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    Castile

    Wednesday 21st June 2017

    I’m not sure whether I can really add much of anything specific to the whole story of Jeronimo Yanez shooting Philando Castile a year ago, and being acquitted for it now; my guess is that, on the topic itself, everything’s already been said…right or wrong. But I’ve noticed a few things about this case, from the night it happened through today, that I find a little unusual. And that unusuality has me backing out a bit and looking at the larger issue.

    Few people would disagree that Castile’s homicide informs the larger and vaguer issue of systemic racism. I mean: I’d disagree; but only because I know what words mean.

    I should probably start there, just so everyone’s caught up….

    A secret we scientists have known for a while now: there’s only one human race. I know: it’s not fair; you want different phenotypes to be inferior and therefore in constant need of your superspecial sympathy; but, in big grownup sciencey terms, there’s only one race within H.sapiens.

    There used to be more, of course. Dozens of thousands of years ago, there were literally others—other species and subspecies under the genus homo. But those died out; now they’re not really an excuse to pretend that there are races within the human race.

    More recently, the odd anthropologist might have argued that there were three human races: the negroids in and from Africa; the caucasoids in and from northwestern Eurasia; and then the mongoloids comprising everyone from the middle east through the orient through polynesia and even down through the Americas and into Argentina. Those anthropologists nearly added a fourth, postmongoloid group to explain why the Inca looked precisely nothing like the Japanese; but it was right around that time that all the real scientists stopped listening to those morons.

    Then there are those other people. Those weird little average twats who think that theory is Latin for dumb hunch and that race somehow means colour and/or religion and/or affiliation and/or zipcode. Those little layman twats are what we scientists call wrong.

    That’s worth noting, because…really, it’s just worth noting in general. Because every time some average layman twat calls black people a race, we scientists find it a little reprehensible. Maybe you don’t care that we find you reprehensible; but you might remember caring that we’re the ones you keep calling when you get pornspam all over your computers.

    Black isn’t a race. Human is a race. Black is a phenotype. Which is a big word meaning that big words perplex people who misuse small words.

    What’s all that have to do with Castile getting shot by Yanez? Surprisingly little, it turns out.

    A year ago [fifty weeks; it’s close], Castile was shot within some finite number of minutes from another guy—Alton Sterling. At the time, the copworshippers [if I need to explain what those are, then I probably don’t know words small enough] were arguing that Sterling, who didn’t evidently have a gun, deserved to get shot, while Castile, who’d told Yanez that he had a gun, was apparently the victim of a bad shooting. The reasoning seemed to be that Castile was cordial with Yanez while Yanez was killing him; Sterling was unarmed but uppity.

    I seriously wonder whether it had a little to do with Yanez being somewhat unwhite.

    Because here’s the thing: there’s one human race, making the concept of racism illiterate at best. If you just called it bigotry, or chauvinism, or tribalism, or even elitism, I’d understand what you were talking about. But calling it racism just implies that, in your mind, black people, or brown people, or yellow people, or unwhite people, are some inhuman skinwalker caste of exotica. Probably, you don’t consciously mean it that way; certainly, the intent beneath your illiteracy aside, you’re saying it that way.

    Ordinarily, I’d excuse that as just another noise made by simple people. But I’ve recently learned that intent is irrelevant: without intent, the implication that one human is less human than another human counts as microaggression; and that makes you worse than Hitler.

    So. On the topic I’ve got little to add into, a brownish guy shot a blackish guy last year; now—depending who you ask—the brownish guy was either exonerated for being an emotionally retarded pussy too stupidly reactionary to have shot the blackish guy with malice aforethought, or he got away with murder…despite having been charged only with manslaughter. Because, new, from the makers of Theory and Race, Murder is everything from Meat to Abortion to probably Some Sportsball Term.

    There’s an irony in trying to use words to explain this to the only people who require the explanation. Like I should just do a video with PlayDoh and ColorForms.

    Yanez shot Castile, and he didn’t hafta explain too hard that it was less about murder and more about a gun in the hands of someone disallowed from roaming a HomeDepot unsupervised. And, yeah: that’s a systemic problem. I just can’t bring myself to call it racism.

    The systemic problem is that we as a society have decided we need cops so badly that we’ll hire the sort of people who aspire to become cops.

    Read that a couple times, and really let the ramifications sink in.

    Want some help with that? Here:

    Here’s the funny part: none of that is particularly inaccurate. Well: no weirdos might be. But the rest is about right. The starting salary for a cop in 2017, before taxes, is around forty thousand bucks. Whether that’s a lot or a little is probably open to debate; what’s not open to debate is that the training to learn that cops have the deadliest job in the history of the universe [Fun Fact: it’s not in the top ten, for America, where installing shingles on a roof is Number One], and that everyone who isn’t the cop next to you in the squadcar is a murderous enemy, will quickly convince the guy with an IQ beneath 115 [documented exhaustively pretty much everywhere] that he’s bringing home whatever’s left over from $769.23 per week, after federal and state taxes, union dues, and in a lot of cases operational expenses like bullets and urban response combat boots, that he’s risking his important little subgenius life, all day every day, making enough to buy an XBox on layaway. I know cops [as you might guess, I know the good ones, who aren’t subaverage drooling shooty morons], and they get paid on average about the same salary as a mailman; the difference is that the mailman has a canister of mace to use against rabid dogs, while cops have brainwashy training to shoot every narcoleptic pug they see.

    So, again: our systemic problem is wanting to hire the sort of loser who aspires to be a cop.

    That sounds harsher than it should. Because you could say precisely that about any vocation. McDonald’s sucks largely because it’s staffed by the sort of loser who’s willing to work at McDonald’s. Really, if you’re anything much less than the CEO of a Fortune500, you’re kinda mired in whatever job you’re willing to suffer through in order to get a bit of cash. Fine.

    But there are few careers, necessarily willing to hire precisely the people who apply, which hand out squadcars and guns and the training to see all civilians as the enemy.

    I don’t really see this as systemic racism. Partly because, as always, that doesn’t really mean anything. Are there people who, while white, dislike people who are black? Sure; obviously. Also, there are black people who dislike white people; and there are short people who dislike tall people; and there are phenotypes who dislike phenotypes. That’s just how people are. People within the human race. Who aren’t racist against members of the human race.

    A big part of the problem in nomenclature here is the simplicity of people. Not just in the language they misuse; also in the meaning they misspell. The whole black and white thing? Kinda isn’t. Not on the scale people wish it were. Just…go outside. Go hit 7Eleven for a Slurpee. See what happens in the world. Brownish guy behind the counter; blackish guy wants a pack of Kools [let’s be real: those are an inextricable match]; white guy waiting in line to buy his kid a fidgetspinner…really kinda doesn’t call in all his gomers to back him up in lynching Mister Menthol. Because, out in the real world, no one the hell cares.

    Then there are the cops. And, if the whitish guy steals a fidgetspinner, and the brownish guy calls in the bluish guys, odds are fair that they’ll secure the blackish guy while the whitish guy gets away, because…that’s what they do.

    It’s still not about lynching. Probably. It’s more about…I guess they’ve got some nagging uncertainty, or something. I don’t think it’s an actual hatred. I think it’s more like a guy, who gets that great white sharks are endangered, who wants to see them recover, who still freaks a bit if he sees one in the water while he’s at the beach. The guy’s not a racist, hating the carcharian race; he’s abjectly opposed, in the abstract, to the genocide of lamnids; but, in the moment, seeing a shark the size of an SUV when he wasn’t expecting to, he’s got something of a reaction. Add in a Glock and the rhetoric about all aquatic life being the enemy making his job nearly as deadly as the nine things less dangerous than roofing, and you might occasionally see Officer Emotard fill Philando Castile fulla holes.

    That’s your systemic problem: simpletons becoming cops because, for whatever insane reason, they actually want to do that; then they’re bolstered by manufactured authority and ghoststories about civilians all wanting them dead for the crime of being cops; drop in some statistics suggesting that black people are more violent with shorter tempers [which is why they’re better at any sport that isn’t skiing], and you’ve got perfectly average, commonly emotional unstable people ascribed authority they don’t fully understand whose last encounter before Tyrone didn’t steal a fidgetspinner was Clem the WonderDrunk calling him Ociffer Piggy between bouts of projectile vomiting. Systemic problem.

    So. You’ve made it this far. I suppose you’ll wanna hear my solution to all this. Okay. Ready? Here it is:

    I have no idea.

    This is a systemic problem; I’m not convinced that there’s a systemic solution.

    I mean: I can think of a couple things to lessen the problem. To kinda dilute it a little. But you’re not gonna like them.

    Here they are anyway….

    1. Shut the bloody hell up about racism. I know: you love racism; it’s just the easiest and safest thing in the world to virtuesignal about, because even the three thousand extant members of the Ku Klux Klan who could lose a fair fight against the sum total of losers who CosPlay Lexx know better than to voice their proclivities in literal public. Yeah: you’re better than those bigoted cowards who have less likeminded cohorts than your weird uncle has followers at pinterest.com; you win the hell outta that moral contest. Go gracefully, and stop bragging about it. Because all you’re doing, by calling every last guy who was barely listening to you in the first place a racist, is feeding the global delusion that racism is so pervasive a thing that cops who couldn’t break the eighty-fifth percentile in Wechsler are its systemically prescribed agents. You’re the only ones keeping this stupid myth alive; and you sound like those morons who pretend that five or six billion people are actively out there, hunting Carcharodon carcharias deliberately into extinction.
    2. Raise the standards in hiring cops. I know: the copworshippers would argue that cops have hard enough a job already, since we’ve only got about a million of them in the US. That, for people who think there are extra human races, is about one cop for every 325 people. Or, for copworshippers, one cop for every 325 people who are actually people, and not parasitic foeti—I know you guys like to pretend that we’re murderising X Million Poor Innocent Babbies every day…which is a little ironic, granting that black people are around twelve percent of the nation but get something like fifty percent of abortions…so, you guys shaddup too. For everyone else: let’s make it a little harder to become a cop in the first place. Let’s raise the ceiling on IQ, and while we’re typing up the new rules we can raise the basement too. Right now, the average IQ for cops in the US is 104; if that sounds even higher than the average of 100, it is; if it sounds higher enough to impress you, then…you’re probably someone that would impress. Make them smarter. Faster. Better than before. We have the democracy.
    3. Raise the standards in firing cops. Now that all new cops are required to be worth their weight in doughnuts, let’s work on holding them to higher standards. Stop punishing cops with desk leave and, in the worst of cases, shipping them off to Boise to start over and hope they never wind up on the news. If a cop shoots a guy, the response should be the other cops in the area [they do tend to be packhunters] arresting him immediately. Not detaining; not getting his statement. Arrest him. The way they’d arrest anyone who’d just shot a guy dead. Get that arrest on their record. There’s no shame in that, supposing that they’re later acquitted; an arrest alone isn’t a conviction. But, in the moment, treat them like any other suspect: secure; handcuff; back of the squadcar; into a cell prior to arraignment; let the judge set bail. It’s all something of an empty gesture; but that’s also the working definition of Good Press. You want people to trust cops? Stop assuring people that cops are above the law. Because the way the public see cops right now…have you noticed that people got fed up with, like, seven hundred cabbies in Manhattan having the medallions required to drive a taxi, and rebelled by letting the free market spawn Uber and Lyft? Do you really imagine that the free market can’t think up an alternative to sanctioned cops? If you want a hint: look up a gaggle of morons calling themselves the Guardian Angels. And then entertain the notion of a similar civil militia arming themselves against the Thin Blue Lumps.
    4. Give the cops less to do. With less and better cops, in a nation already whimpering that there’s never a cop when you need one, throw out about ninety percent of the stupid laws they’re tasked with enforcing. This one’s tricky, since everyone’s got some emotionally motivated pet issue to ponce. But the fact is that there are so many stupid things officially considered illegal, to say nothing of the legal things people wish were illegal [‘The drivethrough got my order wrong!!!1 Send in the National Guard!!!1’], cops can’t cover real crimes because they’re all busy weighing some stoner’s weed to see whether he’s exceeded the amount allowed by fascism in the land of the free. Stop giving them busywork; throw them entirely at actual things: assault; theft; maybe fraud if it’s somehow timecritical. Scale them back to only the crimes you wouldn’t sound insane for calling 911 about. Real crimes take less than a million cops to handle.

    That’s about all I’ve got. Might work; might not. Probably won’t: no one’s likely to try it. But, when your thing doesn’t work either, I’ll have evidence that I tried once. Go me.

    Have a webcomic:

    More later….

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