Home » Society » A Pity Pool Party: Myopic Compassion

A Pity Pool Party: Myopic Compassion

One of the benefits of living in a nation of 300 million people is that our society is rife with any kind of anecdotal evidence a person needs to convince themselves that their vision of the world is right. The media has enough fodder to stuff our gaping donkey mouths with any portrait of reality they choose.

The truth is that video does lie. It lies because it allows us to see but not feel. It lies because it sees only one thing and only so far as it starts, finishes, and gets edited. It lies because it draws the viewer to interpret events in keeping with their own preconceptions. It lies because of what it doesn’t see or hear. It lies because the person watching it has no skin in the game, nothing to risk by viewing it.

The recent video of a police officer attempting to bring order to some event gone amuck is a case in point. The neighborhood looks somewhat affluent; the crowd is a hodgepodge of races and ages of both genders. What one sees after that is a matter of prejudice, determined by:

  1. What you think about the police and authority.
    1. Some of my friends resent the police generally, and imagine that they should sit from their couches or from their computer chairs and judge the actions of an officer in a situation that they themselves wouldn’t be able to handle on their best day.
    2. Others put their backs behind the officer and are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. They are officers of the law and need to be respected and defended unless the damage done by them is plainly egregious. You can’t, they say, sit back from a distance and know how they should or shouldn’t handle outrageous situations unless you have their training and face what they face every day.
  2. What they think about the nature of law and order.
    1. Some wish to govern by emotions, making special rules for those who lay claim to injustice, or who seem well-intended. The system can go to Hades so long as people are allowed to do as they please.
    2. Others see orderly society as the first goal; a vicious protection of individual natural rights is the primary purpose of government and those who threaten the fabric of that system are deemed enemies of all.
  3. How you think difficult people should be handled.
    1. For some, any act of aggression is unnecessary. We need to be loving and affirming to murderers, child rapists, and jay walkers alike.
    2. For others a firm hand is championed… always. Every infraction of even the smallest law should bring the swift and brutal hand of the system down on them. Arresting 8 year olds for running lemonade stands is too little; they should be beaten with batons too… and be called doo doo heads.
  4. What you think about the race issues surrounding the event.
    1. Many people need to look no further to make a judgment than to notice that a white officer is getting rough and aggressive with black teens. Game over. He is a racist; if those where white kids he’d be acting differently; the system is at it again.
    2. Others go the other way; “Black people in trouble again, surprise, surprise!”

There is little point arguing the point, perspective here is cast by vision not facts. At the end, I’ve posted a video of a witness to the entire event start to finish who says that these kids were running around out of control taunting the cops, and that the cops acted as was necessary in every instance, including pulling his gun. She said when the parents of the visiting teens started showing up to get their children, they cared little about what their kids were doing and were only outraged that the police bothered their precious babies. She said that any neighbor who comes out in support of the police have been receiving death threats. Just as the principle who supported the police was fired.

What I’ve found, over the years, is that left leaning and other emotionalized people have a great talent for selective pity. Their self-image is completely wrapped around their own pride in being tolerant and compassionate. They, however, have highly specific criteria for who gets pity and who doesn’t. They have mascots and targets.

They pity minorities and marginalized groups; they champion the cause of the broken & the whining, anyone who can get a camera on them and bleat on and on about how bad someone or something made them feel.

That pity, however, is myopic. They pity women but not men, gays and a daily increasing litany of gender identifiers but not those whose life is thrown into turmoil by their constantly changing societal demands. They pity the poor but not tax payers, whose duty it is declared to support them no matter what. They pity blacks and Hispanics but not whites & Asians. They pity Muslims, but not Christians, and have a bizarre capacity to ignore the gays and women and other fellow Muslims that Muslims oppress and slaughter daily.

They watch that video and they pity a squealing black teen girl, even though she is obviously running around, out of control, shooting off her mouth at the officer, fighting him when he tries to restrain her, ignoring both his orders to leave the area and then to lay face down. She cries, “I want my Mama,” and our hearts go out to her. Something must be done. A black female has been made to feel bad.

They watch the video and see young people being chased down and sworn at, even though they ignored repeated commands to stop and sit. They see kids getting a gun pulled on them. It doesn’t matter that those kids surrounded a solitary officer while he was trying to restrain a suspect acting outrageously and moved in on him… that one seemed to be reaching for his gun (though video doesn’t record his thinking). Those kids got scared when the gun came out, something must be done… they’re just kids.

What the video didn’t show, according to interviews with witnesses, was just how wild and chaotic the entire situation was, how the first officer on the scene walked into a hornets nest, what it’s like to be an officer who is seriously outnumbered by rampaging people. What the video didn’t show was that the reason only black kids were being “bullied” was because the white kids sat when told to sit and left when told to leave. What the video didn’t show was the threatening nature of the event as a whole, the fights, the drugs, the drunkenness, the overt threats and intimidation being levied against those living in the neighborhood.

So we pity an out of order girl who couldn’t keep her big mouth shut, but not a good officer who walked into harm’s way to bring order out of chaos, whose career was destroyed… not his kids and wife… not the neighbors being bullied and threatened… not those injured in the fights… not the principle who was fired for posting a defense of the officer.

Indeed, we have no pity for society given that our complete fixation of late with following cops around with cameras… and accusing them of “insensitivity” and being too “heavy handed” [even though we have no idea what it is to do their jobs and couldn’t function for a day in their lives]… is resulting in an ever increasing lawlessness, and is raising a generation who has no respect for law and order, no regard for others. Once we undermine the authority of the police, undermine people’s sense of personal responsibility before the law, the victims for whom we aren’t having pity will begin to mount quickly. We’ll feel bad for them then, maybe, but we won’t accept culpability for it.

We have no real compassion for that very same girl who was manhandled by the officer. We care little that she has learned a lesson that may very well get her killed someday. She learned that she doesn’t have to do what the police tell her to do in an emergency. She learned that her disrespect and disobedience will not only be tolerated, but celebrated, that the whole country will rally around her whenever she decides that she and not the law and not the police is really in charge. Showing pity for her childish squealing as she pays a mild price for her insolence and rebellion means that we don’t have pity on her soul or character… don’t have pity on her future children… don’t have pity on those she will encounter in life as one who has been emboldened in her selfish pursuits.

When discussing this situation with a black friend of mine from Zimbabwe who lived for two different stints in South Africa he bemoaned the fallout from these situations. In South Africa, he said, you can be mugged within sight of a police officer, who, crippled in his capacity to do his job, will look on with disinterest. The price is too high to get involved; it’s too dangerous for him personally to stick his oar in. We are doing this, and we will all pay the price for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: