Alpha Male Mentality
America has always idiolized an alpha male mentality. You see it in advertising all over the place; the hard, rugged individual who can aggressively take on the world and come out winning. That mentality can help a person to push through tough situations or it can contribute to a person’s need to be dominant. Helping to get through tough times, like losing a job is fine, but when this mentality affects how you act at work in a negative manner, it can be problematic. This is especially true in the law enforcement field.
Law enforcement is already a profession that attracts people who want to have authority over others. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you want the authority to stop people from being hurt, from being taken advantage of, those are good things. If you want that authority so you can put people in their place, to show them who the boss is, to prove what a tough guy you are, that is a problem. Those are the people who will eventually be charged with police brutality, excessive use of force, police misconduct, and even deadly force. They are the ones who will bring discredit to every officer who takes his or her job seriously.
Because of our reverence for the rugged male, we have a whole culture that plays to that belief. You have men who have grown up on movies like Rambo, played games like Call of Duty, and bought into the police unions pushing of ‘it’s us against them’ mentality. This combination hypes up aggression with the unions giving them a target and it’s bad for everyone. Add to that, the government giving military surplus to police departments, and we have a law enforcement mentality that has moved in the direction of a police state. Now, not only are these fans of ‘the military tough guy’ in a position of power, but they also get to play dress up with real life military equipment like those they idolize.
Lobbyists Step In
Many people realize this is a problem and there was a bipartisan effort to stop the military from giving away surplus items to police departments but the legislation, which was a “proposed amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act,” was stopped in the Senate. Why? Because it’s a huge money maker for the defense industry. According to CNBC.com,
“One of the really troubling developments about the involvement of the federal government in the direct subsidy of purchases of militarized equipment is that this is really about creating a new market for defense contractors rather than really putting questions of public safety first,” said Alex Vitale, the Policing and Social Justice Project Coordinator at Brooklyn College.
That’s what it’s all about. The defense industry wants taxpayer dollars. To get that money, they fill the pockets of elected officials with money, basically buying that elected official’s alliegance. That Congressperson then votes either in favor of approving more money that will go to those contractors or against anything that will stop the flow of money. And the taxpayer gets shafted, coming and going. Not only are we paying for all that military gear that law enforcement agencies are getting for free, that they don’t need, and that we don’t want them to have, but they are then using that equipment against us.
We need to stop the madness.
This is What a Real Policing Looks Like
— Ruthless 🇺🇸🥁 (@ursomoneyhoney) September 29, 2020