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View Diary: When the media gets it right on Ferguson, Missouri (209 comments)

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  •  I've quite frankly been shocked, shocked I (10+ / 0-)

    tell you when I've gone to some of the most evil countries on earth (to whit, Canada, home of the tarsands, Celine Dion, and baby seal meat) and Germany (home of Hitler, etc) and seen their low key approach to policing (e.g., apparently unarmed officers walking around blending in with crowds).

    It's almost enough to make one's head explode.

    Either that, or make one wonder why we can't try the same approach here.  Seriously , are we really all that much worse than the Canadians and/or Germans??

    (and in all fairness, I'm treading really lightly here, not even mentioning all the hockey riots north of the border . .. )

    •  We're heavy handed because we have always (8+ / 0-)

      had a large segment of our population that "authority" has been afraid of. They fear retribution for their actions, and their ancestors' actions. Look at Ferguson: the authorities are terrified of the citizens they supposedly "lead" . They are petrified. Governor Nixon is petrified. The last thing "authority" is going to ever admit is that THEY are responsible for the shooting, the protests, any looting, bad press, everything. So they double down, and this is the result.

      Canada may have its problems (Mayor Ford or Stephen Harper, anyone?) but it is very culturally different.

      By the way, I happen to find baby seal meat delicious. Try it raw like sashimi sometime with a little good soy sauce and some pickled ginger. (/snark)

      "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

      by commonmass on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:18:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I really like your diplomatic approach (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, a2nite

        by not even mentioning some of the most serious problems up there, like Mayor Ford's buddy Justin Beiber:

        Canada may have its problems (Mayor Ford or Stephen Harper, anyone?) but it is very culturally different.
        And yeah who doesn't?
        By the way, I happen to find baby seal meat delicious.
        I mean really, to play the devil's advocate, those animals really live quite the charmed life until moments before death, unlike the gazillions of factory-farmed animals subject to horrific conditions during their entire lives right here in the good ole 'USA . .. .
        •  Well, that wasn't all snark: I've eaten seal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy

          and it actually is delicious. Now hear in Maine, it's illegal to kill seals and I see those cute little critters in the harbor all the time. Makes my mouth water. Much tastier than whale. Which is pretty tasty.

          Don't get me started on Roof Rabbit.

          "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

          by commonmass on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:27:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hmm, I probably should have followed through (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dirtandiron, commonmass

            on that when I listed "baby seal meat" as what I was going to bring to a work-related potluck 3 or 4 years ago.

            The point being, I was planning a trip to Canada just before that, and I thought I could pick some up dirt cheap!

            The entire idea wasn't all that well received by my coworkers, however, except for a very nice lady temporarily here from Korea who dropped by my office to tell me how very much (with all sincerity,I believe) she was looking forward to my culinary contribution . ..

      •  Have been thinking exactly same thing, how the (5+ / 0-)

        police, nearly all white, have been oppressing/targeting blacks there, among other things getting 2.6 million from traffic stops to support them. Of course they fear them just as slave owners feared their slaves.

        "Let me be clear here: Pointing a gun at an innocent person is an act of violence and provocation." ~ Charles Blow

        by Gorette on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:31:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Dirtandiron, white blitz

      the Germans haven't always had such a low key approach to policing.  It was pretty heavy-handed back in the 1980's when everyone was protesting Reagan's installation of the missiles.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:32:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wonder if part of it is because of the general (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      racial homogeneous of Canada and Germany that means their police are generally more... comfortable (less racial tensions)?
      Non-white makes up 14% of the population (black 2%).
      Germany use Ethnicity:
      Non-European < 10%.
      Non-European/American/Turkey < 4%
      African < 1%

      United States, by contrast, has 28% non-white population (double that of Canada) and black population of around 12% (six times of Canada).

      •  Canada as a whole might be rather (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        homogenous, but certain regions are highly diverse - e.g., Vancouver and Toronto.

        On the plus side, their residents rarely riot, except for good causes like hockey-related set-backs . ..

        •  I decided to look up on Vancouver. (0+ / 0-)

          Non-White at >51%.
          Largest minority is Asian, comprising of 30%~35%.
          Black makes up 1%.
          Hispanics don't even register.
          Vancouver had problem with Asian racism, now not so much. Anti-racism law probably helps.

          Missouri demographics:
          Non-White around 15%
          Black at around 11%

          I wonder if there's a sort of "uncanny-valley" style point where display of racism is the worst. Below certain percentage, a minority is "invisible", so there's not much racism against them (on account being invisible). Above certain point, the minority become dominant enough that visible racism is squashed (on account that they're now a significant voting population and/or force). It's at a certain transitional point that racism get very visible and nasty.

          Found something interesting too.

          Canada is ranked fairly high in ethnic diversity, higher than US. Yet the demographic of Canada is markedly more "white" than US. Do they count people from West and East Europe as different ethnicity? (Which would explain the discrepancy, both would be considered the same "race" but different ethnicity).

      •  I think it has a lot more to do with (0+ / 0-)

        the 2nd amendment. Our cops don't like being out gunned. Our NRA ammosexuals don't like being out gunned. Things escalate.

    •  I know it was talked up in the past. Don't know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      how many places actually implement it today.

      I suspect budgets play a role.

      In the old days, cops walked a beat.
      They met people.
      People knew who they were.

      Now they drive around in cars, having little contact with the locals except at the scene of a crime or apprehending a suspect.  That seems like something that would make good guys callous and bad guys "invincible" after a while.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:51:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, especially totally big ass cars . .. . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        white blitz, dinotrac
        Now they drive around in cars,
        By contrast, I noticed in Europe the cops have tiny, really quite embarrassingly small cars.

        In fact, I recall going there and laughing hysterically while pointing at some cops in one of those tiny cars (for the benefit of my traveling companion, who photographed the entire incident).

        The police in question were (apparently) so emancipated by being ensconced in the aforementioned tiny, tiny cars that they didn't even bother getting out and beating the shit out  of me but instead just stared over in my direction like I might not be completely mentally competent, or something like that.

        •  In what century were you last in Europe, Roadbed? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I live in Germany and the cars are BMWs, Mercedes, Audi,  Volvo, you name it. Very late models as Germans love cars and very few own old ones.

          Keep abreast of the changing times before you post things that are blatantly false. And did you mean emasculated instead of emancipated when referring to cops in small cars?

          Two more inaccuracies here:
          1) Police All drive BMWs, not tiny little cars.
          2) Police don't get out of their cars to randomly beat people up. Even people like you.

      •  I think that depends on the locality (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Cities used to have police walking a beat and it seemed to work well. But in suburban areas, I think they need a car to get around.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 09:20:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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