Guy Herman (c) All Rights Reserved 2013
A cop killed by an ex-cop triggered a four day manhunt with an accompanying 24-hour, wall-to-wall news extravaganza with as much television coverage provided as during the three days invading Iraq or any presidential election in modern history.
With one of the wounded in the hospital, security included more than 1000 state, local, federal, ATF and FBI law enforcement personnel. Using paramilitary equipment, helicopters, tanks and high tech AWACS units to coordinate this small army, the chase for the would-be assassin combed into the mountains and nearby resort.
When local hospital officials were asked by a news person, “Why are there so many police around the hospital where the officer was shot?” the police spokeswoman replied, “You know, law enforcement take care of their own.’’ Explicit in the reply left the question: “Well, then…who takes care of us?”
Implicit in the question of a culture and society in which ‘law enforcement,’ like ‘congress,’ does indeed take care of its’ own, but not of those it serves, is how come and why? When twenty five people are killed in Chicago on a weekend, the notice in the press is on page 8 and below the fold.
If the twenty five Chicagoans were ‘law enforcement,’ there would be an army large enough to invade Cuba dispatched and it would be the opening story every hour, with side by side live video feed, until resolved.
While 90% of Americans, including ‘law enforcement,’ believe in background checks and assault weapon limits, congress will repay the debt beholden to the NRA, (and the money they provide to themselves), with a ‘no’ vote on gun control, despite the very articulate interests of their constituency and the vast majority of citizens.
How do we come to such an asymmetric care or duty in our social contract? How is it that a job for the congressman, who is voted in and paid for by a constituency, is more important than the social contract ensuring rights for the very constituency who entrusted him with that job?
Inevitably, the question unanswered is this: ‘Who are they (congress, law enforcement, government) supposed to take care of?’ Alternatively, ‘Does taking care of their own mean those who aren’t in the ‘club’ or so entitled, in fact or act, thereby the recipient of a different and too often inferior level of care?’
The patent and automatic answer of any ‘law enforcement’ or ‘congressional chief’ is ‘No, of course not. We are here to serve to people.’ Yet repeatedly, the facts do not support such statements.
Criminality in Wall Street, allowing unwarranted foreclosures and criminal behavior in the streets, thereby resulting in the death of twenty-five residents of one city in one weekend. Criminality in denying abortion, healthcare and food to the needy, and criminality in a society which was founded on rules of a social contract, including equality for all, but which now favors ‘special interests’ repeatedly and predictably violates those inalienable rights.
When a spokeswoman for the manhunt was queried as to why there was such an inordinately large presence, or what would happen next, narrators and spokespeople purposefully use the designation ‘law enforcement’ as distinct from ‘police’, ‘sheriff’ or some other nomenclature like the president or senator, referring to a single person as distinct from a group.
So in the expression ‘law enforcement,’ there is an absolute key to understanding this more than colloquial and now almost idiomatic use of the phrase. Clear in the statement, belonging to the group confers special rights.
The NRA defines the ‘gun control’ debate as one of ‘them and us,’ and it is curiously reminiscent of the Republicans’ ongoing and blanket defiance of Obama passing any law to anyone’s benefit, be it control of Wall Street, which summarily caused the loss of two trillion dollars of private individual wealth and redistributed it to the ‘group’ like ‘law enforcement’ or the ‘Wall Street tribe,’ education, or infrastructure.
There is a law enforcement command post, assets, law enforcement personnel, law enforcement capabilities, law enforcement base camp. No one has asked the obvious question, ‘Well if law enforcement takes care of their own, what about ‘us?’
In further describing the manhunt, the spokeswoman for ‘law enforcement’ described the scene as “like a war zone…..our deputies are heroes…they walked into raging fire and all placed their lives at incredible risk.” What about the kids in Chicago? Isn’t this what law enforcement does?
At the press conference, one senior member from each of the branches of law enforcement (FBI, ATF, Border Patrol, sheriff, state police, local militia) counted in excess of one-thousand soldiers, leaders in stars and stripes, full honors dress, gold insignias, ties, formal hats and bangles, military crew high-and-tights, all brothers in arms. All appeared to speak to their respective responsibilities and their unwavering commitment to ‘get the villain,’ concluding with “Thank-you all for coming to our press conference.” The general with stars and gold stripes repeated the sentiment, but there was no mention of Chicago or the twenty-five kids that had been shot in one weekend.
So, we know the question.
Why are there two classes of people in the US?
There are wealthy and poor, and an ever growing disparity in between.
There is law enforcement, and the kids in the Chicago streets with little sight for improvement.
There are congressmen and the kids at Newtown and the pressure to take the NRA handouts to get re-elected, subsidized largely by gun manufacturers who, like cigarette companies, care more about their product sales than the health or wellbeing of the populace
More than the terrible price of congress taking care of themselves first, or of law enforcement caring for it’s own, but willing to let the rest of the world cannibalize each other, is the humiliation of our people, us, thinking we have voted for representatives to represent us, and in fact we have been duped.
As a people, if we have mafiosos as leaders, or a Kim Jung Un of North Korea or Saddam Hussein, who admit freely that they have no real cares in the world but their own, we could reasonably decide between two dictators or two rogues……there are many facets to slavery. And if we are to be poisoned, there is nothing wrong with at least having the choice of hemlock or the blue juice of suicide.