Too often, we see headlines like these:
A group of protesters marched in downtown Appleton on Monday, a day after a video began to circulate that appeared to show police shooting Jacob Blake in the back at close range in Kenosha.
The shooting of Trayford Pellerin, in the back, was captured on video, and the state American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Saturday condemned what it described as an “horrific and deadly incident of police violence against a Black person“.
Police Use of Force. Shoots Lorenzo Jones with bean bag rounds as he lay on the ground.
A white police officer, Derick Chauvin, knelt on George Floyd’s neck for a period initially reported to be 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
Jamar Clark’s family reaches tentative settlement with Minneapolis. The family of a black man who was killed by Minneapolis police in 2015 in a case that triggered mass protests reached a tentative $200,000 settlement with the city Thursday.
Former Fort Worth officer indicted in Atatiana Jefferson’s shooting death
It is a daily occurrence, police violence against black people, mostly but not always, against men.
Yes, I know the right-wing story. “Blacks are criminals. The police have a difficult job. If the blacks simply would obey police commands, they wouldn’t be brutalized. More blacks are killed by other blacks than by police. It’s their own fault.”
That is the way bigots justify any brutality against the people they hate.
For a bigot, anything can be justified. Slavery was justified. “Separate but equal” (i.e. unequal) was justified. Harder work at lower pay is justified. Bad schools; bad housing; bad everything; it’s all their own fault.
Often, bigotry is outright denied by the right-wing. “I don’t hate blacks. Some of my best friends are black.” (Except when they come from, as Donald Trump calls them, “shithole countries.”)
In her Republican National Convention speech, Nikki Haley said, “In much of the Democratic party it’s now fashionable to say America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country.”
America is not racist? Does anyone really believe that bald-faced lie? Are Republican voters really so stupid as to accept what Haley claimed?
There is no doubt that white America has made black America (and brown America) the victims of massive racial prejudice. Anyone who denies it is a liar or a fool or both.
And now segue to the latest bigotry: Blame the protesters.
It goes something like this:
“We don’t mind if you walk quietly. Just no bullhorns; don’t block any streets; don’t walk on our sidewalk; don’t damage anything; don’t walk on restricted property, don’t inconvenience us in any way. And obey all police orders, no matter how unconstitutional they may be.
“That way, we can completely ignore you and nothing will change.
“So long as you victims of white bigotry merely complain quietly and don’t fight back, we support you. We won’t do anything to help you, but we support you.
“And so will our President who also supports the ‘good’ white supremacists and QAnon.”
As a white man, I try to empathize with the plight of America’s black and brown people. I try, but I haven’t experienced what they have. I haven’t experienced the daily pain of being pushed down and pushed away. I haven’t experienced the unfairness of life, at least not to the degree they do.
As a Jew, I’ve experienced some of the bigotry — there still are groups Jews can’t join, jobs Jews can’t get, places where Jews are not welcomed — but nowhere near the pressures people of color face every day, every hour.
I don’t’ fear the police. I don’t fear my neighbors. I don’t fear walking out of my house. I don’t fear every knock on the door. They do.
Yes, I despise the looting, the burning. I despise it; I don’t condone it; but I understand it.
I also despise and don’t condone, but I understand police violence. The police too are under great pressure, the real possibility of losing one’s life or one’s job, every day. I never have experienced that.
Pressure causes anger which causes violence. Pressure leads to police brutality and to protesters’ brutality. It’s the way human beings react to daily, grinding pressure.
There is a solution.
The solution is not more hatred or more violence. The solution is not more looting, burning, attacking, or even more marching. The solution is not more pepper spray, or more police wearing “Robocop” uniforms. The solution is not more guns.
The solution is leadership. And in America, it must begin with the white communities.
I hope you’ve noticed that there is an inverse correlation between the incidence of street crime and average income. The higher the income, the less street crime.
While the upper-income groups more often commit white-collar crimes, the lower-income groups more often commit street crimes — burglary, robbery, assault, murder.
It’s not just correlation; it’s causation. Poverty causes street crime, and street crime begets police crime.
The cure is to end poverty, or more accurately, to narrow the much-too-wide Gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Gap Psychology tells us the “haves” wish to widen the Gap, while the “have-nots” and the “have-less” wish to narrow the Gap.
And because the haves run America, the Gap widens.
Ask any rich man why the Gap between the haves and the have-nots is so wide, and he will attribute it to his own moral and intellectual superiority, and “their” inferiority. To the rich man, this is the natural state of things — that he should have so much and “they” should have so little.
It’s because “they” are by nature lazy, stupid, criminal, immoral thugs, who would rather live in squalor, collecting welfare payments, than to go to school or to work at honest labor. That is just the way “they” (especially blacks) are and always will be.
That is what the haves, who run America, believe because it is what they wish to believe. It justifies their “have” position. And it justifies their bigotry.
I live in an upper-income suburb of about 25,000. We haven’t had a murder in many years. The most serious street crimes we ever have are shoplifting, bicycle thefts, and unlocked-car burglaries, and these always are committed by outsiders. Why?
Is it because we are superior, more moral human beings? No, it is because we don’t suffer from a wide Gap. It’s just that simple.
Society endures this endless cycle.
- A wide Gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” (aka “poverty”) causes street crime
- Street crime makes police angry and fearful.
- Police anger and fear leads to police brutality
- Police brutality causes rioting and chaos
- Rioting and chaos lead to fear-mongering and bigotry.
- Fear-mongering and bigotry lead to widening the Gap (Return to #1.)
It is an endless cycle that causes the crimes that punish all of society, not just the poor.
The solution is to find the breaking point in the cycle. We have tried to crack down on street crime. That hasn’t worked. We have tried to crack down on police brutality. That hasn’t worked. We have tried to crack down on rioting and chaos. That hasn’t worked. We have tried to shame the fear-mongerers and bigots. That hasn’t worked.
We have tried to narrow the Gap between the haves and have-nots, by lifting the have-nots, and that has worked. Temporarily.
President Franklin Roosevelt did it with Social Security, the WPA, other elements of the “New Deal,” plus the popular cohesiveness of World War II. They brought the nation together and narrowed the Gap.
But Roosevelt died, the war ended, and lacking a strong moral leader, America and the rich again began to widen the Gap.
The next strong,moral leader was John Kennedy, who died too soon, but set the table for the strong, moral leader, Lyndon Johnson, who did much for the have-nots, and could have gone down as one of America’s greatest Presidents, but for his moral lapse, Vietnam.
Ronald Reagan had avid followers, but did little for the have-nots.
Donald Trump is a strong leader in the image of Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, and other megalomaniacs. He has widened the Gap by partially gutting ACA, passing a tax benefit for the rich (and himself), and by criticizing people of color, criticizing the media who defend them, and focusing on exclusionary walls, immigration, and police militarization.
Everything Trump does favors the haves. Trump exacerbates the Gap between the rich and the rest.
The solution to street crime will be implemented by a strong, compassionate leader, who is fortunate enough to have a compassionate Congress, and who together will implement social programs to narrow the Gap.
Is Joe Biden the strong, compassionate leader, who will narrow the Gap between the rich and the rest? There is no way to tell. As we’ve learned, bluster does not mean strength. Words do not mean compassion.
The strong, compassionate leader will begin with the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below), and as he does, street crime will begin to fade to “rich-neighborhood” levels.
While it is happening, the rich and their surrogates will complain that the poor and middle-income people are receiving money for not working, and the minorities are trying to take over the country, and it’s all so very unfair (to the rich). And further, the rich will claim, any form of aid to the poor is “socialism.”
(It isn’t. Socialism is ownership and control. Medicare and Social Security are not socialism. By contrast, the VA hospitals and the interstate highway system are socialism. Which would the rich like to eliminate?)
But the strong, compassionate leader will point to the results, and the American dream will be realized by all Americans, rich and poor.
Street crime hurts all America. It punishes the poor and the rich. The primary cause of street crime is poverty, or more accurately, the wide Gap between the rich and the rest.
Given a strong, compassionate leader, the federal government has the means to narrow the Gap and eliminate the primary cause of street crime.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.