The Problem with Sharing Police Brutality “News”


We’re all guilty of this. An outrageous story about police abuse is shared online. We didn’t go hunting for it, these things just fall into our laps. We give into the temptation to click that link, even though we are all too familiar with the unpleasant heart-pounding, adrenalin-pulsing, fight-or-flight response we naturally have to learning about these stories. Our protective instincts kick in. We also have to watch the attached video of course because the conflict is too alluring. By now your hairs are all standing on end, your breath is faster, you feel alive with indignation. Maybe more alive than you’ve felt all week -or since the last time you looked into one of these stories. Your new purpose in life is to see to it that the culpable parties are all punished in some way. You then find yourself in the all too familiar position of realizing how powerless you are to do anything about this, or to even prevent it from happening again. This helpless feeling, the same feeling all bullies secretly harbor, causes you to say and act in ways that are opposed to your true loving nature. “But it’s out of love for the victims!” you tell yourself as you go to share the story with your own unoriginal comment condoning violence against bureaucrats. You start to click share, and then your sensible side kicks in. You remember Big Brother and that he’s constantly watching you. This is where differences in personality determine your next course.

┬áDo you share it anyway, in what you’ve decided is an act of courage against what you perceive to be a great injustice, not just for the victims in the story, but against you for feeling so paralyzed in your own self-expression.
Or do you edit your comments so that it’s less incriminating (something you could imagine justifying in court, in case the Gestapo comes to take you away). But everyone with a brain can interpret the true meaning behind your words.
Maybe you decide to erase your comments completely, and let the story speak for itself. Allow others to come to their own conclusions and possibly speak for you in the ensuing comments section. You dare your friends to justify The State’s actions, to which you’ll settle once you cross that bridge. But by then you’ve already held back your feelings so much, that you respond even more vehemently indignant than is sensible, because *now* it’s even more personal.
Or do you let it go? Do you accept that you have no real influence, and that it might have been a mistake to get so worked up over things you can’t control. It’s difficult to come back to the present and the reality of life as it truly is, but you realize brooding over this is doing more harm than good. You feel somehow like you’re backing down, giving into an argument with yourself. Your ego is ashamed of you for being a coward. But that’s okay, because the next thing you know your watching a video titled “Stoner films the best 30-second nature documentary ever” and laughing out loud at how equally amazing and stupid it was. You smoke some weed, and feel glad you didn’t let The State get the best of you. You realize you haven’t done anything productive today despite the whirlwind of emotions, and decide to take advantage of the things that you actually do have some control over. You’re back in the present and just happy being your lovable ol’ self.

side note: There’s a reason I put the word news in quotations in the title of this post. Most of us reading these stories are well aware of the fact that police brutality has been around as long as there have been victimless crimes enforced. There’s nothing new about it, but the reporting of it is becoming more trendy with the passing of each day. I can see how this is a good thing for those people who honestly weren’t aware of the problem. But for those of us who are fully aware, and painfully so, it’s becoming more of a vicious cycle of confirmation bias swirling inside a vacuum of paralyzing fear. Nothing the police could do would shock me, and if you’ve been reading these stories as long as I have I’m sure the same goes for you. So let’s stop putting ourselves through the agony already.

Welcome to my new site!


Hey, thanks for checking it out! It’s new to me too. Who know’s what’ll end up getting posted here. Oh, wait. You could! There’s a convenient little “Follow Via Email” button under the About me blurb.

Seriously though, I’m not exactly sure what I’ll use this site for. Originally I just wanted it to be a place to put links for all the projects I’ve been apart of throughout the years, but I’m not a very technical person and I wouldn’t even know where to start. I also like to keep things fresh, so my new plan is to use this as a safe place to write, informally, about whatever I feel like writing about. Sometimes a status update just won’t due. Press Post.