Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Philando Castile

I've seen mixed reaction to the Philando Castile verdict:

i) I don't have an informed opinion to offer. I didn't follow the case. There are about 1000 fatal police shootings every year. Obviously I don't have time to investigate them. And since I don't have time to investigate all of them, or most of them, or many of them, why should I only follow the ones that the "news" media decides to cover? The "news" media only covers the story when a white cop kills a black "suspect". So I have no obligation to have an informed opinion about police shootings in general. 

ii) Mind you, it's good that some conservatives are well-read on sensational cases. That's necessary to correct a popular and damaging narrative. So I'm not criticizing conservatives who focus on that. But it's not where I put my time.

iii) Pressure groups like Black Lives Matter are counterproductive. Because they, along with the liberal media, are so scurrilous, I think some conservatives overreact. They feel the need to compensate by backing whatever the police do. That's understandable, but misguided.

iv) Some cop shootings are justified while other cop shootings are unjustified. There's no abstract presumption that a cop shooting is justified or unjustified. That can only be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

v) I suspect many Americans automatically side with police because they fear the criminal element more than the fear police. Once again, that's understandable, but morally indefensible.

vi) Some conservatives regard the Philando Castile verdict as a miscarriage of justice, and they may be right. What this shows you is that contrary to the liberal stereotype, you have principled white conservatives who welcome the opportunity to side with blacks. Just give them something they can defend. Give them a good example. 

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