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Friday, July 08, 2016

Do Black Lives Matter?

I don't know the facts of each case, but 2 more black men have died at the hands of police. Dr. Bryan Cross asserts that a dubious utilitarianism which could countenance a pre-emptive war (unjust) in Iraq is the same philosophy that justifies excessive police violence after the fact. Indeed, it is utilitarian, but also consequentialist, in that an observer could find some positive outcome, and use that desirable outcome to judge an action morally acceptable.

I also read a good piece by a lawyer who essentially reminded law students not to support a law unless they were willing to kill in order to enforce it. It seems a bit stark, until we realize that governments coerce by their nature. The question of when and whether such coercion is just is separate from the acknowledgment that force is the nature of political authority. All the more reason we have to lament the loss of awareness that the natural moral law gives governments their authority.

As a baseline, I agree with the argument that black lives in America are especially vulnerable. To speak out for them is not to exclude others; it is to say that the peace and justice we privileged take for granted has been denied. It is not in that sense a "privilege" at all, but a dignity of justice too scarce.

People of good will should not have to assert how much they appreciate police officers. If their criminal element is as rare as we are told, good officers should rise up in righteous fury against their own, who have damaged that sacred trust.

I only know that I want the knowledge that I could go nearly anywhere at any time without interference by the police to be everyone's knowledge. If you want to believe in heroes, go and find them, or be one yourself. We have too many people afraid to say the truth: police ought to be heroes, but too few are.

Correcting this discrepancy is not only what we need to pray for, but to work toward. Nothing more needs to be said.

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