EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is the first of several that will appear under an Anonymous by-line. Today’s hyper-woke culture has dampened the ability to offer certain critiques without risk of unwarranted personal disparagement. The authors are known to the Editor, who has agreed to withhold their identities.

In our connected world, the slightest transgression is often portrayed as proof of the nation (or civilization, or the planet) running off the rails. It is embedded in practically every debate on every issue, elevating the perceived consequences far above the actual ones.

Libertarians argue, with cause, that there are virtually no such emergencies, and where there are, the cures are worse than the diseases.

Case in point of ruin is brought in addressing a problem not at all ruinous: a police officer seeking promotion was told to “tone down the gayness.” This was deemed so extreme that his city had to pay him nearly 20 million in damages. Never mind that this is someone expected to come between his community and crime, with grit being practically a job requirement. The real outrage lies his city’s short finances forcing them to close down firehouses to fund half of the settlement.

Now, if you asked average Americans, how many would agree closing a firehouse was less negligent than asking one of its agents to submit to an insult? Will the consequences of reduced fire services also need to be remedied by tens of millions in damages? By whom? To whom? From what revenue stream? Citizens democratically establish the city’s finances, yet crucial services can be replaced by liabilities over which they have no control? This, when they can’t even truly control the utterances of their officers, any more than they can ask them to tolerate an offense? All they can do is examine everyone’s speech through the lens of liability, to mind-read, to delve in ESP, in order to predict if they are prone to such budget-busting statements.

That’s how otherwise excellent civil servants are undone by the poorly chosen Christmas party word, instead of being undone by poor work performance. While, at the same time, discipline for the latter is getting harder, because of the same extreme liability. Police officers are required to accept outrageous provocations from the public as part of their jobs, but the same words from a career board should be so differently damaging they should be compensated with tens of millions of dollars? They’d get far less if they were shot on duty. Our culture is steeped in offensive expression, Quentin Tarantino movies are in rotation 24/7, which are chockablock with inventive rape and violence. But a policeman is treated by the law as a faint-away, Victorian pearl-clutcher? Never mind the “princess” and “faggot” stereotype of gays that is so reinforced. I’ve known a good number of gays, none of them are this precious. Liability like this really means responsibility without control, which should be an anathema to free people. Or, how about making the offender apologize?

Other expenses are incurred, both massive and irrational. In order to avoid such exposure, the city will have to pay for equally rarefied countermeasures. One is the legendary Compliance Training, where police officers have to sit through classes on how to talk to girls, while they are somehow simultaneously expected to be adult enough to make a split-second-shoot-no-shoot decision. They sit in these classes (every year) when they might be studying, say, ways to cope with one of our mass-shootings. Or how to de-escalate the violence that resulted in six million dollars in liability to New York City’s taxpayers after the death of Eric Garner ($6M for a choke-to-death, but two-and-a-half times that for an off-color remark?)

Nor does our democracy have much of a say in any of this. The only space the electorate is allowed to address these grotesqueries is narrow to the point where, everywhere in the politically developed world, they have concluded their only option is an all-out attack on the status quo.

Does anyone truly think that this financial judgment this will advance the cause of tolerance for gays the laws are supposed to engender? People who have to pay for fire service they won’t get now have a true grievance, the expression of which brings more exquisite liability. Do makers of this situation expect citizens to be warmed and sheltered by “woke” when their houses burn down? And not take their rage out on them however they might?

Lawyers are the only profession in America more reviled than politicians. Stuff like this is why.


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