Several years ago I wrote a book I never published – I have not published it yet. The central theme of the text was that worry is a waste of time and that, rather than fretting constantly, one should use one’s time to the best and highest endeavors possible. I think this will lead to a happier life on earth.
Meanwhile, I write here about many subjects I find alarming and which may cause some to fret and worry. My purpose is only to educate and not to burden any with fear. Fear is a funny thing. It’s natural purpose is to use the brain to wake the body in answer to physical danger.
Today fear is usually utilized as a weapon to keep the public in check – see H.L. Mencken on the aim of practical politics. A famous American socialist once (in half truth) declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Regarding life in the new Amerika, many insist “if you ain’t doing nothing wrong, you ain’t got nothing to worry about.” They especially say this concerning interaction with the police – and especially when it is someone else doing the interacting. This view is usually espoused by a “God-fearing conservative” to the host of a radio program. I have derided this nonsensical assertion time and time again.
The unfolding debacle in Baltimore, Maryland again illustrates the sobering point that the innocent do have something to worry about (or fear).
Twenty-five year old Freddie Gray was chased down and hog-tied by Baltimore police officers for the high crime of making eye contact with the officers. Gray was then thrown into the steel back of a paddy wagon. In violation of police procedures Gray was not seat-belted or otherwise secured. His complaints that he couldn’t breath and his plea for a medical inhaler were ignored. Gray was assaulted and kidnapped.
The cops drove around for a while with Gray bouncing around in the back. Several times they stopped and consulted with other officers. Gray begged for help and was ignored. Each time Gray was re-positioned in unsecured fashion in his rolling torture chamber. By the time the van reached the police station Gray had suffered a broken neck. He died as a result.
At lunch one day last week I listened for a few seconds to one of those right-wing radio shows. The caller or guest was explaining that Gray probably had a pre-existing injury and that injury was the real cause of this demise. The torture during his kidnapping merely added the final straw. Cursing, I turned off the radio. I should have called in and explained the centuries-old law on this point. There is an ancient legal maxim (in torts and in criminal law) that you take your victim as you find them. In civil matters this is known as the “eggshell plaintiff” phenomenon.
A criminal wrongdoer is not relieved of culpability because he happened to choose a weak victim. The fact that a person is predisposed to injury is no excuse for harming the person. A person of conscience knows he shouldn’t harm anyone – weakened or not. This point is lost on the tobacco chewing NASCAR set. Mercifully, it is not foreign to the Maryland State Attorney.
On May 1st, that Attorney, Marilyn J Mosby, charged the criminal officers involved in Gray’s death with various criminal charges, including murder. The free people of Baltimore rightly celebrated in the streets. All to often the police are granted blanket immunity for actions which would land any ordinary citizen in jail.
Mrs. Mosby also concluded that Gray’s arrest and transport was illegal: the police had no reason to believe he committed any crime. He committed no crime. Looking at the police is not a crime. Walking or running away from the police is not a crime (as the police are known to murder people, it might be a good idea). Carrying a pocket knife as Gray did is not a crime. Assault, kidnapping and murder are crimes.
(Brian Rice, criminal police agent. Google/ABCnews.)
In ancient times the police were held to a higher standard than ordinary people due to their positions of power. The common law of old England held that not only was an officer criminally and civilly liable for his mal-actions but, also, any citizen witnessing police misconduct were obliged to take whatever action was necessary to protect the innocent. As such, on rare occasions criminal officers were subject to summary execution in order to preserve the freedoms of the people.
Today, our rodent politicians and the limp-wristed weaklings of society bemoan any action, no matter how justified, which interferes with police activity (right or wrong). The new mantra is “submit and obey” for the people rather than have the police “serve and protect.” These low-minded, soulless beings also share responsibility for deaths such as Gray’s.
In a strange but happy reversal of fate the officers who murdered Gray are facing up to 63 years in prison. This will not help Gray at all but it will set a new precedent that (as should be) the police are not above the law.
Those six criminals in blue and their useless enablers have also stirred up other crimes against society. Following Gray’s murder the oppressed of Baltimore took to the streets to vent their pent-up frustration. This provided cover for gangs of looters and thugs to move in like vultures and riot across the city – causing damage untold. This is a familiar pattern. This pattern demonstrates how upside-down America has become.
In a perfect world the police would leave people like Freddie Gray alone and spend their hours weeding out the ruinous members of the populace given to riot and loot when the opportunity presents itself. The rest of the people would express heartfelt appreciation. We have a long way to go reach this perfect place.
Until then, we must continue our vigilance against the forces of evil. We must live aware of these forces not in fear of them. In the words of Jesus, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10: 28 (KJV).