Thursday, September 29, 2016

Angel of Infantilization

One of my all-time favorites, Clay Shirky, has taken to using his Twitter account to retweet pro-Trump tweets he finds particularly outrageous... or entertaining... or something. I think Shirky sees it as his job to make sure anti-Trump folks don't stay inside a bubble of support.

That said, here's his most recent retweet:

It's time 4 a President that respects R 1st responders& Vets & military~Only Trump loves them all & promises 2 make life better 4 them all~♡
By Fran Cifelli ‏@FranCifelli
That mess of letters, numbers, tildes, and hearts was accompanied by this disturbing piece of artwork:

Aside from the tackiness of the concept — with its Photoshopped stars and bars on what I assume are supposed to be angel wings (unless that's a WWE feather cloak) — this image synthesizes the extreme version of how white people generally think of police: They protect us.

We are like children, nay, like little blonde girls clutching teddy bears, sheltered within the hug of their mighty masculinity. Meanwhile, in the background, the hellscape of dystopia awaits.

Do black people in America generally see police this way? Not a chance.

And while I don't want this idealized infantilization to be the image anyone has of police as they relate to the citizens of a democracy, the fact is that some significant number of white people probably identify with it, while almost no black people do (and for good reasons).

And that's a problem those same white people don't recognize.


Speaking of which, this from NPR: A wide gulf persists between black and white perceptions of policing

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