The deans of 13 United Methodist seminaries have joined in signing an open letter to, well, that's not exactly clear. We'll just call it an open letter and leave it at that: "Race and the Fabric of Faith: A Timely Letter From Universities and Seminaries."
I have no dispute with the UM deans and support the thrust of their position even if I might tinker with it here and there.
My discomfort is that the deans think that this sort of police misconduct and even deadly criminal conduct exists in a vacuum. It's just bad cops and not much more.
But it is not the police who create a police state. The deaths rightfully decried here took place in a much bigger context than cops and robbers.
These events are the inevitable result of the leftist-progressive state because the leftist-progressive state wants nothing so badly as to expand the scope, reach and power of government into as many aspects of people's lives as possible.
If you want to give people more government, more government will more frequently be given in the form of 9mm hollow points from police guns. Or more beatings or more harassment.
If you want less police violence against black people or anyone else, you must repeal laws and roll back government intrusion into how people live. But this is so antithetical to absolutely everything that progressives stand for that they won't even consider the possibility that their dogma leads to these events. Instead, we who say this will labeled as a "haters" or extremists or the like.
The police state is the creation of the Political Class, and they do it by piling up as many laws and regulations as they can think of. If the laws and regulations contradict each other, so much the better.
From Atlas Shrugged:
“Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.”And that is exactly where we are today.
Update: Glenn Reynolds cites the CS Monitor, "Freddie Gray paid the ultimate price for the crime of clipping a common knife to his pocket."
His closing line is what I've been saying for months: "Hey, lefties: Want more government? This is more government." Remember Eric Garner from last December, whose case led to my post, "Why the size of government matters"?
If we want the government to use less force, then we have to get less government. It is useless and futile to think that diversity or other kinds of training will reduce police violence.Yes, the same question we ask of Freddie Gray's death.
The fact is that for every law on the books, no matter how minor or inconsequential it may seem to you or me, whether felony or misdemeanor, from mass murder to jaywalking - for every law, there can come a time in its enforcement when a cop can legally kill you. There is no exception to this.
The only way we can reduce these kinds of deaths - I say again, the only way - is to shrink government and strike laws from the books. For the real question to ask here is just why was what Garner was doing illegal at all?