Did I defend the state of the police in America? No. I said it was what we wanted and allowed. I noted that we could have changed it at any point through our elected representatives at the local, county, and state level.
Having patrolled with a revolver and 12 extra cartridges, it seemed sufficient at the time, but there have been some hard-earned lessons since then and I understand the reason modern officers pull their shifts with semiautomatic pistols and spare magazines. You may not appreciate the reasons, but you aren’t doing the patrolling, either.
Do I think police departments need mine-resistant, armored military vehicles? Not really. There are other forms of armored vehicles that are adequate for any needs likely to be faced by law enforcement officers. In fact, all versions of American police patrol vehicles are available with ballistic armor in the front doors.
Do I think we demand things of police officers that we shouldn’t demand of them? Absolutely. Do we require them to handle situations that they aren’t equipped to handle and give them only jails to deal with a variety of issues? Absolutely. Have we gutted our mental healthcare system and left it for police to deal with the mess? Surest thing you know. Do we want police to enforce laws against things that shouldn’t even be illegal? Yes.
It’s estimated there are 53 million interactions between police and the general public each year. Consider what those interactions involve and then look at how few of them go bad.
My point was that before there can be any meaningful reform of police forces, there needs to be some reform in all of us, even one so myopic as yourself.
Yes, America was born in violence. So what? It’s hardly unique in that regard. The world is a violent place and always has been.
Yes, America had slavery and, yes, it was bad. It was also fairly common, especially in Africa. Exporting slaves became a growth industry for Africa in the 16th Century and untold thousands of slaves were sold to British, Portuguese, and Dutch traders by Africans themselves. The first slaves brought to the U.S. didn’t come from Africa: they came from existing slave populations in the Caribbean and South America.
Yes, there has been oppression of Previously Arrived Americans, blacks, Chinese, Italians, and Irish — and Catholics, Jews, and Muslims. But how long did the caste system last in India? Social classes still persist in many places.
Isn’t Brexit racist? One of the primary reasons for leaving the EU was Britain’s desire to avoid having to accept refugees from the Middle East.
The United States is not now, and never has been, a democracy. It wasn’t set up as a democracy; it’s a federal republic of 50 sovereign states, each with a lot of power. Saying that the United States is uniformly anything is to ignore the intent of the men who created or structure of government. We are intended to be contentious and we are very good at it.
And here is a real shocker for you: a lot of people don’t feel any guilt about the past because they had nothing to do with it. And that’s okay; it’s their right. Not only that, they can say things you don’t like; that’s also their right and they are just as non-delusional as you are. And, yes, that may be damning with faint praise.