In honor (not in the literal sense) of the Democratic Convention, this is the first in a series of articles devoted to the progressive, liberal and socialist mindset (one in the same).
Progressives often hold themselves out as intellects with the ability to analyze and philosophize in a deep manner well beyond the capabilities of mere mortals.
In his book What Gay Marriage Says About Liberty &You, Dr. Michael Peters unlocks the secret to the progressive thought. It turns out the thinking processes of the left run no deeper than the coffee they sip.
The progressive mind approaches every issue from a triangular perspective, or what Peters calls dramatic thinking. A good drama requires three actors; a victim, a villain, and a savior (never in the context of God). The analysis of a cop shooting a black person goes no further than the obvious victim, racism or white privilege or the gun as a villain, and a political savior in the form of gun control, or diversity training, The progressive mind predisposes racism anytime an interaction between a police officer and black person results in a negative outcome for the latter. This ignores the fact that half of police shootings in 2015 resulted in a white person on the receiving end of the bullet compared to 25% for blacks. A Department of Justice study on the Philadelphia Police Department concluded a black police officer was 3.3 times more likely to fire a gun than a white officer.
While the dramatic thinker dabs the tears of white privilege, the critical thinker deconstructs the problem. A colleague wrote the following passage:
On July 17th, 2014, Eric Garner died during an encounter with the police. The reason for the encounter: Garner was illegally selling cigarettes.
Rumain Brisban was shot by police on December 2nd, 2014 and died the next day. The police were questioning him about a possible drug deal and he fled.
Jerame Reid was shot and killed on December 30th, 2014. He had been pulled over for failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.
Walter Scott was killed on April 4th, 2015 after being pulled over for a broken tail light.
April 12th, 2015 Freddie Gray died in the custody of police after he was arrested for possessing an illegal switchblade.
Victor White III died after being arrested for cocaine and marijuana possession on March 2nd, 2014.
All of these men were black. I went through each name and researched the circumstances of their deaths. I find these six to be the most frustrating because they could be alive today.
Not one of these men had violated the rights of another person. Drugs, cigarettes, and driving offenses (as long as they do not cause an accident) violate no rights of other people. Why are they illegal?
If those laws did not exist, the interactions between these men and the police would never have happened and they would be alive today.
Laws can only be enforced through the use or threat of force, which includes the possibility of the enforcer firing a weapon. In other words, every single law carries a probability of death. The odds of being shot by the police increase every time a governing body adds a new law to the books.
So, if we want to reduce the number of deaths at the hands of the police, the solution might be to restrict the laws to those where a person clearly violates or threatens another’s property or life.