Friday, January 28, 2011

Sometimes you see yourself

The Guardian (UK) is also reviewing and publishing some of the WikiLeaks cables that relate to Egypt. They of course show total private US support for the dictatorship.

But, what struck me was this fragment of a cable about police brutality.

"Under Hosni Mubarak's presidency there had been "no serious effort to transform the police from an instrument of regime power into a public service institution", it said. The police's ubiquitous use of force had pervaded Egyptian culture to such an extent that one popular TV soap opera recently featured a police detective hero who beat up suspects to collect evidence"

That of course is standard fare on American TV. Our TV channels are full of 'detective heroes' who 'beat up suspects' to collect evidence. Heck, I wonder if by mistake someone at the embassy was just seeing a re-run of American tv cop shows on Egyptian TV?

So, what does that say about the way the police 'ubiquitous use of force' has pervaded American culture? What was notable about Egyptian TV in an embassy report, is commonplace here.

The old saying about a frog in a pot of boiling water comes to mind.   You know, the one about how it doesn't notice if the heat is increased slowly. What about police violence in the US? Our TV certainly shows signs of a 'ubiquitous use of force'. A scan of any local paper seems to reveal story after story.  In Denver, it appears that the cops practice for American Gladiator by beating up citizens.

The frog doesn't realize he's in a pot of boiling water. Are we similarly incapable of recognizing that we live with a violent police? Just how hot has the water gotten, around us poor American frogs?

Try typing 'police beat' and the name of an American city into Google, and watch the hits fly.  Here's a sample of what you get for Denver.

And, could you tell the one photo of the Egyptian police from the other photos of the Denver police?