Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 25 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/30/17

What Is The Real Purpose Of A Police-Force?

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   36 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message mmm mmm
Become a Fan
  (18 fans)

Protect and Serve What?
Protect and Serve What?
(Image by Palinopsia_Films)
  Details   DMCA
the city where I was kid one could read on the side of police cars written in bold blue letters: "To Serve and Protect".

I used to spontaneously wonder in my somewhat confused and murky way: "What does that mean? To serve and protect what? For and against what?"

When one is a kid, even a tough kid from a tough (poor) neighborhood as I was, a policeman in his dark uniform that included a gun and a club, and an impenetrable air of confident power is an intimidating presence. Or perhaps I should say especially if one is such a kid. Or perhaps both tough and intimidated.

The other kids and I were both afraid of and defiant before the police. Spontaneously. Both fear and defiance felt natural to the psycho-neural system. It's simply what a trapped animal does.

To 'serve and protect' what? It was a question that stayed with me in the passing years as a consuming flame in the bone, in the gut, in the heart, in the mind.

When I was 14 years old, a friend of mine was killed by a policeman. Shot in the head. He was admittedly a 'wild child', very taciturn and intense, but revealed as shy and truly affectionate, if he trusted you. He trusted very few and had the air of doom about him. It was that early teenage kind of doom that adults find so hard to take seriously except in a strictly negative way. His affliction actually frightened them. And he was a big strong kid capable of effective violence, that is, he was a good fighter, a 'bad ass'. He was Hispanic with a little touch of Africa somewhere in his murky ancestry. David Zuniga. I remember him quite clearly with the same affection. Actually, it's not that I remember him. I don't need to remember him. I never forgot him. He sits still burning in the flame in my bone, in my gut, in my heart, in my mind.

To 'serve and protect' what? The law. As in 'law enforcement'. This lucid realization hit me in the face like a big fist when I was in my later teens (it knocked me sober and I no longer felt a need to be a tough guy).

It was to 'serve and protect' the law and therefore the makers and supporters of the law. The propaganda that saturated the society wanted me to believe that the purpose was to beneficently 'serve and protect' people. But the category of 'people' was restricted to those who submitted totally to their LAW.

'To serve and protect' the people who are only those creatures that submit totally to their LAW. And it was obvious then that the point of the LAW was to protect Capitalism and its power-structure.

The LAW was of no protection to me unless I submitted totally to it and therefore submitted totally to the Capitalist power structure which the LAW served and protected. I was not a real person unless I submitted to Capitalism and its politico-economic power-structure.

When I heard a politician say, "I believe I speak for the American People when I say"" I knew he was not including me in that group of real people who are all American People. I was merely an 'American Problem' which 'Real Americans' intended to rid themselves of as they rid themselves of David Zuniga. Then I had another realization:

"Outlaws in America are not only uneducated, suffocated, trapped and tortured animals like David Zuniga who end up dead, imprisoned, and crushed in poverty, or part of some utterly feckless gang living in a power-fantasy world. No. They are also deeply aware and educated people who wake up from the 'American Dream'. The honey-glazed 'American Nightmare'.

The purpose of the police force in the USA is to protect capitalist power and to create the illusion of serving and protecting people in general. The police force in the USA is just an extension of the military force of the USA. It is just the domestic side of the military, the purpose of which is to serve and protect the empire of global capitalism. The use of the police against people inside the USA is the use of the military against people who do not serve and totally submit to Capitalist Authority. The so-called 'militarization' of the police is nothing more than a deeper revelation of what the police have always been.

I know of course that some people will tell me that my way of seeing all this is distorted by my youth experience and is not applicable to the larger reality. But that is just a way of telling me again that I am not a real person.

My experience was real and happened in the reality of the capitalist society. And when I 'rose above' my youth environment and worked my ass off and became educated and serious and responsible and willing to be a genuinely productive citizen, I became persecuted and marginalized for being too conscious, too responsible, too grown-up, too human. Even as such an adult, I still had to submit to the police-enforced LAW of Capitalism that created the environment I freed myself from as a total being if not economically. For me to have the material 'benefits' of the 'LAW-ABIDING' society, I had to merely pretend to be against that society and mouth platitudes, while actually living in accordance with it as all Liberals do.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Valuable 2   Must Read 1   Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Mmm Mmm Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


l;skbmmb /mfmb . fmbf kzsopt,b /ml' /b/m;m fml;m;bmfgdl;nm;nm;m f .m;lz/
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Will Putin Stab the Kurds in the Back?

We Are The Means By Which The Oligarchs Stay In Power: We Are Not Innocent.

When American Walls Begin To Crumble Like Soviet Walls. . .

Overcoming the Nihilism of the Oligarchs- Part One

Overcoming the Nihilism of the Oligarchs- Part Two

What Is Racism?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend