A Czar? Yeah, That’s The Ticket!

If you liked pogroms, you’ll love this idea. Via CBS News:

In the eyes of many progressives and civil rights advocates, the police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this month was a tragic and familiar story: the latest example of the law enforcement community’s prejudiced administration of justice.

Now, a group of notables and activists, joined by several members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are demanding the establishment of a federal police “czar,” employed by the Justice Department, to oversee local law enforcement practices and help prevent racial bias in policing.

It’s curious that the progressive demand is for a Czar.  We had a drug Czar. We had a homeland security Czar. We had real a Czar until the revolution of 1917 took Nicholas offline.  The pseudo-title seemed a bit more appropriate when the purpose was to use overt force to destroy someone.  Perhaps they think a federal police czar will, what?, destroy the vestiges of racism in America’s police forces? 

Every bad thing that happens, or to be more precise, manifests itself in our faces since it was happening all along but nobody could be bothered until they couldn’t avoid seeing any longer, seems to give rise for demands for some legislative/governmental fix.  Because we have too few laws, too small a bureaucracy, too few federal employees and a federal government lacking in the power to make our world perfect.

The goals of those calling for a czar are, on their face, good.

“In cities across America, local law enforcement units too often treat low-income neighborhoods populated by African Americans and Latinos as if they are military combat zones instead of communities where people strive to live, learn, work, play and pray in peace and harmony,” explained a letter to President Obama posted as an advertisement in Monday’s Washington Post.

Sure.

Among the reforms championed in the letter is the establishment of a czar “tasked with promoting the professionalization of local law enforcement, monitoring egregious law enforcement activities, and adjudicating suspicious actions of local law enforcement agencies that receive federal funding.”

No clue what promoting professionalism means. This is usually a euphemism for the cops not doing what someone wants, whether it be to beat people more or beat people less, according to how much we love or hate the people they beat.

The letter called on law enforcement groups to prioritize diversity in hiring decisions and make a better effort to engage with the communities they serve, saying a “lack of familiarity breeds lack of understanding and increased opportunities for conflict.”

This is a sneaky idea, as the assumption that bringing diversity to cops will bring tolerance for minorities.  While there is something to be said for having a police force that mirrors, to some extent, the population for the sake of appearances, experience is that a Taser in the hands of a black cop feels pretty much the same as one in the hands of white cop.  Contrary to facile assumption, cops aren’t black or white. They’re blue. And we’re not.

The letter also touched on a program conferring military-grade equipment and weaponry on local police departments. Critics of that program say the police response to racially charged protests in Ferguson, which featured cops in riot gear and Humvees, was a case study in excessive force.

That’s for sure, even though it may not have occurred to the progressives that it was the feds who handed cops the keys.

But there is nothing sought for which there isn’t someone already responsible.  The DoJ has an office of civil rights. The DoD doles out surplus military equipment under its 1033 program.  You’ve got more people paid to lead the police, oversee the police, fix the police, stop the police, than you can shake a stick at.  And it’s amounted to a group of overarmed, undercaring, people with the power to subjugate upon command.  So the answer is let’s add another layer with a cool Russian title?

Is there something progressive about the men and women we elected to national office, sometimes referred to as members of Congress, getting a free pass on their responsibilities?  Or perhaps a Chief Executive who might use the fiat of his office to satisfy the needs of the citizenry.  If only he had an Attorney General (which, If it makes people feel better, could be renamed to Attorney Czar) who was charged with seeing that the Constitution was honored by all who hoped to receive a government pension some day?

There is nothing here, nothing called for, that can’t be accomplished by the people already in place. They have the power and authority to control law enforcement.  And to the extent some slimy bastards sneak through, we then have judges to fix their wagon.

But they have failed up to now?  They have not done their job, as proven by the siege of Ferguson, where war was brought to the homeland in the guise of police returning an aggrieved citizenry to order at the expense of law?

And this gives you reason to believe that creating yet another Czar will produce a different result?

The adoration of government solutions to vexing problems has brought us to so many laws that the best we can do is estimate how many ways ordinary people can commit felonies daily.  It has given us apologists and dissemblers, all for our safety and protection.  It costs us a bloody fortune, with a poor return on the dollar.  And has left us with an old document that remains honored mostly in the breach.  Yet, in the throes of dissatisfaction, we call for more of the same.

But one question remains unanswered.  If you think another Czar is warranted, why not a Constitution Czar?  You know, a guy who runs around the country making sure that the rights of every American, as set forth in that old document, are actually afforded, honored for real, and nobody gets to whine that they take a back seat to the daily flavor of transitory heartache.

Oh wait, that’s why we have a government in the first place.  And look how that worked out.

8 comments on “A Czar? Yeah, That’s The Ticket!

  1. DHMCarver

    Perhaps the czar could convene a blue-ribbon panel and publish a white paper. Then things would change, no?

    I had to smile at the promoting professionalism bit — I started reading Radley Balko’s “Rise of the Warrior Cop” yesterday, Balko writes that the stress on professionalism by LA’s police chief William Parker laid the groundwork for Daryl Gates, the rise of SWAT, and the militarization of the police. Be careful what you wish for . . . .

    1. SHG Post author

      I say that all the time, but the message never seems to get across. Everybody thinks the alternative to bad is good, when it can just as easily be worse.

  2. Mark Draughn

    Then there is the phenomenon of regulatory capture, whereby a regulatory agency is corrupted until it begins to promote the interests of whatever it’s regulating. Give us a Police Czar in charge of professionalizing and monitoring local police agencies, and in a decade he will be doling out $250 million/year in “professionalism grants” to local police because everyone knows that better equipped police forces are more confident and therefore more professional…

  3. PaulMeyer

    Isn’t the very concept of any kind of “Czar” fundamentality un-American in a representative democracy? If the government decries a Czar, does that make us serfs? If so, perhaps we should reread Tolstoy so we’ll know how to behave.

  4. Michael McNutt

    I was getting worried but it seems that finally something both sides can agree upon, don’t be needing/wanting another agency taking our money and unable to do anything. We have plenty thank you.

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