A week after my defense of cops, one police chief decided to pen a letter to support the notion that law enforcement just wants to take on the role of an inner city Peace Corps–with a politically correct focus to boot.
Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson wrote a strong response to a concerned citizen who was puzzled why those in charge of enforcing the law do nothing against the Ferguson protesters causing headaches in the city.
Here’s Anderson’s retort:
As imperfect humans, we have a tendency to limit our association with other persons to those persons who are most like us. Unfortunately, there is even more of a human tendency to stay within our comfort zone by further narrowing those associations to those persons who share our thoughts and opinions. By doing this we can avoid giving consideration to thoughts and ideas different than our own. This would make us uncomfortable. By considering only the thoughts and ideas we are in agreement with, we stay in our comfort zone. Our own biases get reinforced and reflected back at us leaving no room for any opinion but our own. By doing this, we often convince ourselves that the majority of the world shares opinion and that anyone with another opinion is, obviously, wrong.
It is only when we go outside that comfort zone, and subject ourselves to the discomfort of considering thoughts we don’t agree with, that we can make an informed judgment on any matter. We can still disagree and maintain our opinions, but we can now do so knowing that the issue has been given consideration from all four sides. Or, if we truly give fair consideration to all points of view, we may need to swallow our pride and amend our original thoughts.
And, it is only by giving consideration to the thoughts of all persons, even those that disagree with us, that we can have an understanding as to what constitutes a majority.
While Anderson urges this unnamed citizen to go outside his “comfort zone” and accept all points of view, he then goes on to put down his critic’s:
‘I just want myself and my family to feel that our city is safe, and right now we don’t feel that way.’
I have to admit, I am somewhat puzzled by this announcement. None of the demonstrators in this city have in any way exhibited any propensity for violence or indicated, even verbally, that they would harm anyone. I can understand how you may feel that your ideologies have been questioned but I am not aware of any occurrence that would give reason for someone to feel physically threatened.
To summarize, “your ideology” doesn’t matter to us, theirs does.
And finally, Cheif Anderson urges his audience to not just respect cops, as that’s just too limited, but to respect government. No, really he says to respect government. Why? Because that engeders love for everyone!
First, it is laudable that you are teaching your son respect for the police and other authority figures. However, a better lesson might be that it is the government the police serve that should be respected. The police are merely a representative of a government formed by the people for the people—for all people. Being respectful of the government would mean being respectful of all persons, no matter what their views.
Except for views like yours, sir.
This “Upworthy” performance, as the Washington Post termed it, earned the Nashivillian the dubious honor of being among Gawker‘s “Heroes” and made comedian Sarah Silverman “proud to be an American.” High praise, indeed.
Steve Anderson is what I would call a bad cop–a happy tool for the corrupt System he loves dearly. But most of the cops you’re going to interact with not like Anderson and we shouldn’t generalize the average cop based on his asinine letter. However, the guys at the top of the police chain are probably a lot like this bad cop (how would they get the job otherwise?). Something to consider and ponder.