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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, Stephen T. Stone took both of the top spots for insightful with responses to Tim Cushing’s first post reacting to the protests in Minneapolis and across the country. In first place, it’s his opening take on the subject:

I want to say two things.

  1. A not-zero number of the peaceful protests around the country this past week didn’t turn violent until the police showed up and inflicted their violence upon protestors. The cops are the ones who use tear gas — which isn’t even allowed in wartime use under the Geneva Conventions! — and dress up in all-black Stormtrooper gear to wage war against people exercising their First Amendment rights.
  2. The police decide if they’ll attack protestors long before a protest even starts. The lack of violence from protestors never factors into how violent the cops will act. Protestors like MLK chose principled non-violence as a strategy because they knew cops would 100% be violent to them and thus create martyrs out of the protestors.

In second place, it’s a comment he dedicated to passing on one of the most relevant quotes in America right now:

Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from That One Guy (which is actually what Stephen was responding to with the MLK Jr. quote to expand on its meaning) summing up how police bring this on themselves:

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Treat the public as the enemy, claim that they are such a huge threat that you ‘feared for your life’ and therefore were justified in ending the life of another on a routine basis and eventually they will return the favor.

There are times when ‘I told you so’ does not carry any satisfaction, where it would have been vastly preferable to admit to being wrong over facing a demonstration that you were right. I just wish this was at all surprising rather than just as inevitable as watching someone throwing rocks straight into the air and eventually being brained by one of them.

And, lest people forget that the justice system’s rot doesn’t stop with the police, our next editor’s choice is Upstream going, well, further upstream:

Prosecutors and Judges working for the defense

Prosecutors often are a cop’s best defenders in police misconduct cases. They have the budgets to be able to afford to hire expert witnesses, who are often well-known, professional “police apologists” or “police exonerators,” knowing full well the testimony they will provide will be extremely favorable for the defense. They can ask questions of these and other witnesses that will lead them to testify in ways that are favorable for the defense. And, of course, they can avoid calling witnesses who they know will provide testimony unfavorable to the defense.

Judges can also greatly assist in the cop’s defense, with their rulings on what evidence or testimony is, or is not, admissible, and with their instructions and statements to the jury.

When you have the defense lawyers, the prosecutors, and the judges all actively working to defend the accused, it is a wonder that any cops ever get convicted of anything at all.

Over on the funny side… it’s not a very funny time right now. I’m a firm believer that comedy can be a powerful weapon in our culture, and lots of people are using it for good (it is, for example, nice to see police attempts at Twitter PR getting ruthlessly and dismissively mocked by all comers) but the mood on Techdirt this week was not one of mirth, and I’m not in the frame of mind to go picking through the comments looking for ones that make me laugh (if anything could right now) — so I’m dispensing with the editor’s choice for funny today. But we do have a pair of winners by vote, both using comedy to make a point, with first place going to Samuel Abram in response to someone who accused Techdirt of “openly advocating violence and destruction”:

Don’t be silly, Techdirt isn’t pro-cop.

And in second place, it’s neost with a response to Tom Cotton’s fascist New York Times editorial:

Send in the military! NOW!

I agree with Senator Cotton. The US Military must be sent into cities where violence is happening to de-militarize police departments.

Oh, wait.

(Sadly, some people who should know better seem to have actually convinced themselves that’s what the military would do, rather than what Cotton called for which is offering backup to the police and supporting their violence.)

And so, that’s all for this week, folks.

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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