're on the front lines of many, if not all of the  effects of our fallen world.

Let's face it.  That kind of job has GOT to take a serious health toll on anyone.  I've known a lot of cops in my lifetime and I can assure you that they're human beings just like the rest of us.  Also, cops of color - Black, Hispanic, Asian, etc. - are often lodged between that so-called, "Rock and a Hard Place" because they're sometimes dealing with racism on the job and the seemingly obligatory anger and disrespect from communities of color that consider them "sell outs."  And needless to say, few communities of color trust white cops for a variety of reasons.  In short, the whole thing is a absolute mess.

Now ... I know you think I'm writing a lovey, dovey, puff-piece about cops, so let's backup.

As an educated, law-abiding, tax-paying, house-keeping and otherwise respectable and respectful African-American male, I can certainly tell a couple of stories about my own unpleasant encounters with police.  Nothing to write home about and no, they didn't involve arrest or physical confrontation or anything like that, but I can say that, "Driving While Black" is very real in America and that I do believe that African-American males, regardless of complexion, education, social status or adherence to protocol ARE sometimes - if not often - pulled over, singled out and criminalized when no major infraction has occurred.  

While there are indeed black men - and white men - out there who do commit crime and have certainly earned their convictions, I must say that I remain astounded by society's seeming determination to paint and portray the average African-American male as a "Menace to Society."  Society eats this up.  This is often a tragic and self-fulfilling prophecy for fatherless and hopeless black boys who end up simply doing what society expects them to do.

Furthermore, there are definitely bad cops out there who totally understand this AND how testosterone works and like demons in waiting, they provoke young men into committing greater infractions during stops.  It's racism - plain and simple.  

By the way, can I just give you this news flash?  

When people of color say that they're victims of racism, believe me you, this is NOT a happy or convenient conclusion ... as so many people seem to believe.  Personally, I do everything in my power to avoid blaming racism for anything that I may be experiencing in my life.  Do you know why?  Because at best, racism is demoralizing and humiliating ... and at its worst, racism is deadly.  And I mean deadly, as in DEATH.  So why would any person of color want to deal with racism?  The reality is that not only is racism alive and real, it's surreal and unbelievable.  The crazed and evil nature of it simply blows your mind.   

Now ... let's take a sharp turn of sorts, but continue building the case for what appears to be a looming police state, shall we?

We've entered the age of unprecedented security breaches.  We're seeing all sorts of online breaches, we're seeing more shopping mall and school shootings, we're seeing more, flat-out gun battles with police, we're seeing the National Guard being brought in for this or that, we're seeing innocent little kids being shot in crossfire or snatched by child molesters, we're seeing fights explode in municipal courtrooms and last, but hardly least, we're seeing a ridiculously alarming amount of firearms approaching Wild West proportions.

We think these things are cute.  They stun us for a day or two and then we go right back to business as usual.  I say that we think they're cute because we're so clearly not doing anything to address cause and effect and do you know what else?  

With each and every online security breach or police shooting or traffic stop or worst of all, military coup, we are losing more and more and more of our freedom ... as authorities try to figure out greater ways to maintain public safety AND control.  From a pure, human and common sense standpoint, isn't that their job?  To maintain order and keep people safe?  Ironically, this comes as an increasing number of people think it's cute to pack heat.

What's also interesting is most of us have cellphone cameras and we're relying on them more and more to document things in our lives.  More and more of us are also demanding that more cops have body cams.  What MORE can I say?

We essentially want robocops, but guess what?  We think this is cute, but this is NOT a movie.  This is REAL life, not reel life.  This is actual life where we are losing our freedom in the name of security.  We're giving up things that we won't be able to get back.

Security and privacy have been at odds since the Founding Fathers did their thing.  However, at this point, we've already picked our poison.  Security wins hands down.  In a world of great uncertainty and exploding violence, we want to feel safe ... whatever the cost.  Consequently, our privacy is almost completely GONE.  Can freedom be far behind?

By the time kids today become teenagers, they won't think twice about 24-hour tracking devices or cameras everywhere or fingerprinting or iris scanning or metal detectors at movie theaters or perhaps even seeking permission to cough or sneeze.  God bless You.  

You have to admit, this is all happening SO beautifully.  All of the elements are working together in almost perfect harmony to create that delightful police state that's on the horizon.  

When the police state has arrived, peace and order will be restored and everyone will be happy again.  We won't have to worry about anything because everything will be on lockdown ... maybe even breathing.  We're getting closer and closer and once we're there, there will be no turning back.  Right now, we seem to think it's cute.

You think "Insurgent" is just a movie?  Keep it up people.  It's about to get REAL ... 

Irreversibly real.

 

 

 

Security!



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