Saturday, May 12, 2012

Outrage Fatigue

At the Independent Institute, Anthony Gregory asks the question "Have We Become Accustomed to Police Brutality?" He makes a strong case, in that incidents of police brutality, had they occurred in the past, would have evoked a much stronger reaction than they do today. Comparing the beating of Rodney King to the beating of Kelly Thomas leaves a person wondering what has happened in the years between the two beatings.

One could argue that police brutality is a new prison normal and that what is actually an unnatural situation has become normal because people have adapted, adjusted their expectations. Just as people have come to regard 3% inflation as normal, they come to regard police not being held accountable for violating the law as normal, and they come to regard police brutality as normal. If a person were to argue that, it would be a pretty strong argument as well.

Another factor, though, could be outrage fatigue. There are more and more stories about police abuse, it is difficult to get outraged over and over again. It is especially difficult when those experiencing the prison normal of police abuse seem to not understand why civil libertarians are getting all worked up over what is, to them, just a police beating.

Eventually it becomes difficult to maintain any sense of urgency for what is becoming a common occurrence, and it becomes difficult to maintain any sense of importance in the face of masses who cannot see any significance to the incident being discussed. It becomes tiring to try to fight for liberty get a disinterested reaction from the very people they are trying to protect from the government.

To answer Anthony Gregory’s question, for many people it is a new prison normal. And for libertarians it is outrage fatigue.

3 comments:

Thomas said...

Not quite as brutal as a beating, but a good example of cops' abuse of power.

It seems that in "liberal" Santa Monica, some cops arrested a street performer for "disrespecting" them -- then filed a false report to make the arrest look legitimate: http://www.smdp.com/Articles-local-news-c-2012-05-08-73982.113116-Street-performer-sues-cops-city-for-wrongful-arrest.html

Thomas said...

And here's a story of cops tasering a pregnant woman in Seattle, over a speeding ticket: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/us/police-taser-use-on-pregnant-woman-goes-before-supreme-court.html?_r=1&hp

V. Fournier said...

Why do you care about the writhing mass of superfluous barely-human knuckle-dragging superstitious no-taste shitbags anyway? Fuck them. The only problem with them is that we can't toss them back in the jungle where they belong.

I hate cops, but I hate people more. Stupid, emotional, tribalistic, moralizing imbeciles make cops - not the other way around.

If these cretins are what you're trying to save you're better off killing yourself.