Deconstructing Deconstruction: Food, Music and the Police

Deconstructed Apple Pie

It’s popular in the culinary world; deconstructed. Visually stunning servings that evoke the tastes, smells and texture of familiar foods. Each component visible on the plate rather then layered or mixed. If I use this so called “deconstructed” idea, I can play a deconstructed version of the Game of Thrones theme1. The notes are there. This reminds me of how marketing spin offer subterfuge that prevents problem solving. Real talk, I’m not even trying to pass my playing off as deconstructed. I take lessons and in no world would I call  what I am do as proficient. When you deconstruct a food dish, you start with the original (Let’s assume the original is wonderful and delicious. Otherwise, why bother.) You select the flavors and textures to be highlighted. In the process, you will tweak and refine.

..and its a wrap. A simple post for this week to remind us to look and see what is working and not things  things are ok because it’s labeled as new or we’re told we just don’t understand. But then, I broke down later int he week. Tyre Nichols, 6’3”, 143 pounds was beat by five police officers. In the coming weeks, police will once again will be a discussion. Let’s turn this deconstruction formula (start with the original and accent the essence) on policing and you can quickly see the problem.2

Crime is increasing
Trigger happy policing
Panic is spreading
God knows where we’re heading Marvin Gaye – 1971
  1. Start with the original. Well, this is were it begins to get murky. The US colonies were hesitant to have any type of “policing.” The constable model (which can include sheriffs and watchmen) was established in Boston in 1631”to keep the King’s peace.” The first police department was established in New York in 1844, the “colonies” had mostly been settled by the British and the Dutch. It was felt that the large immigrants populations from other countries were a threat to their culture and way of life. Laws were created to govern public behavior. Then there were the slave catchers. This was a practice the British established in the West Indies in the 16th century. Once America had slaves, from 1619 on, this became a US occupation. Oh, an let’s not forget the American West Bounty Hunters “…wanted, dead or alive.” 
  2. What is the essence of the original? What can we highlight? I mean, this is where, to break it down to the most fundamental essence is to protect an established way, prevent and capture runaway slaves (African Americans), control the European immigrant population (anyone other than English or Dutch) and I don’t even know how to surmise the bounty hunters.
Downtown Oakland Graffiti

Conclusion?   What we have today is working as designed. Now, who is to say the original was effective, humane, fair and lawful? The primary purpose of flight attendants is your safety, it’s not getting you a drink. When there is an emergency, forget your diet coke with light ice, the flight attendants are checking for tray tables up, seat belts on and overhead compartments closed. It’s accepted by most. Answer this question, don’t think to hard, what is the primary purpose of the police? Prevent, stop or remediate. The police, not the laws, the the justice system, the police.

I know, the tendency is to say all three. But look y’all, with budget cuts and calls to “defund” the police are left wanting. Wanting to feel safe, wanting to feel the police can be trusted, wanting to feel heard. Rather than discussion about ACAB (all cops are bad) and police are mean corrupt well what should it look like? To even begin to approach a solution for policing starts with an acknowledgement that what we have is not working. Yes, parts are, but overall? This week, consider, changing the conversation. What should policing look like for the future?

1Me and my cello; not for the faint of heart or delicate of ears 🙂 This is in my “deconstructed” office…water damage, wall replacement, etc.

Deconstructed Cello -where is auto tune and dubbing?

2There are academics, researchers and historians who can give a more complete history of policing. My paragraphs are just a start. Out this week is “THE RIDERS COME OUT AT NIGHT: Brutality, Corruption, and Cover-Up in Oakland, by Ali Winston and Darwin BondGraham.”

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