LC & IB Angrywebmaster has a post up about the whole St Louis Mess™. Not about who did what to whom and why, the subject of endless and, in many cases (looking at you, Lame Stream Media) unsubstantiated speculation across the Internet, but about the whole militarization of our police departments. Read the whole thing, for it is good and touches upon so much more than the little tidbit His Majesty wants to comment on:
Part of the problem with the police in Ferguson is the ongoing militarization of law enforcement in the United States. It’s out of control and police, being human, like to play with their shiny new toys.
Yep. It is indeed human. All too human. We’ve never mentioned this before because there are so many other examples but, really, because we’re ashamed of it and it revealed something about our young self that we’d rather we had never learned.
His Majesty must have been about 12 at the time, and our class was putting up a school play about WWII and Nazism in Germany. Heavy subject, yes. Of course, as part of that, we had to have props and costumes and the like. Such as HJ uniforms complete with armbands and such for those of us playing the asshole yoots of the time. And a script, of course, full of the rancor and hatred and casual brutality towards the “other” that was so typical of that age.
And then something happened inside of us. We don’t know exactly what it was that triggered it or if it was just something that slowly built up, but suddenly those of us playing the Nazis started behaving like it even outside of practice sessions. We’d be cruising around the hallways in our costumes between practice sessions and during lunch recess because it was easier than changing all the time, and then something… happened. We’d clear out tables and laugh at the unfortunates suddenly “displaced”, we’d corner people trying to point out to us that we were, in a word, being the utter assholes that we were behaving as and ask them if they wanted to “make something of that”, etc. etc. In other words, we became the hateful animals whose uniforms we were wearing without even knowing it, without even making an effort.
Because we had those shiny new “toys” and it’d be a shame not to use them, right?
Anyway, it didn’t last long, thankfully, before the adults at school put a stop to our behavior, and we had a long and interesting session discussing what had happened. And all of us were utterly shocked at what we’d become. I obviously don’t know that the others were honest, but I know that I was. Maybe it was a good thing it happened, because it taught us to beware of our Inner Asshole™. But it sure as Hades didn’t feel like a Good Thing™ at the time.
All of this to say that yes, you give a toy, a uniform, something to a bunch of human beings, and sooner or later at least some of them will want to play with them and start looking for an excuse to do so. Not because they’re really assholes, well some of them statistically would have to be, but because all of us have that inner asshole, and it’s just trying to find a crack it can creep out of.
So yes, Virginia, if you hand out tanks, drones, machine guns, howitzers and tactical nukes to a bunch of people and tell them that they are theirs to use, sooner or later they WILL use them. It’s a statistical certainty.
Because we ALL have that Inner Asshole™. No exceptions. The only difference is in how aware we are of it and how good we are at keeping it locked up.