Tuesday, January 31, 2023

America's Worst Editorial Board

The Washington Post Editorial Board.
The half measures, “more training,” banning chokeholds for the 900th time, approach isn’t changing the basic calculus of policing. Police killings aren’t even the primary criteria: They’ve always been the tip of the iceberg of abuse, harassment, over-policing, over-sentencing, and racial discrimination—all of which remains largely unchanged since 2014. A broader architecture of oppression The Post editorial board, despite their hand-wringing, routinely supports. In October they joined a moral panic over fare evasion, calling for “an enforcement campaign” to “send an overdue message to Metro riders: The rules are there to be followed,” and heavily hinting the D.C. city council should re-criminalize turnstile jumping. This is the way the game of phony Liberal Concern is played. The Washington Post twice opposes a social solution that would meaningfully reduce police interactions (free fares on D.C. transit), supports a policy shift that would massively increase those police interactions (police fare enforcement) then feigns concern about the inevitable result of over policing: violent interactions stemming from police interactions.

So all that’s left is vague claims about changing “culture.” Not a new demand, but one that is uniquely unfalsifiable so it’ll be here to stay. The one concrete item politicians, high status pundits, and the Post are rallying around, the major liberal reform that remains elusive—Qualified Immunity—is just another way to look busy and buy time. Getting rid of it would be a net win, but it would do little to change the basic problem of police power. As Purnell notes in her piece, “Those who care about justice must absolutely challenge qualified immunity, as long as they understand that the protections that cops receive through the law is not the basis for their violence. Cops brutalized and killed people before they had immunity. The job necessitates it, which is why abolitionists have fought to reduce and eliminate police funding, encounters with cops, and the underlying reasons why cops have jobs in the first place.”