No, dispatchers don’t really scan your social media profile, and even if they did, it would be illegal for them to refuse you aid because of your sentiments vis-à-vis having sexual relations with police officers. This meme is pure fantasy, which raises the question: What twisted, dark, depraved mind fantasizes about a world in which a person can be abandoned to die for exercising his or her Constitutionally-protected freedom of speech on social media?
Apparently, The “Rational” Party does. I looked up rational in the dictionary, and this meme isn’t it. This meme is petty and vindictive, and those are its best qualities.
Imagine a scenario where you are angry, frustrated, maybe even fearful enough to write “F*ck the police” on your favorite social media outlet. What could have driven you to do so?
Some people – the aforementioned “Rational” Party, perhaps – would say that only criminals fear the police, but that’s myopic and wrong. If you’ve followed the news recently, you know that many people who have committed no crime nevertheless have a valid reason to fear the police. I’m not only referring to black folks; Hispanics, poor people, and the mentally ill have also born the brunt of unjust police aggression. Any one of a number of disadvantaged minority groups could express their fear, distrust, and disdain for law enforcement officers, and I would understand their position.
There are also the supporters, by which I mean non-minorities who see what’s happening and find it disturbing. A sympathetic soul – unlike a member of the misnamed “Rational” Party – might also post a derogatory meme about police officers, and by extension, the culture that allows them to be abusive toward minorities. Our hapless victim might not be a member of a minority group at all; he may simply have had enough. Who can blame him? Who can look at the various ills that plague the justice system and not be disgusted to the point of profanity?
Let’s not lose sight of the most important point, though. Whether the caller was justified in his social media rant or not, the police are not absolved of their responsibility to serve and protect. That may be the most concerning problem with this meme. Police officers swear an oath to uphold the law, and that oath does not include the words “unless the guy hates cops.” Could you imagine if a doctor refused a life-saving procedure because he found out that his patient tweeted about how much he hates doctors? Of course not! That doctor would be justifiably booted out of the medical profession! So what makes it such a funny fantasy to imagine a police officer or dispatcher doing the same thing?
As always when I write about police brutality against minorities, I feel compelled to reassure my readers that I know the problem isn’t endemic to all, or even most police officers. But there’s a culture of protection for crooked cops that does stain all police officers. That culture is maintained by people like the “Rational” Party, who, instead of acknowledging the problem and working to fix it, would rather blame those most affected by it. Seriously. F*ck the “Rational” Party.