“When you take a job as a police officer, you do so voluntarily. You understand the risks associated with the work. But because you signed on to do a dangerous job does not mean you are then allowed to violate the human rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of the people you serve. It’s the opposite. You should protect those rights, and when you don’t you should be held accountable. That simple statement will be received by police apologists as “anti-cop.” It is not.”
This is an important article to read because it quantifies all sides of the issue. Good cops. Bad cops. Cops that can be swayed by the culture of the particular department. There is a lot of psychology involved.
The initial quotation articulates what is wrong about using the heroism narrative to justify unacceptable police behavior.
This quote also applies to military service. It is a job. These men and women are not drafted any more. We also need to recall that the primary function of the United States military is to protect corporate interests abroad. It has not been about fighting the good fight since WWII.
Please note that I do not judge those who choose to serve to better their lives. I do not agree with the decision. They will have to live with their decision for the rest of their lives.
It also does not mean that we should not be providing benefits, counseling, medical care, etc. for returning veterans.
As a society we need to stop hiding behind false patriotism and hero mythology. When done right, soldiering and policing are noble professions that certainly involve elements of service to others, but we must never forget that they are VOLUNTARY job positions that are primarily in place to prop up corporate and societal structures of oppression.
At the end of the day, those who choose the profession must reconcile with that fact. I know a lot of them do. I also know a lot of them feel shit on. That is not my aim. My aim is only to spark discussion so that the problems are not ignored or glossed over.
Love, Peace, and most especially…Chicken Grease