Allow Me to Ask What Many Think But Are Not Allowed to Ask

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At times it may appear to us that America is like that fat kid in boot camp, and God is acting the part of a drill instructor who won’t lay off, with an apparent insatiable desire to get that kid to throw up two more times today.

To change the metaphor (you’re welcome), it seems that our country is some sort of engineered vehicle like a plane or a boat or a car being, and is being put through a series of stress tests by a team of demanding engineers. And failing all of them.

Appearances Deceive, Right?

When George Floyd died of his drug overdose, as it now appears to many, there was a cop kneeling on him at the time. It sure looked like he couldn’t breathe because of that cop, a man named Derek Chauvin. As a result, Minneapolis, and much of the rest of the country, went up in a sheet of flame, and Chauvin was charged with murder. That trial is currently under way, and as it now appears that Floyd had enough fentanyl in his system to kill a Percheron draft horse, it is quite possible that there might not be a conviction for murder. And that means another sheet of flame.

And then just a few days ago, Daunte Wright died at the hands of police incompetence when, according to the police chief (and as indicated by the video), an officer mistook her gun for her taser, and shot him at close range. This was also in the Minneapolis area. This explanation of events was offered by the police chief, and it seems plausible, but I assume that there will be an investigation and/or trial, and we should wait for that. The officer’s name was Kim Potter, who must be held accountable for her actions, and who at the same time must not be offered to a mob. In the meantime, while we wait on the results of due process, there should be no violence or threats of violence.

In the meantime, we can and should offer our condolences to the Wright family. This was an awful thing, and there is no good reason not to react to it as an awful thing. We don’t need to offer any explanations in order to sympathize with the family—that can be a stand-alone sympathy. When things like this happen, we feel sick about it, as we should.

And poor Minneapolis. They are being put into situations that absolutely demand accountability and reform, while at the same time the pressures that are demanding it from them will not allow them to do what is necessary. In other words, the demand amounts to a demand that something be done for show, and that nothing be done that will actually change anything.

An Intersectional Snarl

Both George Floyd and Daunte Wright were black, and so naturally that has been immediately assigned as the reason they died at the hands of the police. But this is an intersectional snarl, and so here is where I ask what many are allowed to think but no one is allowed to ask. And note at the top, that I am asking to ask, not asking to assert.

It appears that this happened because an armed police officer did not know where her gun was. It happened because in the heat of the moment, she mistook her gun for her taser. And I would ask you to notice that I am using the feminine pronouns she and her.

So here’s my question. Should we reconsider our willingness to put women in combat roles, which, in urban areas, front line police work is? Now I would ask you to please notice what I am doing here, which you should be able to do if you stop yelling for a minute.

I am simply asking for this to be on the agenda. May we raise the question? May we examine the empirical evidence about the suitability of women for front line tasks in fire departments, police departments, and the armed forces? And the answer our current received wisdom gives to all such questions, quite naturally is, no. And not only is the answer no, but that same received wisdom is willing to examine the empirical evidence for any such questioner’s bigotry, prejudice, hatred, malice, and all-round wrongthinks.

The Standards, My Friends, Have Been Jiggered

But we should all recognie what is going on. For example, the physical tests for the armed forces have been lowered, in order that women won’t fail at significantly higher rates, and they have been lowered for political reasons. They were lowered because of politics, and they were not lowered in the interests of improving combat readiness.

If all the old standards had been tenaciously retained, but women were allowed to apply, and if they passed, they passed, that would be one thing. A traditionalist like myself would certainly consider it unseemly, but I would not consider it a diseased corruption of the entire system—which is what it currently is. In other words, the central problem here is all the lying that is being done for the sake of an egalitarian agenda.

This is why it is nothing to the point to find an individual woman who would perform better than a given individual man. Of course that is the case. There are women who are stronger, faster, more clear-headed, and more intelligent than a number of men. But those men shouldn’t be cops either. In the old system, the tests weeded out nothing but men.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

In situations like this, we should care about the truth, pure and simple. In any given individual case, what actually happened and why? When a situation looks really bad, there should be a full and complete investigation, and then a decision should be rendered.

But what do you do when the entire system has been corrupted? If the entire system has fallen prey to politics, then that means that the investigation into a particular corruption will be conducted by a more generalized corruption.

As someone with a biblical view of man, I want to remember that cops are people too. They perform a valuable and essential service for us all, and so I am among those who deeply appreciate that thin, blue line. But I also know that because cops are people, they are also sinners. They are also fallen. They don’t operate outside accountability any better than anyone else does. But unlike the current monomaniacal system of evaluation, this means that I believe that cops are capable of more sins than racism. They are capable of deceit, sloth, ineptitude, greed, cowardice, power-tripping, feather-bedding, and lots more.

Recent events here in Moscow have given us a front row seat on the kinds of things that happen when politics drive everything, including police departments. And what I have seen is two tons of no good.

So this is not to hold a brief for cops against blacks, or blacks against cops, or men against women, and so on. Rather it is to ask if we can raise the question of truth against lies, of truth against politics.