By David Brooks | The Atlantic
Published in June of 2020
SUMMARY: With the advent of smartphones and immediate access to record events there have been a plethora of videos showing police brutality. As the evidence grows public support for protestors and police reform has increased. Writer David Brooks says much of the public debate centers around two theories: an individual issue (a few bad apples) or a systemic issue (the tree is rotten).
Brooks says that while both theories offer some truths the real issue is the dehumanization of everyday citizens and an us-versus-them attitude that is embedded within police departments. While this article is not specifically from a Christian point of view what Brooks is getting at is treating everybody in the image of God – with dignity and respect. The image of God mindset would revolutionize policing in America not only for citizens, but for police as well.
KEY QUOTE: “The problem lies in the organizational cultures of some police forces. In the forces with an us-versus-the-world siege mentality. In the ones with the we-strap-on-the-armor-and-fight culture, the ones who depersonalize the human beings out on the street. All cruelty begins with dehumanization—not seeing the face of the other, not seeing the whole humanity of the other. A cultural regime of dehumanization has been constructed in many police departments. In that fertile ground, racial biases can spread and become entrenched.”
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