Like many of you I’ve been watching the events unfolding in Southern California. A crazed man is on a rampage vowing revenge for his perceived grievances. I have read the “manifesto” and concluded that its rambling offers insight to a malignant, twisted heart.
In the manifesto Dorner details a life riddled with perceived insult, which resulted in a fury disproportional to the slight. As a young man and early in his career, he was called a particular name, which resulted in Dorner responding with violent, physical action. As I too had my time in law enforcement, I have been insulted, sworn at, and called every name in the book. Every police officer experiences this. And yes, there are a very small number of officers (like Dorner) who cannot control their emotions. Departments try to weed out these types before they get into law enforcement, but no system is perfect. Tell me one industry that doesn’t have people that make the vast majority in that field look bad.
However, this incident serves as a scathing indictment into today’s society. Obviously, before Dorner went on this killing spree, Americans had no inkling as to who this man was or the circumstances that led to his dismissal from LAPD. Now, armed with only his manifesto and whatever the news media has drummed up, shocking numbers of people are voicing their advocacy and support of his “mission.” Reading the manifest, it is clear that Dorner’s reckless abandon is the culmination of a lifetime of perceived wrongs. Regardless whether these wrongs are real or imagined, Dorner’s taking of life can never be justified.
Many of these advocates for Dorner are undoubtedly basing that support on the self-described events leading to his dismissal. Never mind that they have only heard one side of the issue. This manifesto lends to these people’s preconceived notions of police brutality and corruption. (Notions probably built on a story from a cousin’s-best-friend’s-sister’s-boyfriend, who overheard a stranger) But they completely ignore some real truths present in the manifesto.
The manifesto alludes to a lifetime of discrimination due to his race. But is that truly the case? Dorner’s manifesto dispels this assertion. Dorner apparently went to college, so Dorner was not denied a higher level of education. Dorner was in the military, so he had the opportunity to serve and potentially enjoy a military career. Dorner described his goal of being in law enforcement, and he did make it into the ranks of LAPD. Some of the people Dorner associates as friends are from a variety of races, so it would appear that Dorner enjoyed a widely diverse racial/cultural interaction with people.
So where is the discrimination or lack of opportunity to craft a life he desired? Where’s the inequality? Sure he was shown disrespect by being called a name or by people using that word in his presence. I understand many find that word offensive, but it is only a word. As offensive a word might be, the word itself cannot cause any person physical harm. Only a person’s reaction to offense can result in physical harm. I think we all can recall from kindergarten that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.
Lastly, and equally disturbing to me, Dorner lists many people whom he admires. Of note, Dorner showed great respect for Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, and some mainstream media people. As Dorner shows a high level of respect for these people, wouldn’t you think that at least some of them would petition Dorner to lay down his weapons and surrender peaceable? Even if there is only the remotest of possibilities that he may comply, isn’t it worth at least asking? Of course folks like Piers Morgan, Anderson Cooper, Chris Matthew, et al work in an industry that thrives on the sensationalism of these events. And that many politicians and most of the mainstream media have been politically active in forwarding gun control measures, exploitation of these events serves to further that goal.
The damage Dorner will leave in his wake is disproportionate to his perceived wrongs. Anyone that advocates or supports these actions serves as a reminder that our nation is falling into abyss devoid of morality and sensibility. And for those mentioned whom Dorner respects, remember the adage that when good men do nothing, evil triumphs. Isn’t making a plea to stop the violence the least of which you can do?