You’ve seen this symbol making the rounds, haven’t you?
Do you know what it means?
No, no… what it actually means.
You are perpetuating the exact problem that lead to the circumstances that have now led you to believe that this sort of display is ‘necessary’.
I am referring, of course, to the pandemic of “Us vs. Them” mentality that is sweeping the nation as of late.
I will explain, by answering a series of questions:
1. What, in an ‘ideal’ world, should a police officer actually be?
2. What, in today’s world, is a police officer?
3. What is a line?
Firstly, we will address what a police officer should be in an ‘ideal’ world. I put ‘ideal’ in quotes because I understand that everyone’s idea of ‘ideal’ is different.
For the purposes of this discussion, ‘ideal’ means a world of completely voluntary human interaction where everyone experiences freedom and government is not grossly overstepping its bounds. In fact, for purposes of this discussion, lets say there is no traditional ‘government’ and that ‘police’ can refer to private persons dedicated to the protection of others from violent encroachment or any other non-voluntary human interactions.
This does a lot of the work in answering this first question for me, but to be even more clear, in this ‘ideal’ world, the job of a peace office would be simply to help prevent, or intervene to stop, the aggressor in situations where the aggressor is attempting to force another person into a non-voluntary interaction. This can be using physical violence, threat of violence, or some other form of coercion. What you’ll notice a distinct lack of in this scenario is any sort of responsibility to police victimless ‘crime’. Again, ‘crime’ in quotes here because a true crime cannot exist without a victim.
In this situation, it would be important for the person acting as a peace officer to also not overstep from preventing non-voluntary interaction to initiating their own non-voluntary interaction by force. This person would essentially need to be integrated into the community. They are one of us, jump into help where needed, and afterwards go back to being one of us. They are not an elite class of supervisors, rulers, parents, caretakers, or otherwise. They are just people, acting merely on the principle that forced interaction is wrong, and are only able to intervene at the level that you or a loved one would be able to intervene on your own behalf.
So what, then, has today’s police officer actually become?
In contrast to my above descriptions, police are tasked with enforcing many laws that outline ‘crimes’ that do not have victims. They are seen as stewards, chaperones, to ensure that we the people do what our parent, the state, wants us to and don’t step out of line.
Because these police are able to intervene into otherwise completely voluntary human interactions, it means that they essentially are being given ‘rights’ by the state that we the people do not have. How can a group of people [government] delegate rights that they as individuals do not have?
This puts police in a category of their own, between the state and the people. Their mentality becomes warped, as is human nature, and they start to view our non-police group as inferior.
For an in-depth study explaining what I mean, read up on the Stanford Prison Experiment.
Don’t let me lose you here, I’m not saying anything bad about your dad/cousin/sister/etc. who also happens to be a police officer, I’m merely talking about the corruption that has happened at an institutional level. Good as they as people may be, they are trained and ingrained to view the world as two groups: police, and non-police. Most cops would call these non-police ‘civilians’, without realizing that in my ‘ideal’ world above, they too would be civilians.
Once that mentality is instilled, they are trained that every ‘civilian’ is a potential ‘criminal’. They are trained to always be wary, to stick together no matter what, and to shoot first and ask questions later if at all.
“I’m going home tonight!” they exclaim.
This means that, as a police officer, they are trained to be on edge and anxious, afraid for their lives at every moment of every day that they are working. They become jumpy, and in the event that this leads [and it does] to an unjustified shooting, they are trained to cover up for one another, not only because they are told to but because they know that they experience the same anxious tension all the time, and that it could easily be them.
Yes, police should be held accountable when this happens, but also realize that a person getting into policing for ‘all the right reasons’ is systematically indoctrinated to feel this way, and that to some of them, they honestly believe they are risking their lives for the greater good in a world full of dangerous criminals and that there is danger at every turn.
We will ignore for today the contingent of sick fucks who recognize everything I’ve just said and join up literally because they enjoy to be violent bullies and wish to be legally immune from punishment. There are a few of these… you’ve seen them in the news, the ‘let me rape you or I’ll take you to jail’ guys, etc.
So already you can see how dangerous, divisive, and destructive the “Us Vs. Them” mentality is. That is without even talking about the other ways we the people are being divided and segregated into similar, albeit less ’empowered’ groups, a la BLM. Which brings us to this:
What is a line?
Put simply, a line is a divider. It separates one thing from another. One area from another. One shape, one region, one idea from another.
A line is a fence. A line is a wall. A line is a moat.
What is a thin blue line, then?
Some would argue that it is a line between the ‘criminals’ and the people, but it is not. It is a line between the people and the state, as defined above. It creates a clear divide, a separation. It makes a statement; Here on one side is us, the police, and there on the other side are you, the people. This sows the seeds of divisiveness and perpetuates the issues previously described.
By wearing this thin blue line, or sticking it to your vehicle, or displaying it on your social media page, you are literally making the problem you seek to solve worse. You are feeding the hand that bites you. You are the rape victim perpetuating rape culture.
“Of course I said no, but you know looking back on it, I was totally asking for it…”
There are ways to solve the problem, and segregation/group warfare/class warfare is not one of them.
It should not be a line, but more of a scatter plot. So I’ll leave you with a scatter plot.