It’s difficult to identify the single most embarrassing bit of virtue-signaling of the present moment — the competition’s too stiff — but this is a solid candidate. Let not their drippings befoul our pristine toilets is a high bar as far as gratuitous shows of contempt for the police go.
But it’s also self-defeating. If you think cops are aggressive and ill-tempered normally, wait until you see them do the job while they’re holding in a deuce.
Those are the officers they should send into that “autonomous zone” in Seattle, in fact. They’ll have it cleared out in five minutes.
The grave tone of that letter is roughly what you’d expect if the school were reporting, say, a wave of sexual assaults on campus. No one got raped, guys. Some cops pinched a loaf.
We’re not bringing back slavery because of it.
“Some people want to make war with police,” said the head of a local police union about Berklee’s letter. He’s overstating it, but the letter clearly does present the police as a sort of enemy faction to whom no quarter should be given rather than a state agency whose institutional culture needs reform. The irony is that the school administration clearly feels more threatened by the woke brigades to whom the letter is addressed than by the police themselves. They had no problem with letting cops use the can until they were informed that that was a crime against the cause, at which point they urgently repented.
Coincidentally, there’s a counterexample on the wires today of one “side” repenting for a small show of generosity to the other “side.” Robert Cattani is a lieutenant with the NYPD in Manhattan. He was at the protests in the city on May 31 when the crowd started chanting at officers to express some appreciation for the justness of their cause by taking a knee. Cattani was one of four officers who complied.
In Foley Square, resounding chants of “NYPD take a knee.” Eventually, four cops kneel to huge chants. “We just want to get home safely, same as you,” says one protester. pic.twitter.com/6eRC4h9L0Q
— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) June 1, 2020
That must not have gone over well inside the precinct because he sent an email around a few days ago apologizing:
A Manhattan NYPD lieutenant sent an email to his fellow officers apologizing for kneeling alongside George Floyd protesters late last month — telling them that “the cop in me wants to kick my own ass.”…
He wrote that his decision to kneel “goes against every principle and value I stand for.”
“I spent the first part of my career thriving to build a reputation of a good cop,” he said. “I threw that all in the garbage in Sunday.”
Since Cattani took a knee, he said, he’s struggled to eat and sleep and even considered leaving the department.
“The cop in me wants to kick my own ass” is a picture-perfect example of the kind of thinking that the kneeling is attempting to address and reform.
There are other sinister examples of groupthink about. There’s the case of David Shor, described today by Jonathan Chait in a post for New York magazine. Shor is a liberal data analyst who posted this innocuous tweet a few weeks ago:
Post-MLK-assasination race riots reduced Democratic vote share in surrounding counties by 2%, which was enough to tip the 1968 election to Nixon. Non-violent protests *increase* Dem vote, mainly by encouraging warm elite discourse and media coverage. https://t.co/S8VZSuaz3G. pic.twitter.com/VRUwnRFuVW
— (((David Shor))) (@davidshor) May 28, 2020
A straightforward point. Voters are drawn to nonviolent protests in support of a righteous cause but recoil from rioting. Note that this wasn’t Shor’s opinion; he’s a data guy, so he was offering hard numbers. Didn’t matter. He was accused of “anti-blackness” and — tell me if this sounds familiar — some of his colleagues at work began complaining that his tweet made them feel unsafe. Shor dutifully (and shamefully) apologized to the mob but that didn’t matter either. He was fired. I take it that’s what the Berklee officials were ultimately worried about: You can either commit a crime against wokeness, like, say, by letting a cop take a leak or you can keep your job. They looked out for number one. Er, no pun intended.