Wednesday, January 07, 2009

DW&F: Hons and Murder

Hello everyone!

The new bed was definitely a Win! I really had a tough time getting out of bed this morning because it felt so nice curled up in new bedding on a new, comfy mattress. I woke up slightly sore, but still miles ahead of what I was used to feeling in the morning. And who knows, I may even wake up well-rested and without any soreness at all after a few nights. I love it, and so does Cathy! But instead of taking the easy route and using this for my daily Win!, I'm going to describe something amazing that happened a few days ago...

Daily Win and FAIL!

Win: A grocery store full of "hons"

The other day, Cathy and I went to the grocery store. We were in the produce section, which was very crowded, and we used teamwork to gather and forage for food. Our goal was simple: get in and out of the store as quickly as possible. I knew Cathy had the list, but I couldn't remember what was on it. She was maybe 20 or 30 feet ahead of me, so I called out:

"Hey, hon?"

And immediately, no less than eight other customers--at least two of them men--stopped what they were doing and turned toward at me, as if they thought I was talking to them and they were the "hon" I was referring to! Of course, I had a bit of a spring in my step afterward knowing that so many people wished they could be my "hon." Sorry, folks, I'm taken!

FAIL: Murder

Another unarmed person was killed by a cop. This time, the man was on his belly being restrained and possibly handcuffed, and he was shot in the back by the cop. Also, this time several people caught it on video. And once again, it was a young black man who was killed. What was his crime? He was on a subway in which a fight broke out, and he may or may not have been involved.

Predictably, people are now rioting in the Oakland, where the murder happened. And of course, just as predictably, people are now outraged by the riots. But I don't see how an entire group of people could be expected to have respect for the law when the law clearly has no respect for them.

Yes, rioting is bad and destructive, and I'm a peace-loving pacifist who's against violence in all forms, regardless of whether it's directed toward people, animals, or inanimate objects. But I also realize that groups of people who are oppressed tend to respond with violence eventually. If the message being sent to me is that people of my race (including my spouse/friends/family members/myself) can be shot and killed for no good reason, then you bet I'd be pissed. But beyond that, I don't know how I'd react or what I'd feel compelled to do, and neither does anyone else who's not in that situation.

Of course, that same rationalization can also be applied to cops. But cops are supposed to serve and protect, as well as keep the peace, and they failed miserably on both counts, first by killing another unarmed person, and second by establishing a level of distrust so high that people are out rioting.

And don't get me started on the bogus excuse that's already being thrown around about how the cop simply thought his gun was a Taser. If that gains any traction, look for the "I shot my wife because I thought my gun was the TV remote" defense coming soon to a courtroom near you. Besides, why would any cop need to Tase an unarmed, subdued man lying face down?

When your job requires you to carry a belt full of weapons that can hurt or kill others, "my bad" simply doesn't cut it when you accidentally kill someone (if this was an accident). Look, I realize that being a cop is tough. I couldn't do it, nor would I want to. It seems that some cops simply can't handle the stress from the job, but that's no excuse.

Anyone else who gets stressed out at work and commits murder goes to prison, and nobody makes excuses for them. But there seems to be a different attitude when it comes to cops. Why are people so quick to make excuses for them but not others? There's a sort of obedience to authority mindset here that I can't quite put my finger on at this point...

Regardless, far too often it seems that so many aspects of our entire system of justice is incapable of delivering justice. FAIL!

On that note, I'm going to head to my new, comfy, king-sized bed and try to dream of something happier. Good night everyone!


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