What They Live On

Been saying for a while that Trump isn’t complicated. He’s hit on a line — white resentment — that sells, and he’ll keep selling it until it doesn’t work anymore: 

The condemnations began soon after Trump’s speech to law enforcement officers in Brentwood, New York, Friday, aimed at bolstering local police efforts to combat a spike in violence attributed to the Marasalvatrucha, or MS-13, gang.

“When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,'” the president told the officers assembled at Suffolk County Community College.

“Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head – you know, the way you put their hand over – like, ‘Don’t hit their head’ and they’ve just killed somebody. ‘Don’t hit their head,'” he added. “I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?'”

That a crime wave is not caused by cops making sure a suspect doesn’t bash his head on the car hood is obvious, natch, and every police department rushed out to Twitter to be all NOT US WE’RE NOT LIKE THAT NO NO NO. Which was nice, except that there are by far more allegations of excessive force than there are of excessive kindness: 

In a statement given to People’s Law Office attorney Flint Taylor last spring, Holmes said he was taken to an Area Two interrogation room, where detectives put a plastic bag over his head. Holmes said that after he bit through the bag in order to breathe, Burge put a second bag over the first. Holmes told Taylor that he remembered hearing a crank turning and Burge saying, “You going to talk, nigger, you going to talk.”

“It feel like a thousand needles going through my body,” Holmes said. “And then after that, it just feel like, you know–it feel like something just burning me from inside, and um, I shook, I gritted, I hollered, then I passed out. . . . They put the bag back on me, took me through the same thing again. They did that I don’t know how many times. . . . I said to myself, ‘Man, he trying to kill me.’ And I thought I was dead because all I could see was blackness, and I said, ‘Man, this is it. I’m gone.’ When I looked up, they brought me back again. Burge was the one that was . . . bringing me back. Every time I come to, he be the one standing over me.

“But the point is, when you see police doing you like this here and there’s nobody there to help you, you like, ‘Man, is this real?’ You know it can’t be real. . . . But then you realize it ain’t no dream state because you started feeling this pain, just like somebody stabbing you in your heart, you know, and you fixing to die, but you won’t die. You just still there. . . . Ain’t nothing like it. It’s just like, you know, just diving in some water that’s ice-cold and it hits you at one time and it take your breath away and you get pain. It freezes you up. It’s just like somebody just cut away everything that’s inside you and there’s nothing to hold you back. . . . When they got through with me, I didn’t care what it was–if they said I killed Bob or the president or anybody, I would say, ‘Yeah, how do you want me to say this? This the way I did it? Yeah, this the way I did it.’ . . .

“When I tried to tell people that they did me like this, ain’t nobody want to listen to me. When I go to the parole board, I tell them the same thing. They look at me like, you know, ‘You got jailhouse slick.'”

Trump’s talk of empowering cops to go beat the shit out of bad guys isn’t new, of course, that’s what being the “law and order” candidate and shitting all over Chicago was always about. His natural audience is people who picture the city as a teeming mass of minority criminals ready to rise up and murder nice white families downtown for their annual matinee.

At best, he’s an old racist shithead who, like many people his age, grew up on a steady diet of crime shows set in NYC. You know what’s on TV all day if you’re not watching Fox? Law and Order. Some channel is running a marathon at all times.

His supporters watched a lot of America’s Most Wanted, and they watched a lot of NYPD Blue, and they watched and still watch hours and hours and hours of Law and Order. Twenty-four hours a day, hookers are getting strangled and dumped in alleys, and the “perps” are going free because some cop who Just Couldn’t Take It Anymore didn’t wait for a weenie judge to sign a warrant.

That’s the city to them, that place where their parents had such a nice neighborhood and You Should See It Now, it’s been ruined by Those People. Their only interaction with city police is Lenny Briscoe. And if the cops were just “unleashed” to do it like they do in the movies, well, maybe they could get something done.

“Something” being hit with a $5 million misconduct lawsuit that’s just gonna stop the cops who aren’t assholes from solving any actual problems, but that’s not the point. The point is to talk tough, not to accomplish anything.


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