So, just about the only topic my dad brought up at dinner the other night that didn’t make me want to argue with him was when he asked me if I knew my brother has decided to apply for a job with the police department after graduation. I’ve known about this plan for a while, but haven’t really said anything about it because I’m not sure how I feel.
As you may or may not have noticed, I have a wide anti-authoritarian streak. I don’t like cops, as a rule (and that's just the beginning of a very long list of authority figures I don't like). I do, however, like my brother. And I don’t particularly care for the idea of him having a job where people might shoot at him. I worry that he’s not particularly suited, personality-wise, to be a cop. He’s a bit of a lone wolf, and tends to take his own path in life. Cops, in my opinion, tend to be very conformist. Plus he tends to interpret the world in a very black and white fashion, and I think cops have to deal with a lot of grey areas.
He says it is important to him to find a way to give back to the community, and that he just doesn’t want to be stuck behind a desk somewhere. I maintain that it is possible for him to do that in a job that doesn’t involve guns and Kevlar vests. Am I pleased that he wants to have a job where he is helping other people? Of course I am. I liked it better when he was a volunteer fireman though. When I really think about it, I suppose I should be glad that someone like my brother wants to be a cop. He’d never engage in the cop behavior that I find most objectionable – the bullying and petty abuse of power, the casual racism, the profiling, beating of suspects and manufacturing of evidence that happens all too frequently in America today.
I guess it’s just that I’ve grown cynical. I don’t think he can change a thing. But in the end, he has to live the life that works for him, so I’ll just have to respect his choices – and his authoritay. And hope he can help with speeding tickets.