Breaking Point – Part 3February 12, 2013
I’m terrible tired after reading the whole text of Christopher Dorner’s manifesto (14,000 words), which is his testament and probably the final statement of his life.
This text is essential reading to understand what is going on in a tormented and wounded mind, and beyond that it is essential reading to understand the Afro American psyche and US society in general.
Dorner has declared war on the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) and allegedly killed three people. He deserves no sympathy if he is indeed the perpetrator. He deserves no sympathy if he is indeed a murderer.
Killing an assailant in self defense, in a fight for survival, as a measure of last resort would be excusable. There is no excuse for killing innocent people, and there is also no excuse for killing the guilty (in Dorner’s case the ones implicated in presumed injustice).
Does he deserve to die?
From my point of view nobody deserves to die. Dorner should be put in a psychiatric institution, he should be cared for with therapy of various kind, he should be counseled and educated, he should get the chance to heal mentally, to learn and to work and make a positive contribution under rigid supervision and inside the confines of this institution.
US society doesn’t provide such care, US society puts violent offenders in filthy and inhumane prisons or on death row.
In an ideal society LAPD Sergeant Teresa Evans, the woman whom Dorner accuses of mistreating Christopher Gettler, a mentally sick man, would come forward and apologize to Dorner personally and state that she deeply regrets her action.
In an ideal society this statement would be published in all media together with the appeal that Dorner should surrender and together with the assurance, that the LDAP will root out latent racism and from now on will try to imply the highest ethical standards.
In an ideal society everybody, even the most evil criminal, would have a right to live and die with dignity.
This will not happen, the LAPD categorically denied all allegations of abuse or corruption and mainstream media has largely followed suit, depicting Dorner simply as an unhinged madman and refusing to even discuss his claims.
Dorner suffered from depressions. He mentions that he had two CT scans after concussions resulting from playing football. American football is rough and violent, head injuries and brain trauma routinely occur at every level of the game.
It is also possible that Dorner’s military service has left him with a hidden form of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). His military record shows that he served in the Middle East, but not as a combat soldier. His military duty did include underwater work.
Dorner is evidently tormented and disturbed by deep mental scars. Yet his manifesto shows that he is lucid, intelligent, educated, sensitive.
He is not a revolutionary, he expresses sympathies for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and writes that he supports the government hundred percent. This is not surprising because many Afro Americans view the Obama presidency as a collective achievement, which prevents them from critically evaluating the policies of the current administration.
Dorner also expresses his admiration for David Petraeus and Colin Powell. He is a patriot, he believe in the US ideals of individualism, freedom, and in the “American Dream”. This is also not surprising because he has undergone a lifelong conditioning by US media plus the conditioning during his military service.
He writes: “I lived a good life and though not a religious man I always stuck to my own personal code of ethics, ethos and always stuck to my shoreline and true North. I didn’t need the US Navy to instill Honor, Courage, and Commitment in me but I thank them for re-enforcing it.”
Dorner supports strict gun control and stresses, that an AR-15 should not be able to be purchased as easily as walking to the local Walmart or striking the enter key on the keyboard to “add to cart”. He writes that he was able to obtain class III weapons (suppressors) without a background check and that he was not even a resident of the state where he bought them.
Dorner: “Whether by executive order or through a bi-partisan congress an assault weapons ban needs to be re-instituted.”
“In my cache you will find several small arms. In the cache, Bushmaster firearms, Remington precision rifles, and AAC Suppressors (silencers). All of these small arms are manufactured by Cerberus/Freedom Group. The same company responsible for the Portland mall shooting, Webster, NY, and Sandy Hook massacre.”
Dorner is not religious, he writes: “I’m not a fucking Christian and that old book, made of fiction and limited non-fiction, called the bible, never once stated Jesus was called a nigger.”
“Westboro Baptist Church, may you all burn slowly in a fire, not from smoke inhalation, but from the flames and only the flames.”
“Cardinal Mahoney, you are in essence a predator yourself as you enabled your subordinates to molest multiple children in the church over many decades. May you die a long and slow painful death.”
Do these negative views of religion and of clergymen indicate a backslash against the growing influence of Christianity in US politics and in US society as a whole?
Does Dorner have a problem with women? He writes: “I’ve lost a relationship with my mother and sister because of the LAPD.”
“Those lesbian officers in supervising positions who go to work, day in day out, with the sole intent of attempting to prove your misandrist authority (not feminism) to degrade male officers. You are a high value target.”
Besides his accusations against Teresa Evans, Dorner also voices grievances against another female officer, Thaniya Sungruenyos.
Yet he lists quite a few female pop stars and states: “you are THE MOST beautiful women on this planet.” He also writes glowingly about Michelle Obama.
Dorner’s problems with women are probably not more serious than that of the average US-American man (which would be troubling enough).
Dorner describes the prevalence of racism and white supremacy in the police force, displayed in anti-Semitic slurs, open anti-black sentiment, bias and injustice against minority groups.
The LAPD has a history of racism and abuse, beginning with the deliberate recruitment of racist cops from the South in the 1960s under William Parker, Thad Brown, and Thomas Reddin, followed by the “community policing programs” of Edward M. Davis, and rampant misconduct under Darryl Gates. In the 1990s the Rampart Division routinely brutalized suspects and planted evidence.
When a video showed LAPD officers viciously beating Rodney King, the Christopher Commission in 1991 investigated the departments practices, yet the suggested reforms were put on hold after the election of Major Richard Riordan. The four officers implicated in the King beating where acquitted, sparking bloody race riots in 1992 which left 53 dead and thousands injured.
Finally the LAPD was charged under the RICO Act (as a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) and placed under federal oversight which lasted until 2009.
In some respect the LAPD acs like an occupying force quite similar to the IDF in Palestine or the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. The LADP has to keep the poor black and brown residents of Los Angeles in check and it does so by spreading fear and despair, it does so by brutality and injustice, by daily oppression and humiliation.
Like any occupation force the LAPD in its long and eventful history has at times set up checkpoints, bulldozed houses (Operation Hammer), conducted mass arrests (25,000 black youth during the 1984 Olympics), tortured suspects, and used collective punishment by purposely targeting the Black and Latino communities.
The LAPD made headlines in 1969 by launching a four-hour attack and siege with 300 officers on the Black Panther headquarters of Los Angeles. From 1970 on the LAPD established spying operations against liberal advocacy groups and in 1972 it established the first SWAT Team in the USA.
The LADP was also one of the first police departments to use surveillance drones.
In the light of this history it seems not unreasonable when Dorner writes: “I am the walking exigent circumstance you created.”
Dorner closes his manifesto with a poignant criticism of todays Afro American culture:
“Mr. Bill Cosby, you are a reasonable and talented man who has spoken the truth of the cultural anomalies within the black communities that need to change now. The black communities’ resentment toward you is because they don’t like hearing the truth or having their clear and evident dirty laundry aired to the nation. The problem is, the country is not blind nor dumb. They believe we are animals. Do not mute your unvarnished truthful speech or moral compass. Blacks must strive for more in life than bling, hoes, and cars. The current culture is an epidemic that leaves them with no discernible future. They’re suffocating and don’t even know it. MLK Jr. would be mortified at what he worked so hard for in our acceptance as equal beings and how unfortunately we stopped progressing and began digressing. Chicago’s youth violence is a prime example of how our black communities values have declined. We cannot address this nation’s intolerant issues until we address our own communities morality issues first.”
I always deeply admired Afro American culture. The contribution of black music to US popular music (which became global pop music due to the aggressiveness and reach of US media corporations) is essential and cannot be overstated. Like many caucasians I’m intrigued by the vitality, sensuality, and easiness of black music and, most important, the inherent underdog feeling of Blues, Gospel, and Soul strongly resonates with my personal underdog feeling that I acquired as I grew in a working class family, bullied, mocked, and frowned on by affluent fellow students in grammar school and even on university.
Later in life I had the pleasure and honor to work for some time with an old Afro American lady, a blues singer named Jeanne Carroll. She had come to Germany in the late 1990s and decided to settle there, because gigs were more easier to obtain and more lucrative.
I learned a lot from her, unfortunately I lost contact when she moved to her daughter in Regensburg, which was simply too far away. Jeanne sadly died in 2011, I will always remember her fondly.
The manhunt for Dorner is the biggest police operations since years and a one million dollar bounty is announced for tracking him down. The LAPD seems to be eager to justify its negative reputation and has already opened fire on three completely uninvolved people, Margie Carranza and her mother Emma Hernandez, two Latina women who were delivering newspapers, and David Perdue, who’s car was rammed by police and who only was not hit by the shots fired at him because the inflated airbag obstructed the view of the officers. Emma Hernandez was hit in the back twice, she is 71 years old and it is doubtful, if she ever will fully recover from the bullet wounds. Margie Carranza fortunately was not hit and only wounded by broken glass, Perdue suffered a concussion and an injury to his shoulder.
The LAPD is well known for its “shoot first, ask questions later” approach.
Something else to mention?
What else comes to mind in relation to the Dorner manhunt, what else happened recently in the “country of unlimited opportunities”?
Celebrated Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who was proud to have shot dead 160 Iraqis, got killed together with a fellow veteran at a Texas gun range by another war veteran.
In Chicago Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl was shot dead on January 29, as she walked together with friends after school in a park, about a mile from President Obama’s Chicago home. When the group huddled under a canopy as it began to rain, a man suddenly approached, jumped a fence, ran toward the group, and began shooting.
Her funeral was attended by thousands. First lady Michelle Obama was also there.
Chicago has experienced more than 500 homicides in 2012, most of them from gun violence, and 46 more deaths since the start of 2013.
On January 19 in New Mexico 15 year old Nehemiah Griego shot dead his parents and three siblings with an AR-15. When he war arrested he had already loaded a van with the guns and ammunition that he planned to use for a mass shooting at a Walmart store.
Already in 2012, in Houston a few days before Christmas, Shelly Frey, a 27 year old mother of two, was shot and killed by a Walmart guard after being caught shoplifting. She had tried to flee with two other black women in a car and was hit when the guard shot after the car. Beside the three women there were two small children in the car.
What will become of the orphans?
Among 10 to 24 year-olds, homicide is the leading cause of death for African Americans and the second leading cause of death for Hispanics. In 2010, 4,828 young people ages 10 to 24 were victims of homicide — an average of 13 per day. 82.8 percent of these homicide victims were killed with firearms.
Is US society sick?
This is a matter of definition. The status of a society is the combined health status of all involved individuals. Many people in Western consumer society live a life of constant distraction by background music, traffic noise, industrial noise, electronic media, and all kind of technical gadgets. Many people live in an artificial urban environment, in a plastic world, detached and alienated from nature.
Many people spend a third of their life glued to a screen. Teenagers are sending SMS back and forth every few minutes. People are multitasking, are constantly reacting to the many artificial stimuli from electronic devices. They would be helpless, they would get crazy if there were sudden silence.
46 million US-Americans experience mental illnesses such as depression, eating disorders, PTSD, and drug abuse — only 38 percent get treatment. Between 8 and 9 percent of US-Americans suffer from PTSD, more than 38,000 persons commit suicide each year.
The US mental health system is inadequate and has huge gaps which leaves millions of people with psychological problems, including children and teens, without effective treatment that could prevent tragic consequences.
Is US society breaking apart? Will the USA become a failed state? Are we approaching the “Breaking Point,” which I described in the first two parts of this series of blog posts?
Not necessarily, it can co either way.
Ideally a social contract emerges by consent and doesn’t need much enforcement. There will always be troublemakers, criminals, intruders who have to be dealt with by a police force. Ideally the police force is small and only needs to respond every now and then to rare cases.
In big and diverse societies (for instance nations with different ethnic groups, different religions, different regional cultures) a universal consensus is hard to achieve and the laws, rules, and regulations are often forced onto minorities by the dominating group.
In the USA the dominating group are whites of European descent.
In this fast changing times the social contract is continuously rewritten, changed, re-interpreted, mis-interpreted, amended. In Western societies the laws, rules, and regulations are set by elected representatives of the people. These representatives are more often than not corrupt, they are bought by the rulers and are fraternizing with them.
In US society the laws, rules, and regulations consequently favor the ruling elite and the social contract is not anymore serving the majority of the population, it only serves the rich.
In US society compliance with the social contract is achieved by indoctrination and conditioning from early years on via electronic media. Compliance is achieved by media propaganda, brainwashing, deception, misinformation. It is achieved by painting, constructing, creating a surreal, hygnagogic virtual world on television, in movies, on computer screens. A shiny, simplistic plastic world it may be, but most people don’t mind, don’t care, don’t object. People have forgotten what the real world is, what real life is, what nature is.
The social contract is also guaranteed by distraction and sedation via consumerism, superfluous social media chatter, and pop culture.
In US society the social contract is enforced by 650,000 police officers, 1.6 million private security guards, 470,000 National Guard soldiers.
If necessary, “the boys” (1.4 million soldiers) will leave the barracks or will be brought back from oversees to restore law and order.
It can go either way. If the old order breaks apart there is a chance that something more just, more sustainable, less violent will emerge.
If the present rulers hold on to their power the permanent war (allegedly against terrorism but in fact against everything that threatens the empire), the permanent exploitation and stealing (from the rest of humanity) of resources, the merciless destruction of nature will go on till there is nothing left.
If the present system holds it will be Orwellian.
War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength