Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Defund the Police Primer for the Mid-Coast

 
Photo: Rockland PD FB Page

Well, it’s here. Seeping north and east for lo’ these many months, it finally arrived on my doorstep. There’s a petition now in circulation in Mid-Coast Maine demanding that the Rockland Police Department be defunded. Three hundred or so signatories so far, though it seems only 68 are actual Rockland residents.

Rockland might look like a small town, but it is a city; the county seat, boasting over 7,300 citizens all of whom are hideously oppressed by a total of eighteen sworn police officers, plus a parking enforcement officer and an animal control officer (part time). Oh, and a civilian secretary. It’s a scary bunch. Check out this guy on the right: Does he have “violent cis-gendered male white supremacy” written all over him, or what?

If not, it’s because you weren’t properly-educated. If the signatories to the petition get their way, Rockland’s public school kids will be the beneficiaries of anti-racism training instituted at all grade levels and paid for by “resources” (that is, taxpayer dollars) diverted from the police force.

They’d better get the lead out. At the moment, Rockland’s children have a pretty sweet relationship with Rockland cops, who drop by for lunch in the cafeteria, join in the sledding over at Harbor Park in winter, and help chaperone (and dance at) the prom.

But those Rockland children need to to learn, starting from kindergarten and then every year thereafter as developmentally appropriate, that even if their own, local police officers are an earnestly protective and generally benign presence, they must nonetheless be held accountable for every dreadful thing ever done to any black person at any time by an American wearing a badge (or even not wearing a badge, as in the case of George Zimmerman. Or Ulysses S. Grant). And Rockland cops should definitely be blamed for the 1,112 police-involved deaths that occurred around the country in 2019.

Correction: we don’t have to blame Rockland’s finest for all those deaths. Only the 259 black ones, including the 9 (or by some accounts 13) of the 47 total unarmed victims.
Admittedly, someone who tries to run over you with a car is technically “unarmed” for statistical purposes, but even our tiniest tots already know that if there’s no actual gun or, alternately, if the gun has been aimed but not yet been fired, the rule for cops is: Use your words!

Our children must be taught to see those 1, 112 officer-involved fatalities as especially outrageous given the context. There are only thirty to fifty million police-public interactions every year, and only ten million arrests. It is an outrage that 0.01 percent of arrests result in fatal force encounters and that 0.00047% of victims were unarmed. (Seriously —in a country with three guns for every man, woman, and child, where did they even find forty-seven unarmed Americans?)

(By the way, even if a black man is armed, that doesn’t mean that it was okay for the police officer to use deadly force against him. Even saying the phrase “unarmed black man” makes it sound like it was okay for the police to use deadly force against black men who are armed. Just ask NPR.)
Math is hard, so we won’t expect teachers who’ve had to swot this whole anti-racism curriculum to also be able to explain why 0.00047 is definitely not a surprisingly small number. Especially given how violent America is known to be by absolutely everyone unless they’re discussing black people.
But even an elementary-school kid can learn that the disproportionate number of black men involved with the criminal justice system is prima facie evidence of systemic racism. (Is it sexism that men are also disproportionately arrested and imprisoned? Um…we’ll cover that later…maybe in eighth grade?)

The magic number is 13.8%. That’s the percentage of Americans who are black. Whenever the percentage of black individuals in any given category is markedly greater (or, in some cases, smaller ) than 13.8%, systemic racism is the reason. (Correction: Not really any given category. It’s not systemic racism that 80% of professional basketball players are black, for example.)

First graders should learn that it is important to fight racism. Of course, since you can’t actually fight racism, what they’ll really have to learn about is fighting people. This is tricky because we are otherwise trying to discourage children from fighting. So we’ll have to explain that it is okay to attack and hurt some people. Luckily, police officers wear uniforms and are easily identified as legitimate targets.

See the woman bravely screaming insults at the horrible, violent police officer, kids? She’s a hero.

Why is the horrible violent police officer letting her scream at him like that? Why isn’t he screaming back, or maybe hitting her or putting her in jail? Probably because she’s white.

Hmnnnn. How did this slide get into my PowerPoint? That’s supposed to be in my COVID presentation… notice, children, that the evil policeman is not properly using his mask? Nor is the brave protester, but luckily, protests against racism can’t spread COVID, so she’s okay. Next slide, please.


Children might get confused when they see a police officer who is black.

Lots of grown-ups find that confusing too, but Rockland’s teachers will be taught to say: “Look, kids! See the brave, slightly-naked lady in yoga pants? She’s explaining to the black police officer that she (the black police officer) may think she is protecting and serving without fear or favor, but actually, she’s just cravenly serving the White Man. The white lady might be using words like “token” or “Uncle Tom” to help the black police officer understand that she should give up her career, take off her uniform and help Ms. Yoga Pants dismantle the racist system that has been forcing people to drink and drive, beat up their partners and spray bullets at neighborhood cook-outs.

What happens if little Amber doesn’t want to fight people, or even thinks it’s kind of mean-girl-y…. to fight systemic racism by screaming at police officers, let alone to hit them or aim lasers at their eyes.

“Luckily, you can also fight racism by fighting statues and buildings! Statues and buildings can be racist, but they don’t have nerve endings or blood, other than what you spray on them. Systemically racist buildings like police stations (also Federal court buildings for reasons that will be explained in eighth grade) must be dismantled. Dismantling a racist building looks like this:

 

“How can you tell that this used to be a racist building?

Right! There’s that bad word “Police!”

“How can you tell that it is now a good, peaceful, loving building? Exactly! We can see a painting of a black person with big earrings, bad words written in spray paint on the walls, and all those mostly-peaceful and also mostly-white people mostly-wearing masks milling around aimlessly.

Sometimes, if there’s been a whole lot of racism, even mostly-peaceful people get carried away by their feelings. Or maybe the evil white nationalists who are even more racist than the normal racists, make them do things by “agitating” and “provoking” and forcing them to smash the windows of a Louis Vuitton store and steal handbags, or maybe burn down the racist police station.


“I know, Amber. That looks kind of scary, doesn’t it? But dismantling systemic racism is so important that it’s okay to wreck stuff, steal, hurt and scare people, use really bad words and make a big mess that you don’t bother to clean up.

(No, Jasper…you can’t do that here in the classroom…Jasper? Jasper! Okay, will the Aide please take Jasper to the principal’s office for some mostly-peaceful restorative justice? Thank you.)

“Wow, kids! Jasper’s being pretty cisgender male today, isn’t he? We’ll just stay away from the broken window and hope, for his sake, that he learns to Do Better.

“Anyway, once we’re done fighting racist people and racist statues and buildings, the result will be a society full of peace, happiness, and complete equality. Since your teachers, your guidance counselors and president-for-life AOC (Please, God/dess!) are so much smarter and more moral than everyone who went before, we’ll easily avoid all the bad stuff that white male Euro-centric cis-gendered heteronormative misogynist racists infected America with back in 1619 when George Washington forced Sally Hemings to chop down a cherry tree.

“And guess what? We aren’t even going to need to create a whole new system! These brave, smart anti-racist system-dismantlers tell us we can replace the bad system with a good one called Marxism…see the pretty red flags?

“Well, yes, Amber. Marxism was also created by a white male Eurocentric cis-gendered heteronormative misogynist racist, but…

“I know you’re using your words, Amber, but…”

“Okay…sweetie… do we need to send you to the principal’s office too?”

Published in Policing
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  1. Rodin Member

    Parody is prophecy.

    • #1
    • August 3, 2020, at 12:34 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Not sure if I should laugh or cry.

    • #2
    • August 3, 2020, at 12:38 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    I wrote this to keep from crying!

    • #3
    • August 3, 2020, at 12:46 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  4. MarciN Member

    The country has gone nuts. Truly. 

    • #4
    • August 3, 2020, at 12:46 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Richard Fulmer Member

    Can there be any unarmed people in zero-tolerance America? I seem to recall elementary school kids being suspended for biting Pop Tarts into the shape of guns and for bending their fingers so that their hands form guns. If that’s correct, then no unarmed person has ever been killed by a police officer – or by anybody else.

    • #5
    • August 3, 2020, at 12:50 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. EODmom Coolidge

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    I wrote this to keep from crying!

    You’re never harsh. So musta been a very bad night. It’s hard to cope with the surreal irrationality that is promoted with such hostile fervor. I hope this helped. One has to really focus on what is real and eternal or lose one’s bearing. You won’t lose your bearings. You spend your days supporting and loving those same people now under attack. And I expect that’s where you will stay. 

    • #6
    • August 3, 2020, at 12:59 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. DonG (Biden is compromised) Coolidge

    The picture at the change.org link is illustrative.

    • #7
    • August 3, 2020, at 1:30 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    I wrote this to keep from crying!

    Don’t worry. Jasper will see it right.

    • #8
    • August 3, 2020, at 1:53 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Doug Watt Moderator

    There’s a petition now in circulation in MidCoast Maine demanding that the Rockland Police Department. be defunded. Three hundred or so signatories so far, though it seems only 68 are actual Rockland residents.

    Does that mean the 132 signatures written with crayons will be counted. Love the photos of the shrill harpies. I’ll let you in on a little secret I’ve dealt with that, and there is a mantra that you silently repeat over, and over that allows you to maintain a calm demeanor; ” Thank you Lord for not letting me marry this one.”

    This is my favorite photo of someone that couldn’t keep her mouth shut, gotta get the timing right when the pepper spray comes:

    • #9
    • August 3, 2020, at 2:43 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. MarciN Member

    I love this picture of the Rockland Police Department. It says it all, doesn’t it? What a nice group of people. 

    • #10
    • August 3, 2020, at 3:04 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  11. Richard Fulmer Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    The picture at the change.org link is illustrative.

    Imagine a doormat. See the doormat. Feel the doormat. Become the doormat.

    • #11
    • August 3, 2020, at 3:32 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Full Size Tabby Member

    GrannyDude: Rockland might look like a small town, but it is a city; the county seat, boasting over 7,300 citizens all of whom are hideously oppressed by a total of eighteen sworn police officers, plus a parking enforcement officer and an animal control officer (part time). Oh, and a civilian secretary. It’s a scary bunch. 

    But since it’s really about the Black residents who are oppressed by the 18 officers, I couldn’t help wondering how many Black residents there are for those racist police officers to oppress. Since I think Maine may be second only to Vermont in its paucity of Black residents. 

    • #12
    • August 3, 2020, at 3:58 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Richard Fulmer Member

    GrannyDude: First graders should learn that it is important to fight racism. Of course, since you can’t actually fight racism, what they’ll really have to learn about is fighting people. This is tricky, because we are otherwise trying to discourage children from fighting. So we’ll have to explain that it is okay to attack and hurt some people. Luckily, police officers wear uniforms and are easily identified as legitimate targets.

    “Other legitimate targets are people who don’t think as we do.”

    “How will we know them? Well, men over fifty with tucked-in shirts, socks, trimmed hair and either trimmed beards or clean shaven are definitely fair game.”

    “Stereotyping? No, sweetie, that’s not stereotyping. Stereotyping is bad. It’s,… well,… you’ll learn when you’re older.”

    • #13
    • August 3, 2020, at 4:31 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    I’ll let you in on a little secret I’ve dealt with that, and there is a mantra that you silently repeat over, and over that allows you to maintain a calm demeanor; ” Thank you Lord for not letting me marry this one.”

    Laughed out loud, Doug!

    • #14
    • August 3, 2020, at 4:39 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Richard Fulmer Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    GrannyDude: Rockland might look like a small town, but it is a city; the county seat, boasting over 7,300 citizens all of whom are hideously oppressed by a total of eighteen sworn police officers, plus a parking enforcement officer and an animal control officer (part time). Oh, and a civilian secretary. It’s a scary bunch.

    But since it’s really about the Black residents who are oppressed by the 18 officers, I couldn’t help wondering how many Black residents there are for those racist police officers to oppress. Since I think Maine may be second only to Vermont in its paucity of Black residents.

    There may be black Irish.

    • #15
    • August 3, 2020, at 4:41 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. MartinB Coolidge

    Hmm, 68 out of 7300+ residents, petition started June 19. They haven’t reached the magic 1% mark yet. Maybe in another week or two.

    • #16
    • August 3, 2020, at 4:44 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    The picture at the change.org link is illustrative.

    They’re so conveniently positioned for handcuffing! Cuff ’em, Dano!

    • #17
    • August 4, 2020, at 6:43 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    I’ll let you in on a little secret I’ve dealt with that, and there is a mantra that you silently repeat over, and over that allows you to maintain a calm demeanor; ” Thank you Lord for not letting me marry this one.”

    Laughed out loud, Doug!

    #MeToo!

    I anticipated Doug would repeat Hail Marys as his mantra, but his prayer of gratitude is even better under such circumstances! 

    • #18
    • August 4, 2020, at 6:49 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Anamcara Member

    Ah, a sane respite for my beleaguered brain.

    Thank you.

    • #19
    • August 5, 2020, at 1:57 PM PDT
    • 1 like