Drawing the Line

At the end of the article, they make a hasty generalization says that the officer was a young officer that and his first instinct was to act in a situation where he thought a crime was happening. So therefore if someone is a young officer they will always jump into actions based on assumption that a crime is happening? That is not correct because we can see throughout the news that this is not the first case that this has happened and the officers are not young, they all different ages and come from backgrounds.

Having trouble following that? I don’t blame you. It’s a verbatim excerpt from a student response to a take-home exam I gave in my Phil 100 class, Critical Thinking. The whole essay reads like this. Neither the article mentioned nor the response given has anything (at all) to do with the exam assignment, which the student has blithely ignored. No information is given about the article, either: no author, title, date, or source.

No automatic alt text available.

Any guesses as to the student’s major? Criminal Justice. Career interest? Law enforcement. Imagine, under conditions of duress, asking him to explain himself or explain the law when he has ready access to a firearm, the authority to use it, and substantial legal immunity even if he misuses it. What could go wrong?

I always think about students like this when I encounter all that strident propaganda about “supporting U.S. law enforcement” and the “thin blue line.” I have no objection to it per se. But those promoting it might remember that there’s no law enforcement without literacy or the capacity for critical thought. There’s also neither literacy nor critical thinking without someone to teach them–and no teaching them without the patience of a martyr.

The thin blue line is a great thing. It just happens to rest on three red ones: the ones that spell “F.”

One thought on “Drawing the Line

  1. “Having trouble following that?”

    FWIW, I had no trouble following it, other than pain at the mangling of English; but it was clear enough what they were trying to say, and the passage even contained an argument, albeit a dubious one.


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