Thursday, July 30, 2009

Doesn't free speech mean you can ask a cop for his name and badge number?

I think the press has focused on the race angle in the Gates debacle to the detriment of the more salient issue, i.e., that we are expected to treat police with deference at all times and that doing otherwise is a punishable crime. To equate being upset with a cop with a crime is plain wrong and has no place in a free society. Draw the obvious conclusions about just how free our society is...
“You don’t argue with a police officer,” Colin Powell told Larry King, commenting on the Gates episode and his own personal history.

But why not argue, if anyone in this society is supposed to believe it’s a free one? Why should arguing with a cop, or just demanding his name and badge---after he’s walked into your house---get you get you arrested for “disorderly conduct”? Why should he have the right to do that to you---as a Black man or as anybody else---just because he’s a cop?

A cop’s someone supposed to be doing a job protecting the public. Isn’t that the idea? Instead he or she is given impunity to bust people he/she finds personally uppity. This is a system problem.

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