Again, here’s another picture from the start of the 102Mediamaraton. Actually I don’t know what the deal is here. It’s just always funny to see some Peruvian police standing around their vehicle looking super irritated and helpless.
You know, I realize that police are public servants and all that, and that it’s a hard job, but the ESSENCE of being a police officer is simply problematic. I mean, respecting the police is fine, until you get into a conversation with an officer and they immediately act like you’re some awful criminal.
I know, I know…it’s just the way an authority figure HAS to act. They HAVE to assume everything you’re saying is a lie (actually, I’m probably thinking more of immigration officers here…especially the ones at your initial meetings). They HAVE to question every little statement you make and look for inconsistencies. But the thing is, if you’re all dialed in to interact with people like that, you’re ALWAYS going to find inconsistencies. People can’t keep their stories straight when they’re talking to their friends, so if you meet some gung-ho police officer who’s new on the job, it’s quite possible that he/she will think of you as a dirty thief no matter what you say (especially if pre-existing prejudices are at play).
When I was doing my student teaching (teaching is another profession that requires a strict delineation of authority), my cooperating teacher told me that I gave my students the benefit of the doubt too much. Actually, I just think it’s fair to always give everybody the benefit of the doubt on the first offense, because if they’re the type of person who likes to lie to you, you’ll have overwhelming evidence soon enough. There’s no need to commit the error of incorrectly accusing the innocent just to stamp out every single evil deed (like I said…the bad people can’t hide it all that long). But my cooperating teacher thought I was in the wrong by not treating EVERYONE like a criminal at all times. I think she was a douchbag (she even accused me of stuff that was totally out of left field), and I KNOW she was a total man-hater because I evaluated some of her grading and she clearly graded the boys from 10-15% lower for equivalent work.
But even when prejudice isn’t involved, authority is problematic. People always used to think I was crazy for going to Peru. They’d ask me, isn’t it dangerous there, aren’t there a lot of criminals? My response was always to say, “I’ve lost more money to American police than Peruvian criminals.”
It’s true too…blows people’s minds.