In an effort to channel my rage at capitalism, white supremacy, racism, and murderous cops (#ACAB), I’ve started reading, learning, and paying attention to the way things work in this country. It hasn’t been pretty and it’s left me drafting angry Facebook posts as I try to fall asleep. Instead of doing that over and over, I’m going to start channeling this reading and learning into this blog, and collect the top things I learned over the week. I don’t want to be the center of these conversations, but I know that it’s been helpful to read articles other people are sharing, so maybe this can be helpful to someone too!
This is an experiment, let’s learn together!
Here are 5 things I learned this week.
01 | Killology.
It’s a real/fake field. Made up by David Grossman, Killology is as it sounds, the study of killing. This guy travels to police departments around the country and teaching cops how to murder without thinking. His primary thesis is that criminals are inherently outside of society and that they are basically out hunting cops. His work is prevalent, disgusting, and harmful. As far as I’m concerned, he has a lot of blood on his hands. Get angry about it by listening to the excellent and well-researched Behind the Bastards podcast about it by Robert Evans.
02 | ACAB.
Not a new phrase, not one I made up, but one I’m finally understanding and agreeing with. All Cops are Bastards. They escalate situations once they show up, and they often get violent without provocation (watch the horrifying videos in this link here). According to this essay by a former cop, some “fantasize about getting to kill someone in the line of duty, egged on by others that have… Official training teaches you how to be violent effectively and when you’re legally allowed to deploy that violence, but “unofficial training” teaches you to desire violence, to expand the breadth of your violence without getting caught, and to erode your own compassion for desperate people so you can justify punitive violence against them.” It’s a massive systemic issue and it won’t be fixed until the entire “justice” system is overhauled.
03 | ACAB, and Ineffective, Too!
They uphold white supremacy, capitalism, and racism, and are violent shitbags, but won’t we devolve into anarchy without them? What even can we do without cops?! Valid question. We have all been fed a ton of “copaganda” that makes us believe that not only are most cops inherently good, but they solve crimes and serve justice. They get the bad guys! That’s what you want, right? Someone to get the bad guys. Only...they don’t even fucking do that. According to a tool from NPR, the Portland Police Bureau has cleared the following percentages of cases between 2011-2013 (the latest data they have available):
30-35% of violent crimes
25-35% (with an outlier of 60% in 2012) of murder and non-negligent manslaughter
40-45% aggravated assaults
12-14% property crimes
4-5% motor vehicle theft
11-15% arson cases
These are not good numbers. It's almost as if they aren't good at their jobs and that the scope of their work is too large for their minimal training. Hm, weird.
04 | People Either Really Don’t Understand AntiFa, or are Probably Actually Just Racist.
Last week, a multiracial family of four were harassed because people who lived there thought they were part of AntiFa. The family was confronted in the parking lot and followed them to the point where the family decided to abandon their trip and go home. But when they tried to, trees had been cut down, trapping the family. 911 was called, the family ended up being saved by some Forks High School students who cleared the road for them. This is terrifying. I can’t imagine how scared I’d be if a bunch of hicks with guns followed me and my family to a campsite and tried to trap me. Fuck them. And for the record, AntiFa is simply Anti Fascist. It’s not an organized group, it’s not a terrorist organization, it’s being Anti Fascist. Which I am. Which most of us are. Seems to me like this group saw a multiracial family and decided they didn’t belong. I shudder to think what could have happened to that poor family.
05 | TV is So SO SO White
This one feels really embarrassing. There was Oscars backlash over the last few years because #OscarsSoWhite, and that made sense, but I never really noticed how white pop culture is. I’m not sure how I couldn’t see it, it’s literally blinding me, but holy fucking shit. Last weekend I needed some bullshit trash TV, so I started watching “Selling Sunset” on Netflix. It wasn’t until the third episode that I realized that the almost entire cast was white (one woman is Israeli) - from the realtors to the customers, almost everyone was white. They’re selling to multi-millionaires and billionaires, so it’s not entirely surprising, but it’s disappointing that I didn’t even notice until I was pretty deep into it. I noticed immediately that the staff was entirely women, but it took 3 full episodes after 2 full weeks of protesting police brutality for me to notice the lack of racial diversity.
Which then forced a hard look at my life which is also, incredibly white. My Instagram feed was pretty white (I’ve started to diversify), my clients are mostly white, my colleagues are mostly white, and my family is 100% white. I don’t know how to diversify my friend group or clients without othering, and I don’t want to be someone who “totally has Black friends,” so I’m still thinking on this one. I don’t want to just go out there to make Black friends, but I probably could diversify my interests, hobbies, etc. More to come on this.