About Those Apples

Bad apples, that is.

I’ve had it “splained” enough times that I’ve lost count how police brutality in America is just a problem with a “few bad apples.” Of course, the “few bad apples splainers” are always the first to condemn the Black community for how it reacts to these “few bad apples.”

So I wonder: How many bad apples before it’s more than “just a few”?

I just watched a really, really bad apple in McKinney, Texas on television the other night. He brutalized a 14-year-old girl who was wearing a bikini.  She obviously didn’t have a gun. Oh, but she was Black. The white kid who filmed the incident on his cell phone said it was like he was invisible. That cop, and his partners, only seemed interested in the black and brown kids. Apparently, they’d crashed a pool party. To which they’d been invited. In their own neighborhood.

But I guess those McKinney cops were only “a few” in number.

Still, how many “bad apples” have we learned about from cell phone videos gone viral? I’ve lost count. There’s Ferguson, New York, Cleveland, Wisconsin, Cleveland (that’s right, Cleveland had two “bad apple” incidents), Baltimore, North Charleston, now McKinney and, of course, the bad apple we’ll learn about next month.

What about the “bad apples” who weren’t caught on cell phone video? How many of those bad apples are out there? Or are they bad only if they get caught on camera?

What about the “apples” in Ferguson who weren’t out there brutalizing Black kids, but were sharing racist comments via email? Are they bad?

What about the “medium apples,” you know, the apples who aren’t bad, but aren’t quite good enough to confront the bad apples?

In fact, now that I think about it, why haven’t I heard any stories about “good apples” who reported bad apples?

So, please, somebody just give me a number of “bad apples” we need to identify before it’s more than “just a few.” Steve? Senator Kavanagh?

8 responses to “About Those Apples

  1. captain*arizona

    A few bad apples are a problem ;but a much bigger problem is the job of the police force. They put it on their police cars To preserve the corporate state and protect it! We live in a system that demands police be alowed to kill unarmed black men and children or they will allow it to sink into anarchy! This is the system not a few bad apples. Semi skilled labor jobs have been sent over seas. The best paying job is drug dealing which is capitalism in action in the inner city. The job that the establishment has given the police is control the inner city so it doesn’t get out of hand. On top of this in many areas conservatives try to add gasoline to the fire which annoys the corporate states attempt to pacify the threat from the inner city by opposing gun control which is aimed at the inner city non criminal minority not some redneck in skunk creek mississippi. Know what the real problem is not that their were a few bad apples guarding the warsaw ghetto. All of the guards good or bad were guarding the jews in the warsaw ghetto while they were being loaded into the cattle cars. Does it matter if a bad apple hit a child being loaded into the cattle car or a good apple helped the child into the cattle car the final solution was the same!

  2. JJ, I am a non black Alpha Phi Alpha pledged DECADES ago and marched in the Deep South in the civil rights era, and still do. I love your points and notice that the usually mouthy Steve went deathly silent when you brought up the obvious point of when he told his children about bring stopped for being white. He’s obviously not an ally and quite oblivious to his white privilege as most of them are. As I said, having never been stopped but since I’ve thousands of highly educated and successful black fraternity brothers I hear the stories and cry inside and outside. Just last week my highly successful black MD brother was pulled over in Scottsdale just for driving the most expensive Mercedes while on his way back from a midnight emergency surgery. Steve will NEVER EVER EVER UNDERSTAND WHAT MEANS OR FEELS LIKE, I can guarantee that just from reading his totally ignorant responses in this blog. I usually don’t respond because I also know when they come for him he will be first to cry foul and I’ll be first to laugh in his face in glee. It’s going to happen because it always does. Happens to be what we call MTBF in engineering.

  3. There are, by the best estimates I can find, approximately 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers in this Country. That includes the local, county, state and Federal officers, including police, sheriffs, Border Patrol, FBI, etc., both full and part time. What percentage of that number would you consider enough “bad apples” to paint them all bad?

    You mentioned a half dozen to a dozen recent incidents and are drawing some amazing conclusions from them. With all the hundreds of thousands of cameras and cameras phones out there just waiting to catch a cop doing something wrong, this is all that has surfaced and you use these few incidents to indict most of law enforcement as crooked and corrupt. You are willing to accept any anecdotes as proof positives about the raw cruelty and racism of the police, including minority police officers.

    You mention this Officer in Texas who drew his gun while wrestling with a black swim suit clad girl. He did ignore the white guy filming the incident, but why wouldn’t he? That guy wasn’t doing anything to threaten him in any way. It had NOTHING to do with his race and EVERYTHING to do with the threat level he posed. When that officer drew his pistol, he didn’t wave it at the girl, he held it at the ready pointed down, and then he holstered it. He was looking at other people around him who were in a position to pose a threat to him. Was it an appropriate action to take? I don’t know…I don’t know how threatened he actually felt. I know that I have on more than one occasion been caught in the middle of a hostile crowd that were directing their anger at me over the situation and I feared for my life. I didn’t draw a weapon, but others in that position might have done so. Each person reacts differently. That crowd around the officer was not a friendly crowd…it could easily have gotten much worse.

    Getting back to original point, I am positive Law Enforcement deserves more respect than you are willing to give them. They have a tough job dealing with people you and I would rather not deal with in situations we would avoid like the plague. There ARE some bad ones out there and when they are found they need to be punished. But it is a big mistake to blame them all for the actions of a small minority.

    • You deftly ignore that “bad apples” are always surrounded by “good apples” that look the other way.

      Your white privilege allows that.

      • You made a good point about otherwise good cops looking the other way and I have no answer to that. I don’t think that happens as much as you think it does based on the number of disciplinary hearings that go on and are reflected in FBI statistics.

        But why did you have to go and make that stupid statement that my “white privilege allows for that”? What does that even mean? Other than a snide way of expressing your envy of my being white, I can’t see a single way that comment applies to anything I stated.

        • You have an unearned birthright privilege that make it difficult for you to fully grasp the endemic racism within law enforcement. I have worked in criminal defense since 2008, and have been Black since 1969. Your lack of understanding can only exist in the vacuum of hardship.

          Tell me… how old were your children when you told them that no matter what a police officer did, they needed to do whatever was necessary to survive the encounter? I don’t say this to be snide; I’m challenging your thinking to see if you are an ally, or if you are party to status quo.

          • Obviously I don’t know what it is like to live life as a black man. I DID tell my children that when they have encounters with Police Officers to do what they are told to do, to NOT get into a pissing contest with the Officer even if my child was in the right and that if they were arrested to NOT resist and go along with the Officer because everything can be straightened out later. I made it very clear to them to not be a smart ass and leave the jokes to the professionals because encounters with Law Enforcement are serious as can can be. I emphasized that showing off for your friends or mouthing off because you felt a little belligerent was only going to cause you unnecessary trouble.

            The Police have a rough job dealing with people after something bad has happened in their lives. Whether it is a traffis ticket or something serious, when cops enter our lives, it is not a good time. The vast, vast majority of them do a damn fine job for very little positive feedback or recognition. This world would be a much worse off place without them.

  4. You miss the greater point. The entire orchard is rotten. When “bad apples” show up, the good ones will not report the misconduct. Sometimes because they agree with or tolerate the conduct, sometimes because they fear retaliation.