Every day is a good day to remind ourselves of the fact that the existence of police is fundamentally unacceptable in a civilized society, but good lord was today an especially good day for that.
The country is currently dealing with the aftermath of the mass shootings at a string of Atlanta massage parlors on Tuesday night. Most of the victims in the killings were Asian women, which has led people to connect the violence to the broader pattern of anti-Asian racism currently rampant throughout America.
Enter Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. He decided it was his job to provide a sympathetic psychological framework for suspected killer Robert Aaron Young.
“Yesterday was a really bad day for him,” huh? Yesterday was not a great day for me either. I hung around the house and finished Search Party. I did not go out and kill a bunch of people. Why was this white cop rushing to portray a suspected mass shooter as the victim of some emotions gone awry? I’ll give you three guesses.
Things do not end there. The police were also quick to tamp down the obvious inference that there might be a connection between a white man specifically targeting predominantly Asian establishments and the current period of national racist backlash against Asian people. No no no! This was nothing as bad as all that, the cops took pains to say.
Oh, OK, I guess that takes care of that! It wasn’t a race thing, it was just an “I blamed these women for my sex addiction” thing. Move along, everyone. The idea that a) we should simply take the word of Long and the cops (reminder: cops lie all the time!!!) for granted or b) a sex addiction killing is somehow preferable or c) we should ignore the extremely obvious linkages between violence, misogyny, and race that appear to be at play here is not particularly credible, as about a million people pointed out:
What’s more, a witness reportedly told Korean media that the suspect said “I’m going to kill all Asians.” Perhaps that report can be given the same attention as the assertions of the police?
There are myriad complexities here, as there are in every horrendous situation like this. But what is pretty simple is that it is not the job of police to behave this way. Wait, what am I talking about, this is exactly why the police are here. Maybe they shouldn’t be?
Update, 6:45 p.m. ET: Annnnnnnnd scene.