WHISTLEBLOWER

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The whistleblower protection act was pushed through Congress by Republicans and signed into law on April 10, 1989 by George H.W. Bush. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has been a Senator since 1981 and one thread throughout all of these 39 years is his steadfast commitment to protecting whistleblowers.

My point. The concept of whistleblowing and its importance to USA society was a conservative idea led by conservatives of conscience. Well, that version of the Republican party is long dead.

But, this post is not about going back to the day that Rand Paul read the name of the CIA whistleblower aloud on the Senate floor. No, I have something else on my mind.

There are a lot of good cops out there but it is hard to tell because if a good cop is not a whistleblower against bad cops, is he a good cop?

The individual cops who want to do the right thing are stuck in an upside down world. Think about what the Mafia does to its people when they become whistleblowers and guess what, the police unions and the police culture do the same thing. In fact, both organized crime and the police use the same word for a whistleblower – RAT. Think about that.

Derek Chauvin is the ultimate bad cop. What he did to George Floyd was so horrific that the whole world is going to change. I can’t even try to understand a man as broken as Derek Chauvin but I have asked a lot of people who know cops intimately what was going through the minds of the other 3 cops who were there on the scene. I mean it seems impossible that all four cops just happened to be as psychopathically fucked up as Chauvin, right?

To innocent, cloistered people like myself, I am thinking to myself that these other 3 cops know that all kinds of video footage is being created and, naive me, that would make me think that they would feel a lot of pressure to intervene.

But, it turns out that the opposite is true. People who are experts on cop culture tell me that good cops are scared to get caught on video stopping another cop from doing something horrific “in the line of duty” because their careers will be ruined. A good cop caught on video while interfering with a bad cop doing a very bad thing is going to lose his job at best. At worst, he is going to be put into very dangerous situations only to find out that his peers do not have his back.

Not only do the police unions discourage whistleblowers from coming forward, they make sure that the whistleblower is the one to lose his job so that the bad cops can continue on paying their dues to the unions and brutalizing the community.

The same conservative Republican politicians who have been stalwarts in the development of whistleblower protections are now defending a police culture where whistleblowers are called rats.

Black Lives Matter

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In my career with large corporations, they gave all the employees psychological profile tests. It turns out that I test over-the-top for something called “strategic.” I can assure you that this is not an indicator of a high IQ. Haha. My brain sees the connectedness between things that often seem disparate to other people. My rote memory for details is awful but my instincts for what the details imply is way above average. I’m no futurist but I anticipate outcomes. I’m not a mind reader but my empathy is intense. Tomorrow, I might not recall exactly what you said, but I will definitely remember your emotions when you said it. Combine “strategic” with my GAD (general anxiety disorder) and you’ve got a guy who is attuned to worst-case scenarios. I’m a pragmatic optimist. I’m a problem solver because I can’t relax if a problem is being ignored. My brain grinds hard when I am worried about the future. My brain grinds in the era of Donald Trump – not because of the man but because of what he tells us about ourselves. My brain grinds hard when the news media is not addressing something that seems critical to me. Writing about the stuff that is grinding helps me to quiet the chaos and organize my thoughts. So, I write. There you go. This op-ed column is the outpouring of a brain that grinds hard regarding national affairs today. Welcome to “American Grind” and thanks for reading.

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