Friday August 17, 2018
Devotion to order leads to odd conclusions.
I attended the Aug. 12 rally near Allentown in support of Officer Jonathan Roselle, the policeman accused of involuntary manslaughter in Whitehall Township, Lehigh County.
I wanted to see what form supporting this officer would take, considering that his first words after killing Joseph Santos reportedly were "I screwed up" and "I didn't know what to do."
People at the rally might have talked about better police training, especially mandatory de-escalation training, but they did not. They might have mentioned the actual victim, but the only mentions were signs calling Santos' actions "criminal," which won't be litigated because he was killed.
Some have called this a "white supremacist" rally, but that twists the problem I saw. Surveying the signs, the people, the noxious black-and-white "blue line" flags (which look like something from a dystopian novel), I see a growing blind allegiance to "order." A lot of the people there wouldn't have cared if the guy who was killed were white. They'd still be defending the officer.
Of course, because America's institutional racism is the handmaiden of authoritarianism in America, they are unlikely to face that in real time.
James M. Beidler
Defending the police regardless of facts