Well it’s not as dangerous as some other times I was thinking, but ideas hazardous to the status quo might be promulgated. I’m still thinking about the Sprint-T, since about 52 years of cogitation hasn’t been enough to make it a reality. But I also think about other things than the Sprint-T, like getting Mrs. the Poet to come to bed with fewer clothes, making safer infrastructure for everyone, not just for cyclists, and making police less likely to kill unarmed people who are not criminals but just happen to be near where crimes happen.
The problem with that last one is some LEO think everyone in an area is a criminal because there are a lot of crimes there, when in truth only a few people are committing the crimes and most of the population is either uninvolved or a victim. And yes there are documented instances of crime victims assaulted and killed by the LEO summoned to take the report of the crime. That happens and police wonder why they can’t get cooperation from witnesses. Also there is the problem with racist cops who think every person of a certain shade or darker is a criminal just by existing. Cyclists sometimes get this treatment, because we are not in cars when we are on the street, but nowhere near as bad as POC get it around racist cops.
This problem actually has a solution, a simple one to implement in theory, but very hard to do in reality. Test every cop for racism and fire the ones who test positive. Like I said, hard to do in reality, unless we start at the top and work our way down to incoming recruits, because unless racists in the chain of command and the ones who decide on promotions are gone the bad apples who remain are going to once again ruin the whole barrel. So we have to get out the ones who ruin the whole bunch, then replace them with non-racists. And as we have seen, the racists are unlikely to go without a fight. The only way is to treat racism as a communicable disease, which in some ways it is.
Like cancer, the only way to stop this disease is to remove all traces of it from the body, which again brings us back to testing every officer and removing the ones who are racist or potentially racist. That one is going to be the sticking point, “Well, you aren’t displaying signs of overt racism, but you are showing signs of incipient racism.” In a way this is like those Sci-Fi movies where people are arrested for being capable of a particular crime, or thinking about a crime. This is a very slippery slope, so maybe put the ones who show signs of potential racism on some kind of permanent probation, or just put everybody on the same footing, a zero tolerance against racism policy. That would be the best thing, get rid of the overt racists immediately, then everyone else is on a one-strike racism policy.
OK, let’s spell it out and see where it takes us.
1. Test everyone from the commissioner on down for racism and fire everyone who tests positive for racism. All the overt racists are fired immediately, no recourse.
2. Everyone else is on a one strike probation, any displays of racist mentality and you’re on the street permanently barred from LEO in every jurisdiction.
3. This extends to all public interactions including social media. Belonging to racist Facebook groups, logging on to racist web sites, or making racist statements on Twitter will be enough to get fired and banned, unless such activity is needed to find people involved in crimes that might involve racism. I can see how some criminals might try to use this to plan crimes on platforms where LEO would otherwise be banned. This could be done by using people who are not allowed to otherwise interact with the public as LEO.
Yes, I have been thinking about this a lot.