The Ascent of the Apes

This, I think, ought to be part of every police academy curriculum:

It’s easy to see how even the most even handed, culturally mature police officer could be led into making racist assumptions when he or she spends every day dealing with trouble makers from whatever the local disadvantaged group happens to be (often black in the US), when the reality is, any group of economically stressed people will have an elevated crime rate, regardless of race, and even in the most crime infested neighborhoods, most folks just want to go about their law-abiding lives.

If the cops were racist to begin with, all the worse, but even if not, they must get conditioned by circumstance. Even if they weren’t terribly racist to begin with, they start to make understandable but irrational assumptions, and this affects their judgment and the culture of their interactions with one another.

And then…they start killing people under suspicious circumstances, and the community, the law-abiding people who mostly just want to go about their lives, shout back with rage and indignation, “Racist!” And the police get their hackles up: more trouble from the damned troublemakers. And the people get their hackles up: more trouble from those damned racists cops.

And where does it end? Are we human beings, with reason enough to solve problems our nature didn’t prepare us for? Or are we beasts? I never understood people who find it offensive to be told we descended from apes. We ARE apes, and I find it offensive that so few of us seem capable of using our brains, god given or nature-hewed to become anything  more.

Here we are, apes with billy clubs and tear gas, Molitov cocktails and machine guns. Apes with the dreams and drive to walk on other worlds, who use the tools to do so to set fire to this one.

It’s time the apes grow up.

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