By Edith Morgan
AMERICAN POLICING: Changes are needed, certainly. But, before we do anything, we should be clear as to where the trouble really lies:
Some people are blaming unions, but that isn’t right. Union have power over a limited number of things, by law: hours, wages and conditions of work. Those things need protection, and individual workers need the protection of their coworkers, so they do not have to stand alone against the power of the bosses, the corporation and big money. That is only fair, and works very well in most European nations where labor and management actually sit down together as equals.
One problem I have not seen mentioned in the regular press is that in many places in the U.S. policemen are a kind of Brotherhood, a sort of fraternity – with all that this means in terms of loyalty to your fraternity brothers – no matter what. That explains why police officers mostly will not turn in their fellow officers – even when it is obvious they are guilty (we see the same phenomenon in college fraternities).
In addition, there are certain obvious events that we can all agree should be remedied NOW; there is much agreement that chokeholds should be banned by police depts – and cops should be punished if they are used.
In addition, I have always been amazed that the public tolerates and excuses (at least, until the “Black Lives Matter” movement) the execution of Black victims: I call it execution because I can not imagine that police officers, trained to shoot, need to put 7 to 12 bullets into unarmed subjects! One shot should be all that is allowed – and should certainly be enough to disable a truly threatening person.
Of course, there is the question as to why a fully armed poluice officer is threatened by an unarmed person, or child.
We need to get answers to these questions.
And, above all, we need to redefine the function of our police forces.
A New Kind of October
By Edith Morgan
October usually brings to mind Indian summer days, a warm and comforting spell before winter comes to New England. We think of Oktoberfest, falling leaves, the final harvest, drives into the country to see all the brightly colored trees and bushes. We get out our warm clothes, prepare for Halloween and bring in our bulbs and indoor plants, and thoroughly enjoy the last sigh of warm weather …
But October of 2020 promises to be very different! This year, we face the continuation of precautions against the COVID 19 menace and the expectation that we will be masked and distanced for some time to come.
Our children will be subject to various kinds of schooling, in very different settings, with the gaps between those who can afford$$$$ all the technology and those who can not, widening ever more. And in addition to the threat of the virus, the yearly flu will spread around among us – at least among those who did not get vaccinated against this year’s type.
And, of course, our country will be limping along to the November 3rd Election, when the final bunch of votes will be cast in this very important national election.
By now every registered voter in our state hs received the absentee ballot application, and hopefully most have returned it so they can receive their ballot. And early in the month, as soon as possible, all of us will have returned the ballot well before November 3rd, so we can be sure; it will arrive in time to be counted. So much hangs on this election that for the first time in many years, I am truly apprehensive …
This October also will see a continuation of the protests against racial injustice and police brutality – and hopefully the beginning of some much needed changes or, rather, improvements, not mere changes, in the ways we govern ourselves.
As I write this, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just died, and already the scramble to decide what to do to fill her spot is raging day in and day out. …
All the ugliness of the struggle for power and money is already showing itself. This is not the America I came to in 1941 when we had a President, FDR, who, though born rich and powerful, nevertheless had a real feel for and caring for us, the people. (Actually, I have always credited the wonderful first lady, Eleanor, known all over the world to this day for her great and effective advocacy for human rights.)
How have we descended to this state, where now we are the laughing stock of most other nations, are ruled by someone who promised to get rich off the presidency, where every major arm of the executive branch has been decimated, and is being headed by political hacks incompetent but loyal to the person of the president (or else), not to the constitution or the people who are paying their salaries?
The answer hangs in the air , depending on the November 3rd election. I pray that all voters realize that…