The weekend incident between Donna Castro and the Anaheim police is a vivid illustration at how differently political progressives view the issue of crime.
This screed by Vern Nelson on Orange Juice Blog is a good example. Every death from an officer-involved shooting is termed a “murder.” The criminality of those shot by the Anaheim police is glossed over. Nelson paints a Manichean picture of trigger-happy rogue cops recklessly blasting away at young Latino males who are minding their own business.
Nelson also lauds the rowdy crowd that quickly gathered around the scene where Anaheim police officer Kelly Phillips ticketed Castro for impeding traffic – although he fails to mention the mob taunted the police and angrily pelted them with bottles and eggs.
Members of the mob took videos and uploaded them to Ustream – a tactic Nelson salutes and encourages. You don’t see much of the police, but you do get an earful of obscenity-laden threats and hectoring of the police. [It’s interesting how the witnesses who claim to see all manner of Anaheim police misbehavior never have any pictures or video to back up their claims, despite the ubiquity of camera phones.]
What’s instructive is this behavior strikes Vern Nelson and other progressives as a good and worthy. Progressives tend to be romantics, inclined to see behavior like that in the videos — or last summer’s “unrest” — as more akin to the Parisian workers manning the Commune barricades than what it is: an unruly mob trying to provoke the police.
A riot isn’t a riot – it’s “civil unrest.” When the woman on the video screams, “Keep Kelly Phillips off of our street! This is what you’ll have to deal with every time. We’re all going to come out here, and we’re all going to protest your asses,” the progressive ear hears the thrilling opening chords of an uprising against The Man. It’s exciting.
The average Anaheim resident on the other hand, viewing civic life through the lens of ordered liberty and placing due value on tranquility and lawfulness, is more likely to react very differently to scenes like that in the Ustream video. This is precisely the kind of disorderly conduct and incipient lawlessness they don’t want in their neighborhoods, let alone in their city.
I’ll put it another way: during last year’s Anaheim city council campaign, no candidate sent out mailers promising to crack down on the police; but the major candidates fell all over themselves vowing to crack down on criminals.
Today, Los Amigos hosted a press conference and grandiosely claimed to be channeling the collective psyche of “Working-Class Anaheim Neighborhoods,” which are apparently crying out “Enough to Police Brutality and Harassment.”
I find it interesting how we don’t see Los Amigos organizing press conferences proclaiming “Working Class Anaheim Neighborhoods” say “Enough to Gang Crime, Violence and Intimidation.”
I would encourage the progressive elements in Anaheim to take these videos and repackage them as cable ads calling for a civilian police oversight commission.