Yesterday I published a short essay in Jacobin explaining what copaganda is at its most basic level. My essay was inspired by testimony I gave as an expert at a Board of Supervisors hearing in San Francisco a few months ago: Local officials in San Francisco were investigating how much money and time San Francisco police spend trying to manipulate public opinion. Even local elected officials are up against a sophisticated PR machine and an entrenched culture of police secrecy about their own surveillance and propaganda efforts. Ultimately, after my testimony, the Mayor replaced an outgoing elected member of the Board of Supervisors with the very same unelected head of the police propaganda unit who was the subject of my testimony.
Thanks again for another helpful newsletter. Your book and newsletters have finally helped me crack my dusty ancient paradigm about law enforcement and crime in the U.S. This one sentence: “Police want us to focus on crimes committed by the poorest, most vulnerable people in our society and not on bigger threats to our safety caused by people with power.” That right there is so helpful—in a nutshell. I have always bristled when my peers start holding forth about violent crime in the “inner city,” because I knew it must be racist somehow. However my thinking was not coherent because that old paradigm was still operating. I never had anything to offer as an alternative. Now, when I hear my privileged friends holding forth on “violent crime” I have something valuable to point out after I say, “Hold everything! Think about this…”
Id love to see you write a piece on the disgusting program D.A.R.E. The grooming of children to narc on their own parents or anyone else they see with these “dangerous” substances. It’s a way into peoples homes without even having to lift a finger or as they would say “pro-active” policing. I will say only one thing about law enforcement and that is they exist to provide an illusion of safety for the masses. People unfortunately regurgitate the copaganda and go back to their lives feeling “safe” someone, anyone was pinned with crime no matter their innocence. Once they are identified as a suspect they are assumed guilty and they are charged with the task of exonerating themselves if possible. Only money talks in that system. Police have to back their own bad play to uphold the illusion cause the illusion is all that matters. I’m reality no personality exist to encompass what the public expects or police officers. They need to holding hands and saving kittens and emotionless robots that can respond efficiently to active shooter scenes. One person isn’t both so which personality type makes a career as an officer. The second one. If you have feelings, empathy and care about others you burn out or take a desk job and turn a blind eye to corruption. If you can emotionless perform at a high level under very stressful situations then you got solid psychopathic traits that will serve you well in your duties. But…combine that with a sense of moral superiority and and ego the size of Texas well you got a good 50 or percent of the people who make up law enforcement. Uncheck egos love publicity and they love big drug busts that get their name in the local paper …yadda yadda yadda…It’s all a disaster. I could go on but love your work