Rand Paul recently made some very important comments about the Eric Garner murder and how the tax laws in NY shared responsibility in the death of Eric Garner. He's absolutely right, but the comments were heavily mocked since it doesn't fit with the racism narrative being perpetuated by the media.
A Facebook friend of mine posted a comment on one of those mocking posts from someone I've never met. I felt the need to respond since he seemed like an otherwise reasonable fellow. The following discussion ensued.
(Note: reposted with permission, word for word with the exception of a few non-related pleasantries removed).
Malcolm Bevel Jason+ thank you for this link. It's definitely a good read & it makes a lot of sense.
Malcolm Bevel I won't criticize the article as I will more so expand upon it. 1) once again+ the cigarette law isn't what killed Garner+ the cop's ILLEGAL CHOKEHOLD (that's against the law in NY) killed Garner. One broken law by a citizen doesn't afford the police to break another. 2) true that a lot of laws can make us ALL potentially criminals+ therefore making police ready to follow up on these laws & they may KILL if the law is broken. Here's the underlying issue though: if that's the case+ then why do we still have the disparity of black deaths at the hands of cops compared to other "racial groups?" IF it's held true that we all could potentially "be criminal?" ||I'm just tired of it all...including the disparities is all. But nevertheless a good read.
Jason Southwell It isn't a black/white issue. Whites are dying at the hands of cops daily. It's a problem of bad cops being "held accountable" by the same people with an interest in proving they aren't bad in the first place. Combine unaccountable power with unnecessary law and you have fascist Armageddon. Black or white.
Malcolm Bevel However the inherent difference is that those whites who are dying at the hands of cops TYPICALLY get justice. Therefore+ there is a racial element to it. Sorry but coupled with statistics+ that's just the facts sir.
Jason Southwell Not at all.
Malcolm Bevel But you're right+ it will and can affect us ALL. Which is why we ALL should speak out against it.
Jason Southwell There is rarely justice when someone dies at the hands of cops.
Jason Southwell Black or white.
Malcolm Bevel I respectfully disagree. I can reference links to show how many indictments occur when victims are not POC.
Malcolm Bevel I would rather have you look for yourself though.
Malcolm Bevel I'm not saying police brutality is exclusive to a color. I'll never say that.
Jason Southwell I can site numerous examples of white deaths at the hands of cops who faced only paid vacations as justice.
Malcolm Bevel But the disparities are there. I work in public health. I work with disparities & stats & all of that. I don't speak unless I know what I'm referring to sir.
Malcolm Bevel We agree to disagree.
Jason Southwell It isn't a black vs white problem. It's a problem of a government police state.
Malcolm Bevel Agreed. But that doesn't mean we should ignore the disparity.
Malcolm Bevel Which is what you seem to be implying. I refuse to do such. I call it all out.
Jason Southwell I'm not implying equality of numbers. Any more than zero is a problem+ regardless the race.
Malcolm Bevel True!! So why the disparity??
Jason Southwell But it isn't a race problem and the focus on race does nothing but misdirect from the real issue.
Malcolm Bevel If it's not a racial element then why the disparity??
Malcolm Bevel http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men
Jason Southwell There are many factors why blacks are incarcerated or killed at the hands of cops more than whites. Racism is one component. So is income demographic. A lot of it comes down to bad drug laws.
Malcolm Bevel We don't want more senseless white deaths at the hands of cops. We just want the deaths overall to stop+ including senseless deaths of blacks.
Malcolm Bevel Agreed!!
Jason Southwell To lump it all into race does nothing to address the real problem. We have a police state with unlimited ability to find anyone a criminal due to overreaching laws and unnecessary legislation.
Jason Southwell And the result is dead humans with no justice
Malcolm Bevel Agreed. But to ignore a racial element to it+ given the facts we have+ also hurts in addressing the real problem as well.
Malcolm Bevel I know it's not a white/black thing. I said that in a podcast last Thursday!! It's us vs the system. But not everybody knows that sir.
Jason Southwell Look at the news. If a cop murder doesn't fit the racial narrative it doesn't get reported. Racism only goes to misdirect the public. It's the best thing for these cops for everyone to think it's about race.
Jason Southwell Their power continues unchecked.
Malcolm Bevel It doesn't get reported for that reason+ yes. It also doesn't get reported nationally if the cop is fired and/or charged with a crime.
Malcolm Bevel I.e. justice
Malcolm Bevel Institutionalized racism is the reason why people THINK it's a black/white thing lol
Jason Southwell That happens so rarely.
Malcolm Bevel Ok
Jason Southwell Fired rarely. Charged+ almost never.
Malcolm Bevel Ok
Jason Southwell Generally paid vacation.
Malcolm Bevel True. Which I completely disagree with.
Jason Southwell So you agree with Rand now? :)
Malcolm Bevel No I don't lol because once again...the cigarette law that was supposedly broken isn't what killed this unarmed man. The chokehold that was against the law killed him.
Malcolm Bevel 2 wrongs don't make a right.
Jason Southwell That's not at all what he said
Malcolm Bevel I know. But my point is why bring up the cigarette tax+ when that's not what killed Garner :-)?
Jason Southwell The culture of unnecessary laws is the fuel of a police state. Without a stupid law making sale of individual cigarettes illegal+ the confrontation would never have happened.
Jason Southwell The law didn't murder the guy. But without it he would be alive.
Malcolm Bevel Do we know this for FACT?? How do we know he wouldn't of been harassed for some other crime they could've "enforced?" How do we know they wouldn't of just harassed just because??
Malcolm Bevel As a public health major that would be ignorant of me to make that correlation. Once again+ the ACTIONS of the cop implementing the chokehold is the direct reason why Garner is dead. Sure the law they tried to implement on him was the "reason" why they confronted him...but did they HAVE to use the chokehold? NO! Therefore regardless of the law+ the death was unwarranted & per the NY law on chokeholds+ A CRIME!
Jason Southwell I have no idea what else he was into+ so of course he could have been killed by a cop for another terrible reason+ but he would not have been killed in this instance. That is a fact.
Jason Southwell As I said+ the law didn't murder him. But he would be alive without it. Until of course he was killed later by another bad cop for using another bad law as justification.
Malcolm Bevel Yes...had the cop not executed the chokehold.
Jason Southwell The cop should be held accountable. He won't be because he's an agent of the state and we depend on the state to try those who have committed crimes. The best we can do is try to remove all justification
Malcolm Bevel But you're talking about the wrong law. You're trying to make a direct correlation between exposure (chokehold)+ & outcome (death) with cigarette tax in the middle lol that literally makes no sense in the world of epidemiology & in the world in general.
Jason Southwell No. I'm making direct correlation between the law and the culture of a police state. A police state cannot exist in absence of law.
Jason Southwell There are two issues here. One is bad cops that aren't being held responsible for their crimes and bad laws that give cops opportunity to be bad cops.
Jason Southwell Deal with both problems. Absolutely+ but there is no arguing the relationship in this case.
Jason Southwell The problem with the former is that the government has no interest in finding their own guilty of anything. To do so is an admission of a problem and elected officials can't afford problems.
Jason Southwell Until we start citizen Tribunals to try government officials and employees+ we will not get justice on a grand scale.
Jason Southwell We are much more likely to reduce opportunity by fixing and repealing law.