Institutionalized Privilege

Where paternalism and libertarianism meet on the other side

How can it be legal to kill someone when you have the option to walk away? What kind of county is this? What millennia do we live in?

This is institutionalized privilege. It’s where paternalism and libertarianism meet on the other side: we’re writing laws so people don’t have to be afraid. So anyone with a gun and a grudge can start a fight and legally kill the other person if they fight back. We’re sentencing the death penalty to everyone who’s the type of person that other people are afraid of. We’re writing laws that say it’s better to kill than to walk away. We’re architecting a nation of bullies.

I’ll let other voices speak to the obvious racial issues here and the obvious and important comparison to Emmett Till and I do hope this inspires our nation to reexamine how far we still have to go on civil rights (even if the recent Supreme Court cases make me somewhat pessimistic). I’ll just say that tragedies like these, laws like these, verdicts like these could be prevented without even going into race issues. We could choose a non-violent domestic culture based on a respect for human life without even acknowledging that it might lead to fewer racist murders. We could do that.

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