Bag of Randomness for Thursday, June 4, 2020

Yesterday, in response to what I posted about Bob Sturm’s thoughts, one of my readers sent me the following Wall Street Journal article, and I know there wasn’t any ill-intent behind it.

The Myth of Systemic Police Racism – Hold officers accountable who use excessive force. But there’s no evidence of widespread racial bias.

I was bothered by it for two reasons. One, I’m concerned that I may have somehow communicated that I believe police are racist. And two, I’m surprised something like this was posted in such an esteemed publication. For something like that to be printed, I’m led to believe that many sane and rational people may actually think that’s true.

So, I guess I want to go on record and say a few things. I suppose in a small way, I’m pulling a Bob Sturm. I have never felt that law enforcement, or the military for that matter, is endemically racist, and to my knowledge, no one in my family or circle of friends does either. I know there are more good cops than bad cops and it’s the rotten ones that cause the stink. But this is where I may differ with you and I don’t think it was addressed or implied in the article. It’s my belief those who are racist and those who need that power trip or feeling of control are more likely to navigate towards a career in the military and/or law enforcement. They are the bad apples. Of course, there are racists everywhere. I don’t have a way to prove it, but the majority of people in law enforcement and the military are not racists, it’s just a lot of racists prefer to be in that kind of profession. I hope there’s nothing in my writing that shows I think law enforcement or the military is endemically racist. I also believe the majority of protestors don’t believe either are endemically racist, though I also have no way of proving that.

But I will go on record saying I believe “the system” or whatever you want to call it is deeply flawed. In the example of George Floyd, we all now are deeply familiar that one police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes – five minutes and 53 seconds of kneeling before officers declared that Floyd was unresponsive, followed by two minutes and 53 seconds of continued pressure. That is disturbing in itself, but I’ll argue what’s more so is that three other police officers at the scene acted barbarically by not stopping it. The closest we got is one of them twice asking if he should be rolled over with the kneeling officer (who had a history of 17 complaints) responding with, “No, staying put where we got him.” The system is flawed if three other cops aren’t able to intervene. The system is flawed if cops aren’t able to keep each other accountable. I have no idea why it’s that way. Maybe it’s the intimidation of correcting a more senior member, maybe it’s fear that the next performance review will say “Not a reliable team member.” It’s got the same eerie feel to it as the movie Casulaties of War. If this singular event wasn’t recorded and then only reported by a citizen, no one would be held accountable. And sadly, as more and more of these incidents are being recorded all across the country we see more and more evidence of a failed system. There’s no quick or easy fix, this failure is generations in the making, and it will take generations to fix. I’m not on the side of the cops, I’m not on the side of the victims, it’s not that easy, though I do want to justice and a change for the better, nationwide. I’ll save any thoughts on rioting and other related items for another day.

Some things make me angry, some things make me sad, some things make me both angry and sad. One day, they are going to ask themselves not if they should have done this or not, but if it was worth it.

Armchair political strategist time:

If Trump really wanted to show he’s not afraid to go outside of the White House grounds and rile up his base, I think it would have been far more effective if his staff asked the church for half an hour alone in their sanctuary the following day. Show him walking to the church with a Bible in hand and have no one inside except him. Just tell the press the president wanted to spend some time in the church alone. It doesn’t matter what he does in there, he could read the paper, just say nothing more than the president wanted to spend some solitude in a house of worship. As for Trump, take no questions and never say anything about it. The mystery and image of it would be greater than anything else, just imagine how the media and social media would respond.

For Biden, the next time he speaks at a church, especially from a lectern, work with the church to set up a clear plastic shield in front of it, like what we now see at grocery stores, and speak without a mask. The message of COVID-19 awareness would still be taken seriously and you would connect with the public more.

I’m simply curious to know who owns that Bible Trump used in the photo op. Was it someone’s personal Bible or just one someone found on a White House bookshelf? I do find it a little odd that Ivanka pulled it out of her purse to give to him since she’s not a Christian, she converted to Judism so she could marry her husband. You know, that’s an interesting thing Kushner had to do, sell to a man of Trump’s stature that he not only want to marry his daughter but have her change religion as well.

This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

I’ve been tempted to check out FBC Dallas’s Robert Jeffress’ Twitter account but have refrained from doing so. I think if I did, a range of sadness, anger, and disbelief would cloud my mind for hours.

The president’s favorite Bible verses.

New York congressman caught on hot mic at protest event: “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care”

Local station News 12 captured Engel, a Democrat, making the comment at a press conference in the Bronx following another night of civil unrest following the death of George Floyd. In a clip posted on Twitter, Engel is seen talking to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. about whether he’ll be able to speak at the event. Diaz is heard telling Engel there’s a “list” of planned speakers and there might be too many people.

“If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” Engel says. When Diaz doesn’t hear him, Engel says it again.

This Tesla Cybertruck redesign makes it look like one of the Batmobiles.

Dyson shares new photos and videos of its canceled electric SUV

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3 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Thursday, June 4, 2020

  1. Ben W. says:

    Thanks for sharing your feelings and being so open, Keith. It’s one reason we keep coming back. I’ve been burdened by current events, too, and don’t have the time or energy (or an outlet) to collect and communicate my thoughts. Thanks for sharing yours – it’s been a help.

    And to be fair, that article was posted in the WaPo Opinion section, so it’s just an op-ed. Newspapers–even major ones–will post all manner of things that are not scientifically, legally, or logically sound, in an attempt to either get views or to appease a high-level individual. There’s no better example right now than the op-ed from Sen. Cotton that the NYT posted a couple of days ago where he called for military intervention against rioters.

  2. Nathan Hart says:

    Thank you brother for sharing these thoughts. This is a good time for all of us to be honest, reflective, and gracious. Thank you for modeling that to us.

  3. Bizarro Big Tex says:

    If the Pulitzer Committee made awards to blogs, today’s offering would win one. Very thought provoking. Good work, Sir!

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