For something like eleven days now there have been protests and there have been “protests”*. All over the country and in many places around the world. Call me unsympathetic, but I’m kinda thinking any point that Floyd’s murder was racially biased and wrong has been made. Now what? It’s time to move to Step 2.
Things need to change, in people’s attitudes and actions and in law enforcement. What are we going to do about it? There are several option, some of which can run parallel, but has anyone even thought about it?
Option 1 – Police Reform
That’s been done before. New programs, retraining, all that jazz. Makes great headlines, but you have to change attitudes within law enforcement (LE) before police will actually follow them.
Option 2 – Public Re-education
What I mean by this is changing people’s attitudes on race across the board. Everyone, police and citizens. And police are really just citizens with LE jobs. In an ideal world this is the best and correct path to take, but I personally never see it getting off the ground if for no other reason no one would ever agree on how to do it. It would just be another example of bureaucratic infighting with a big budget.
Option 3 – Legal Reform
There are many… and I mean MANY… legal reforms that need changing, and the most significant one would be eliminating “qualified immunity” where police and other government agents pretty much have a ‘get out of jail free’ card for almost anything they do. (Let’s not forget that Floyd’s murder would be rationalized and dismissed without the light of video.)
Where do we go from here?
I strongly suggest Option 3, at least. Wayward police need to be held accountable for their actions, and with the real possibility of serious consequences many cops will choose to not step out of line. It doesn’t eliminate the threat, and it doesn’t do anything regarding people’s inner attitudes, but it helps.
But how to do this? It would require tenacious organization, dedication, time, and money… because lobbying would be involved. And who are you going to lobby? The lawmakers that have been in power for decades and have created and/or tolerated that laws that brought us here? Phffft! No, we’re also going to need a massive change in lawmaking leadership.
Regardless what is done… if anything is done, we’ve had protests and “protests” before and nothing ever changed, no one wanted to actually do the work… after people have satisfied their need for protest, serious work will need to be done. Where does it start? Who is going to start it?
*- “Protests” are rioting and/or looting under the guise of protesting.