The Six O’Clock News: It’s Okay, USA

How many of you guys are from Missouri, USA? Me neither man, I’m not totally sure where Missouri is. But I do know that a load of shit is going on there at the moment, in the town of Ferguson. This BBC article has a good (detailed) explanation about what’s gone on – I think that essentially a black kid got shot by almost-definitely racist police and when locals protested they were deemed a riot, so now there kind of is a riot.

It’s brought up another debate about racism in the US – it exists, yuck – and has had relatively little UK media coverage, probably because the whole of the middle east is currently trying to kill everyone else in the middle east. But if Americans were worrying that only their country is home to a less-than-stellar police service, it’s okay! Look what this fortnight’s Private Eye has reported!

Private Eye 1372 Met Shooting

So it’s okay, America. We get you. We have Stephen Lawrence and we all remember what cased the 2011 riots.

From theyuniversity.tumblr.com
From theyuniversity.tumblr.com

But do yourselves a favour and don’t actually have a riot, because they are messy. Maybe stick to vigils and legislature change? I’ve been learning a bit about the US court system lately and you guys seem to be into suing each other – can you take the police to court for dickheadedness misconduct of duty?

If anyone has any suggestions to combat police dickheadedness and/or racist dickheadedness, please share. I’m kind of stuck for intelligent suggestions that don’t involve painting swearwords on people’s houses

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2 thoughts on “The Six O’Clock News: It’s Okay, USA

  1. An excellent opportunity to use footage of the lovely Mr Way expressing his disdain. I note, with great amusement, a photo in the 2011 riots wikipedia entry (linked in your blog) which proclaims I ‘heart’ MCR … I realise it’s MCR as in the 3 letter IATA airport code for Manchester but it still made me chuckle.
    But as for the anti-dickheadedness measures …. that’s a tough one. I don’t think there’s much to be done that isn’t already being done to combat racism. Education is usually the best way for most things like this – but it takes such a long time to take effect. It’s slow and cumulative – you can’t change people’s opinions for the better overnight, you just have to keep plugging away at it, dripfeeding.
    I guess you could remove from circulation anyone that expresses a racist view – which is draconian in the extreme, but effective! Do it with all the isms and ists and we’d be left with a pretty relaxed group of people running the place … unfortunately all of them would then be living in fear of ever saying or doing something that offended someone and being ‘removed’. So I guess that’s not such an intelligent solution after all.
    Dickheadedness within police forces … essentially they reflect society. I doubt there’s a test for it within the entrance exams/procedures, regardless of world location. And maybe some people join up without any of that kind of thinking but because of the inherent racism (and other isms?) within the force (and I refer here to the UK not other countries, as I know it’s been mentioned in the UK press before, but can’t comment on elsewhere) – maybe they start to believe what they hear and what they see other officers doing. It’s that insidiousness – you see something happening day in, day out, and you start to think it must be the right thing to do, fall into the mindset of believing the stereotypes. Not that all officers are like this – I’m sure there’s many that are truly wonderful at their jobs …. but when you give power to someone, even with the best intentions, at some point, some element of the God complex will come into play with certain kinds of personalities, and power corrupts. And a further complication is that once you’ve given someone any kind of power over others. they’re usually loathe to relinquish it.
    Like so many of the world’s problems – there’s no single answer. It’s a combination of things that needs to be done. But I guess it’s down to all of us to do what we can, however small, to right the wrongs of the world whenever we see them. Stand up against injustice, educate those around us, try to be the best that we can (and suddenly I’ve got the lyrics to Sing pootling around my head!)

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    1. You are so right about the little things making the difference to change the bigger problems. At school there was a Stonewall ‘directory’ of places LGBT people can work, like officially, without fear of homophobia – the first page I opened it at was the Met Police, which caused a ‘holy shit what next’ discussion amongst my friends – the whole book seemed like a get out of jail free card for employers and probably did nothing to actually change attitudes.

      I’ve been thinking about blogging this properly, but your whole comment reminded me of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn83ni0Pn44 Very ‘SING’. 🙂

      Also I do the ‘MCR’ thing all the time. Manchester Airport has no idea how easy its advertising campaign could be.

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