Darren Wilson’s use of the term demon in his testimony belies a religious subtext of his own inner monologue while exercising civil authority by deadly force. Further could be asked about the strategy and training that is supplied to officers in respect to conflict resolution and use of deadly force. We do know they certainly have been supplied with enough weaponry and military surplus but what about the wisdom to use it?
The question being raised is was he no longer a highly trained law enforcement professional seeing a citizen that was his sworn duty to protect and serve but instead he saw a creature created by divine judgement ready to consume his sweet lily white soul in the fiery torments of eternal damnation. Not literally no.
But did this slip of the tongue indicate a thought process that in turn frightened the officer on a primeval level? Such that he felt the need to shoot the unarmed 18 year old six times instead of relying on his training to incapacitate first and use lethal force only if absolutely necessary. Did he not see Michael Brown as a person but as a thing that made him fear for his life? Could this kind of instinctual reaction can be associated with ancient fears propagated by bronze age philosophy inherent in religion?
Black Eyes, Black Soul
Authority that is vulnerable to religious context when making life and death decisions whether conscious or sub conscious is indicative of the major threat we face from religious thinking in general.
The black eyes common in entertainment imagery for mythological entities reinforces a western concept that evil comes from black. This demon imagery is a product of historical religious propaganda that inserts itself through popular culture as the moral authority for the nature of good and evil when in fact it perpetuates a master and servant mentality.
A question then arises if this authority is institutionalized into a racially focused power base from this indoctrinated religious outlook. This is not as impossible as one may think from observations based on history of Anglo-Caucasian culture in the United States.
A problem with basing power off of race or any group will inevitably cause the group in power to be replaced by another, usually the group or race that was previously persecuted. Please refer to Israel and Palestine for a real world example.
So do we have law enforcement or institutionalized violence?…an ideal to ponder is what is at issue here and the question as well.
You can say the white police officer had fear for his life and is justified in shooting an unarmed black teen six times.
Or you can argue that law enforcement officials are more dedicated to protecting their own lives and that the citizenry is inevitably responsible for it’s own safety though it’s behavior.
Thank you, Officer…
We allow police over our lives with the understanding they are to protect and help us even at the cost of their own lives. However if these individuals value their own lives more than the citizenry they are sworn to protect should they be allowed weapons or authority over others?
As hard as it is to overcome instinctual desires of self preservation can we be so pragmatic about life and death situations as to hold an ideal as unattainable instead of just the reality we must endure?
One theme you may hear in conversations about this incident is that the victim placed himself in a fatal situation against police. I agree he was quite possibly a arrogant 18 year old acting like a swaggering bully just as 18 year olds are prone to do. Posturing himself among his friends and community to attain a semblance of self respect that is needed so much at that age.
However what we should question is the response from a trained profession ten years his senior that felt so threatened the only response was to use fatal force instead of waiting for reinforcement.
This is a sacred trust and respect we give these individuals, for they have the duty to take away life without cultural reciprocity in the name of civilization.
Evidence of over reaction cannot be summarily dismissed for it tends to lead to unquestioning attitudes indicative of fascist police states.
“So police should just sacrifice themselves at the first opportunity? “
I would hope not, but if the situation calls for sacrifice and they want to wear an badge and gun that is the serious and mortal responsibility they must bear. But another possibility could be it may cause them to override their instinctual self preservation to find a solution that avoids the cost of any life. This ability is why as a society we respect law keepers as authority instead of who use vigilante tactics to settle disputes.
“But no one would want to do that!”
No one but the one’s who truly accept this mortal commitment they have upon them. For it is these men and women, through their character decide if we have an entity of fair law enforcement in a society of equal rights or an institutionalized vigilante militia driven by political dominance.
A question then of belief.
This character if driven by mythological beliefs like religion overrides an ideology of civilian law enforcement then that thinking is a highly questionable justification. When that is based on personal instead of a common secular morality then the act should be exposed as a betrayal of the sacred trust we place in law enforcement.
Religion has been abused too often by the passion that is invoked by fervent believers throughout the world and cannot be trusted as a intuitive source of guidance.
Especially since it claims to be that only source but fails.