Law Enforcer’s Confession
My guilt forces me to confess my past moral turpitude. I am a white male who served as a police officer for thirty years. On patrol in the 1970s and 80s I stopped, arrested and ticketed more minorities than whites!
Only recently, due to accusations by the social justice warriors have I recognized the error of my ways. My implicit biases must have been rooted so deep that I was blind to the terrible injustice that my use of government granted power incurred on minorities.
I was just as guilty as the European Caucasians who wrote and implemented the U.S founding documents that changed the world. The CIA fact book tells us that the residents of countries that most closely follow the principles outlined in the U.S. Constitution are forty times wealthier than those living in countries that reject our founding principles. Forty fold must be too meager for those wishing to destroy our system and replace it with one that is responsible for over 100 million murders in the 20th century.
In my defense demographics of the beats I usually worked had majority minority populations. That, of course, had nothing to do with my serving, protecting, ticketing and arresting many minorities.
I arrested minority offenders committing murder, mugging, rape, burglary, and domestic violence who populated and passed through my assigned beats. Little did I know that I was committing the almost hate crime of racial profiling.
When I made traffic stops in those areas, the violators were mostly minority. The only feeble defense I can muster regarding this is, “They were there,” similar to Sir Edmund Hillary’s reasoning for climbing Everest.
Most of the homes I entered on calls were inhabited by minorities and I was unaware of the bias latent in my duties and the Chicago Police Department’s assignment schedules. I should have stayed away. Oh, if only I’d have been assigned to white populated beats arresting thugs of my color, the chains of guilt that bind me would be absent.
Those minority supervisors I worked under must have been “Uncle Toms,” like Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder and most recently, Kanye West. I defend my position because department rules forced me to maintain beat integrity (stay in my assigned area).
Oh my, oh my, oh my, there is more. Many years I was assigned as “Officer Friendly” in grammar schools. Most students I taught were minorities. How I tainted their little minds and hearts.
While teaching about molesters, “Stranger Danger” and others that might hurt them, I cunningly injected things about treating others fairly, self-discipline, obedience to rules, purity of heart, mind and body, and other virtues I learned from white, Roman Catholic nuns in grammar school and Christian Brothers in high school. And the bigoted teachers were complicit in the conspiracy because they nominated and awarded me with a “Teacher of the Year” award at an annual banquet.
Would my guilt be diminished if I’d have done my best for only white, Roman Catholic kids?
It just hit me; learning how to speak Spanish must have been motivated by implicit bias toward Latinos. The satisfaction I got arresting Latino offenders for committing crimes in their neighborhoods, and the pleasure I received from hearing little Latino kids scream with delight as I did magic to teach them to trust police, was evil and misplaced prejudice. It had nothing to do with serving the community.
The news media attacks on law enforcement for the last several years have been relentless causing many officers, as Mayor Emanuel says, “to go fetal.” News media publishing statements of people who dislike police far outweigh those of citizens who support police. I do not believe they represent the majority of the minorities.
Had I been punished like this executing my duties as officers are today, I would have stopped my activity too and perhaps alleviated my current guilt.
I suspect that most citizens are very pleased that cops stop ner-do-wells, no matter what color and/or nationality. They want thugs arrested, held in jail, and hate the catch and release that are characteristic of Cook County.
They say nothing because their life’s’ purpose and struggle leaves them little energy and time for hate and complaining, nor do they want to be branded and scorned as cops are. I don’t blame them.
Those in the media who promote this divisiveness are throwing gas on the fire and ensure future “hate our culture and way of life” stories. What a way to create job security for racial profiteers, activists and leftists.
If I, and many other white males are guilty of anything it is our ignorance of history and lack of courage to be men and allow the cancer of divisiveness to metastasize in a system based on respect and equality of all; the first to recognize the dignity of each person and lift much of the world from the sickness, poverty, and misery that has plagued humans until about 200 years ago.
The guilt I carry has nothing to do with the false accusations promoted by today’s haters and ignorami.
Thomas Cline, MBA, MAP, 50-years in law enforcement is past president of the International Association of Ethics Trainers, LETT board member, a writer/trainer at the Chicago PD, and a consultant. He’s authored Cop Tales! (Never Spit in a Man’s Face…Unless His Mustache is on Fire) and Psych Firefight – L E Job Satisfaction in a hostile environment. For information on training and workshops Email: [email protected]