Why Does This Keep Happening: The Police Thread

caseyedwards

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There is nothing to substantiate that opinion at this time b-man and I'm not expecting that to be the case.

There is, however, today's news about the protests in Madison, WI taking a turn toward violence. Will protest supporters call this out for the destructive and criminal behavior it is and help prevent further such incidents? Or will there be justifications and silence?


This is not like so many of the cases of criminal destruction that have been documented in other cities and mainly seem to the work of opportunistic looters rather than protestors. This sounds like a group of actual protestors turning to criminal violence. It's going to setback the movement because it's hard to make a case for systemic change to stop violence if so-called supporters are going to escalate violence and act like the vigilante mobs they are supposed to be against. It's upsetting to see because a couple nights actions by a group of two to three hundred is going to cancel out all those weeks of peaceful protests by hundreds of thousands if it's not stopped. It shows that for some, destruction of public art is more for sport than anything else. Participants who create a vigilante group to assault state leaders are not friends and supporters of a movement trying to enact positive change. I hope the organizers and peaceful protestors are going to emphatically speak up about this before there is irreversible damage to the progress that is being made.
The mindset is clear if absurd! No Whites shouldn’t be congratulated or celebrated for ending slavery! Whites did it
 

snoopy

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I don’t know that this can be done from planes but the police have been using all the videos uploaded to the internet to do facial recognition scanning to identify protestors and bust anyone they can bust via outstanding warrants and any other reason. Actually that is a little backward - the technology uses our Facebook photos and other photos of us on the internet to identify who we are and builds a database. The police photo scan the protest crowds and then the software matches faces to the names in that database. (I don’t like this tactic when the police do it either :shuffle:).
 
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MacMadame

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Facial recognition is so troubling because it's clearly been shown to be both racist and inaccurate. It absolutely should not be used by law enforcement IMO.
 

Artistic Skaters

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NPR posted an article about the facial recognition problem when it comes to policing. In the case they cited, the police got the facial recognition information and arrested the wrong man without doing any further investigation to interview people or accumulate actual evidence:
 

snoopy

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It’s possible they can improve the accuracy with more modeling, but I still wouldn’t like it. It’s not just about accuracy but invasion of privacy, perpetual surveillance, police state, the technology ending up being used by employers, businesses, etc. The risk of misuse is too high. Bad tactic all around.
 

MacMadame

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It’s possible they can improve the accuracy with more modeling, but I still wouldn’t like it. It’s not just about accuracy but invasion of privacy, perpetual surveillance, police state, the technology ending up being used by employers, businesses, etc. The risk of misuse is too high. Bad tactic all around.
I agree with you but all of that is so much worse if the technology doesn't even work!
 

MacMadame

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There is, however, today's news about the protests in Madison, WI taking a turn toward violence. Will protest supporters call this out for the destructive and criminal behavior it is and help prevent further such incidents? Or will there be justifications and silence?


This is not like so many of the cases of criminal destruction that have been documented in other cities and mainly seem to the work of opportunistic looters rather than protestors. This sounds like a group of actual protestors turning to criminal violence. It's going to setback the movement because it's hard to make a case for systemic change to stop violence if so-called supporters are going to escalate violence and act like the vigilante mobs they are supposed to be against. It's upsetting to see because a couple nights of actions by a group of two to three hundred is going to cancel out all those weeks of peaceful protests by hundreds of thousands if it's not stopped. It shows that for some, destruction of public art is more for sport than anything else. Participants who create a vigilante group to assault state leaders are not friends and supporters of a movement trying to enact positive change. I hope the organizers and peaceful protestors are going to emphatically speak up about this before there is irreversible damage to the progress that is being made.
I really don't know how to respond to this, which is why I am so late on it. But I couldn't sleep thinking about how angry it made me. So here we are.

First, of course, I condemn what happened to the senator. He could have died and even if it turns out he's totally a member of the KKK (which I don't think he is) and not just someone filming what is going on, killing people is wrong.

OTOH, I don't blame people who are engaged in civil disobedience for not wanting to be filmed. That was pretty stupid of him and it's a bit disingenuous to say "I was just taking a picture." What was he going to do with that picture? It's evidence of a crime.

Also, you say "Participants who create a vigilante group to assault state leaders" and I say :huh: These people didn't wake up in the morning and say "let's organize a group to assault Tim Carpenter." Not to mention, there were 200-300 people there. You can't blame them all for the actions of a few.

Second, don't expect me to clutch my pearls over a statue. It's a statue. 🤷‍♀️ It can be replaced assuming it's not actually one of those statues that never should have been created in the first place. In which case, good riddance. We've been trying to get rid of these statues for decades doing it the "right" way and see what that got us.

As for this somehow harming the movement, that is what they said about Martin Luther King! He was once the most hated man in America, you know. People always bitch about protests, no matter what. So people who want to discredit this movement will find something to complain about even if the people in it all 100% behave like angels. Not to mention, there is evidence that sometimes violent protest works.

I would say that I agree with Rebecca Watson on this one:


Personally I try to be non-violent and have managed to do that with my actions. My thoughts OTOH have been very violent these days. I agree with Kimberly Johnson. White people should thank their lucky stars that Black people only want equality and not revenge. I completely understand the rage, I share as much of it as a white person can, and I'm not going to condemn anything short of hurting people.
 

Dobre

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I'm going to go ahead & say that I'm opposed to the destruction of statues movement. Prior to 9/11, the first news item that really got to me was the destruction of that ancient religious site with the statues in the cliff. I thought, "No, this is really bad. People should be paying attention. This should not be a little news blip in between all the stories."

I'm not a fan of trying to erase history. I'm a fan of learning from it. I'm all for the presenting it in a different way, moving things, etc. I think sometimes you need to see the bad choices others have made in order to learn from them. Historians, in general, seem to be saying this and I'm a fan of what I have heard from them.

In the short term, do I think Columbus is going to suffer too much if his statue comes down? Nope. But it's become a distraction. It isn't working for the protest movement, IMO.
 

Jimena

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I think we need to think about why the statues are there. In the case of the Confederacy, they were put up to preserve the lost cause, not because of history but as a perversion of it. They need to come down.
 

JJH

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Since the statue mentioned in the linked article was of a Union officer who was also an anti-slavery activist, I am confused as to why it was targeted.

We need more art and more reminders of history, not fewer. Never forget. Provide context. Pair those statues of confederate soldiers with union soldiers who opposed them. African American soldiers. Enslaved African American children. Abolitionists. Members of the Underground Railroad. if we don't have the funds for statues, then use student art, graffiti, whatever makes the point.
 

VGThuy

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I’m all far tearing down Confederate statues. I don’t see Germans wanting statues of Nazis to preserve history nor do we have statues of King George and other loyalists who fought against the colonialist rebels. I don’t see Christians erecting statues of Satan. We don’t need the actual Berlin Wall to stay up to remind ourselves what happened there and that it did happen. We can replace the casualties amidst the confusion. If the states took it upon themselves to publicly state they’re taking down those sorts of statues, then that would do a lot to stop the tearing down of the statues they aren’t aiming to tear down.
 

JJH

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@VGThuy Germany evidences no poignant nostalgia for the dreamy days of Hitler or the division of the Berlin Wall. Actually, a portion of the wall was deliberately left standing as a reminder. The problem (as I see it) is the continued romanticization of the history of slavery in the south. Is it more effective to try to erase the many many representations of the idea of a noble tragic confederacy and its noble tragic officers or to create new art that shows how morally bankrupt the system was? Slavery was very profitable. It was evil.
 

VGThuy

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@VGThuy Germany evidences no poignant nostalgia for the dreamy days of Hitler or the division of the Berlin Wall. Actually, a portion of the wall was deliberately left standing as a reminder. The problem (as I see it) is the continued romanticization of the history of slavery in the south. Is it more effective to try to erase the many many representations of the idea of a noble tragic confederacy and its noble tragic officers or to create new art that shows how morally bankrupt the system was? Slavery was very profitable. It was evil.
I should say the entire Berlin Wall then. Most of it was torn down, but even if the entire thing was torn down, most people won't have issues remembering the history around it. Monuments don't replace actual learning and education.

As for your question, I think we should do both. Those statues for the most part were only erected during the 20th Century as an intimidation tool to show the descendants of slaves who was still in charge. With our history of post-Civil War Jim Crow (so much intimidation, violence, and murder that most Americans DO NOT know the extent of - NOW THAT'S HISTORY THAT HAS BEEN ERASED AND NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT) and racist policies that we are still dealing with now (one of those included expanded police forces and prisons/mass incarceration aka 13th Amendment loophole), we should tear those down. They are a perversion of history, and traitors to the U.S. don't need to be monumented. We can still study the Civil War extensively without monuments to the losers of the war who chose to pledge loyalty to a rebel flag and nation just to keep slavery (and all the dehumanizing abuse) and their social status on the higher tier of the hierarchy they created. Those aren't memorials but celebratory statues to try to keep the Confederacy and racism alive. We can also put up new art and monuments to celebrate the America we want and mourn those we've lost - ones that reflect the more ideal parts of this country that we want to achieve.
 

MacMadame

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I’m all far tearing down Confederate statues.
I am too. And people have been trying to get them down for forever but the states and other institutions dragged their heels and made excuses until people said "enough." Those who put those statues up and those who wouldn't take them down are to blame for what is going on IMO.

I am trying to understand the need to behead a statue that you've already pulled down. How silly.
It's symbolic.

The problem (as I see it) is the continued romanticization of the history of slavery in the south. Is it more effective to try to erase the many many representations of the idea of a noble tragic confederacy and its noble tragic officers or to create new art that shows how morally bankrupt the system was? Slavery was very profitable. It was evil.
And statues are part of that. Statues aren't about creating a history lesson. Statues are about honoring something -- a person, an idea, a value. I do not honor General Lee and I don't think there should be statues of him in the US.

Museums are about preserving history and that's where Confederate artifacts should go.
 

skatingfan5

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@MacMadame posted "Statues aren't about creating a history lesson. Statues are about honoring something -- a person, an idea, a value."

I am trying to understand why these two particular statues in Madison were pulled down. All I can find about them online is that one was of Col. Heg, the highest ranking Union officer from Wisconsin to die fighting in the Civil War and the other was of a female figure "Forward" created for the Chicago's 1993 Colombian Exposition by a woman sculptor and paid for by funds raised by women of the state. I guess there must be some negative backstory to them to warrant their being targeted, but I can't find anything so far. Perhaps someone can enlighten me?
 

Cachoo

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[QUOTE="MacMadame, post: 5826096, member: 8725"


It's symbolic.[/QUOTE]

And silly. I just keep thinking of Monty Python antics.
 

VGThuy

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I would gladly behead a statue if it was honoring someone who was upholding the rape and torture of enslaved people.
 

JJH

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@MacMadame I think I would offer the counterargument that art in private spaces or in museums or in public spaces has many functions other than agrandisement. It's frequently used for social criticism. Diego Rivera's murals. Picasso's Guernica. Removal of confederate statues one or two or 10 at a time is not really confronting the mindset that continues to venerate a fiction. Create and install new pieces that represent our appalling history of slavery, Jim Crow and racism. Put small children in shackels under each of those soldiers. Confront the core of the delusional thinking of those who romanticize the antebellum south. I think the goal should be to change minds, not just remove insulting statuary.
 

VGThuy

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Is that what Col. Heg is supposed to have upheld?
I was talking about generally, not in this specific case. I believe your questions about Col. Heg was answered. They weren't aiming at Col. Heg personally but the statue itself a casualty of the overall wave of anger. His statue can be replaced. To me, that incident is nothing and should not be used to dismiss the entire movement to rid the country of Confederate and racist symbols. To treat the destruction of his statue as a personal attack against him when the ones tearing it down probably didn't know who he was seems like a distraction tactic. They didn't look too smart, but that's not really the point. States need to act.
 
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attyfan

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@MacMadame ... Removal of confederate statues one or two or 10 at a time is not really confronting the mindset that continues to venerate a fiction. Create and install new pieces that represent our appalling history of slavery, Jim Crow and racism. Put small children in shackels under each of those soldiers. Confront the core of the delusional thinking of those who romanticize the antebellum south. I think the goal should be to change minds, not just remove insulting statuary.

Banksy made a similar proposal:


That the statues were erected says something about the group that erected it; that it took so long to realize that the person depicted shouldn't be honored says something about the group or groups that followed. It isn't just about changing minds; it is showing that there are some things that take a long time to change.
 

skatingfan5

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I certainly didn't mean to dismiss or distract; I was/am genuinely curious why these statues were targeted and thought there might be some reason other than generalized anger and outrage at racism and police brutality.
 

VGThuy

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I certainly didn't mean to dismiss or distract; I was/am genuinely curious why these statues were targeted and thought there might be some reason other than generalized anger and outrage at racism and police brutality.
Yeah, I think it kind of shows the downside of just having anger. There's no proper channels for them to funnel it so things like this happen. It shows us we need to address these things in a way so people don't get so fed up that unwarranted destruction happens.
 

Cachoo

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The positive is this anger could have been so much worse. I'm old enough to remember when a Wisconsin U. building was bombed during the Viet Nam protest, killing a postdoctoral student who was the father of three toddlers. But I can't help it if I laugh at the idea of beheading a statue.
 

DreamSkates

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If you are going to get rid of all the statues that are offensive due to slavery then expect Mt. Rushmore to be defaced.
At some point we have to find out out to embrace our history, both the good and the bad about it. Museums are good places to put "unwanted" statues, pictures, etc. The Museum of the Holocaust is important so that we don't forget the atrocities.

During the time of Lincoln, it was the Democratic party that defended slavery and was against abolishing same. So, then, should we also get rid of the Democratic party? (rhetorical question)

We need a US History that is an accurate description (for teaching in all grades including college) - not only who of our founding forefathers participated in unjust acts but also who of our people/citizens have contributed to this country's progress. If you haven't watched movies such as Hidden Figures and Gifted Hands (free on youtube), those are good places to start. I recently watch Just Mercy and that is important for understanding what some people go through and why there is so much fear which eventually can result in anger From the world of psychology, anger often comes from fear, hurt and/or frustration.

I can't condone violence in any form as a reaction, but protests and speaking out in large groups across the country and the world have certainly gotten the attention of those who really can make a difference by instituting new policies, laws and awareness of doing what is right toward every person. As in Lincoln's speech, we all were created equally. It has been encouraging to see it is not just people of color in the protests.
 

MacMadame

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So @VGThuy has said pretty much everything I was going to say so I won't repeat her points.

I will say that I don't really understand this resistance to getting rid of Confederate statues. They are symbols of oppression that never even should have been put up in the first place.

I was thinking about this last night and I thought of a good analogy. Let's say you marry some guy who turns out to be an abusive asshole and he terrorizes you throughout the entire marriage. After a lot of work and much hardship on your part, you manage to divorce him and get out alive. Except every time you go visit your parents, they have your wedding portrait prominently displayed on their walls where you can't escape it. And when you beg them to take it down, they say things like "it's history and you shouldn't try to erase it" or "how about we put up a picture of you with a black eye next to it to give it context"?

These statues were put up to terrorize a portion of our fellow citizens and keep them in their place and keeping them up is a constant reminder of that and also a promise that it's not really over no matter how many people put Black Lives Matter in their Twitter profiles.

Just take down the damn statues and stop excusing them! I know people hate change, but really... this is just inexcusable to me.

And while we are at it, how the f*ck did we end up with US Army bases named after traitors?! Army bases! It's insane.
 

VGThuy

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We should get rid of Mt. Rushmore. It's on stolen land and we defaced a mountain that is sacred to the Lakota Sioux:


Imagine having all the events recorded in the above link happen and then they put four faces that symbolize the trapping and oppression of your people on your land and sacred mountain.

But that's another topic.
 

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