Letters to the Editor

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POLICE: Bad upbringings teach disrespect for authority

Letter by Michelle Marks, Tacoma on June 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm with 38 Comments »
June 21, 2010 9:05 am

I just recently watched the video of the Seattle police punching a teenage girl in the face. I am a black female, and I don’t understand why our so-called “black leaders” believe that the police officer did anything other than what was required of him at that moment.

Who really doesn’t know that it is not OK to put their hands on the police, for any reason? I believe the underlying problem is that children are not being taught to respect people in authority. Too many times, I have heard parents get upset when their child’s teacher tells them that their child misbehaved at school, and instead of disciplining their child, they get upset with the teacher, school, etc., or start making excuses.

Until children are taught that they have to obey authority and that they have no right to question it, these types of incidents will continue to occur. As far as I’m concerned, the girl received exactly what she was asking for. She’s lucky I’m not the cop who arrested her because a black eye would have been the very least of her concerns.

I’m usually the first to stand up and say when I believe police are out of line. This is not one of those times.

Leave a comment Comments → 38
  1. Roncella says:

    Michelle, Thanks for speaking out in support of the Policeman. I hope you take a few mins. and express your opinion to the Seattle Police dept also.

    There will be alot of pressure applied to the Seattle Police dept. by politicians and Al Sharpton types, to fire or take severe disciplinary against the officer.

  2. “Until children are taught that they have to obey authority and that they have no right to question it..”

    I take issue with this statement..kids should definitely be taught to respect authority, but they also should be taught what rights they have and how to respectfully maintain them when dealing with law enforcement.

    Some cops take advantage of the fact that many people don’t know their rights. I don’t blame the police for this, but I think children should be taught to watch for abuses of power.

  3. Fine loz, but have you SEEN this video. No one here was inquiring about her rights.

    The point of this letter is that blatant disrespect gets whisked under the rug in the name of “rights” and political correctness. Don’t the maniacs who’ve foisted this stuff on us HEAR US saying we are sick and tired of it?

    Not just because it’s nonsense, but because it’s ripping the fabric of our society, right before our eyes!

  4. ItalianSpring says:

    Here’s the deal. Push the cop and it becomes “three enter, one man leaves”. In other words Thunderdome rules immediately apply and it is truly the cop’s job to win, at ANY cost. This is why you must always do what the cop tells you as it is his job to use force if necessary to make sure you do.

  5. My comments were directed at the generalization of what children should be taught, not towards the incident caught on video.
    And yes, I’ve seen the video. I’m surprised that’s all the cop did.

  6. Thank you Michelle, you are right. Most kids today are not taught to be respectful of anyone.

    loz; this situation has nothing to do with those girls knowing how to maintain their rights, respectfully or not. They started it, the cop finished it. While I am not always a supporter of what cops do, in this case he was in a no win situation and did what he had to do.

    Don’t kid yourself into thinking that kids don’t know what abuse of power is.

  7. That wasn’t much of a punch the cop threw. What he needs is more training in pugilistic enforcement.

  8. “loz; this situation has nothing to do with those girls knowing how to maintain their rights, respectfully or not”

    Like I explained to sozo in the post before yours, my comments were not directed towards the girls in the video, but towards the suggestion of the writer that children “have no right to question [authority]“.

  9. Because I have more faith in humanity than does this letter writer, I’m willing to wait until this whole drama plays out before jumping to conclusions.

    At this point the young lady involved in this skirmish has apologized to the police officer.


    This may very well become a learning experience for all involved. And that would be a good thing.

  10. ldozy1234 says:

    I do find it interesting in the original video shot of this, the 19 year old adult first looked to the man filming the situation to make sure it was still running before she again went after Officer Walsh despite the bystander trying to hold her back.
    Sorry- even if it had been my daughter, if she acted this out of control and disrespectfully assaulted a police officer doing his job, I couldn’t blame him for protecting himself and punching her..

  11. angevinemm says:

    The real shame is that these hood rats are going to get away with a slap on the wrist, reinforcing the fact that you do not have to respect authority.

    It is a no win situation.

  12. Once again if a thug murders several police officers the entire community reaches out to them in support.

    But if a cop protects himself against one of these thugs? God help him!

    You couldnt pay me a million bucks to be a cop.

  13. Roncella says:

    The Politically correct extreme liberals have invaded our society to the point where they affect everything they can, it just doesn’t matter to them whats right and whats wrong .

    Vote as many as you can out of office this November, get your Country back while you still can !!!

  14. Eccl. 8 : 11

  15. DcR, as I queried before: Who in their right mind is going to become a cop in the future…or a teacher? It was bad enough back in the 80’s when I was co-teaching a class and a student used a disgusting pantomime to humiliate the man I was teaching with…behind the teacher’s back. I booted the kid and said he was through only to find out that because I didn’t fill some new form out in triplicate and indicated three willing witnesses, blah blah, blah, I’d have to welcome the kid back. I’d have sooner been fired and said so. Fortunately our family did not depend on my income.

    I remember going home that night and telling my husband that though everyone accused me of an exaggeration, I wanted to go on record that we were witnesssing the beginning of something really bad occurring in the public schools. And so we were.

    In the schools, in the streets, on the job…. Why can’t people understand the simple principle of erosion?

  16. fanciladi says:

    Michelle, you are SO on target with your letter…you go girl!

  17. Sozo, Very well said! I agree that the erosion of not only our schools but our society began many years ago, I believe it was in the mid-60’s where it became ‘cool” and “hip” to question and challenge any and all forms of authority. Loz’s comments reflect that mentality does still exist. These “resisters” are ready and willing to stand up for their “rights”, but seem to be unwilling to volunteer to defend those rights.

  18. donjames says:

    Agree with Polago, but I also agree with Idozy1234.

    This particular crossing seems to have a history of miscreants crossing illegally and stopping and harassing traffic. I would not be surprised if this started out to be a set-up.

    Dcr628 says:

    “You couldnt pay me a million bucks to be a cop” in seattle. (Fixed for ‘ya)

  19. Actually, it became “cool and hip” to question authority with the Boston Tea Party and it became part of school curriculum when Thoreau was inducted into the canon.

    Yes…..I know, I know……this is different. But, the overarching overgeneralizations that are being made about liberals and/or hippies ruining society by challenging the authority seem a little…..reaching.

  20. Reaganomics says:

    Ms. Marks, First of all OUTSTANDING letter!

    But we need to go further. We need to eliminate “black leaders” from our vocabulary. We need to look to our leaders of every color and hue to support our police. It will only be when all leaders, of all subsets of humanity, can look at an incident and NOT see the colors of the two sides, but only see the actions of the sides, that racial equality will be achieved.

    In this case the “black leaders” only see the races of those involved. They do not see the actions.

  21. donjames says:

    Reaganomics says:

    “In this case the “black leaders” only see” $$$$$$$. (Fixed for ‘ya.)

  22. tubbythetuba says:

    Loz, people have the right to question authority, but not when the Cop is telling you to do something…..That’s either stupid, or intentional confrontation for other motives…..

  23. BeerB As everyone knows, the Boston Tea Party was about……jay walking ..Context, sequence, proportion aaaaaand reason…

  24. Good call, Reaganomics, and Bb, civil disobedience goes back a little before the Am. Rev. prelude. Leonidas “disobeyed” Xerxes on the eastern cliff of the Strait of Euboea 480 BC.

  25. I am not talking about civil disobedience, bB. See this is part of the problem.
    Naive teachers began confusing issues where such disobedience was apprpopriate with every individual stomping his/her feet demaning rights.

    What was once a noble act has now been turned into a joke.

    Honestly, I am a bit surprised that you would so handily confuse these things.

  26. Another story from my personal arichives. I was a young, hip high school teacher in 1971. I was that teacher, you know, the one the kids go hang out with and dis “the establishment.”

    One day the kids hear there will be an enforcement regarding the dress code and the kids get all riled up; run to my room and ask how they can fight this. I talk with them about the avenues they have to protest the code and encourage them to be able to articulate sane, responses when they were asked questions.

    All was going swimmingly until suddenly a kid bursts into my room with the joyful news that the media was coming to cover their big walkout, about which I knew nothing. Remember, this was 1971 so the media actually sent trucks out to high schools for this sort of crap.

    I told the kids I wouldn’t be joining them and why; their challenge to the school board had become a fiasco and I didn’t want my name on it. I explained to them that they’d totally lost all focus and were being exploited without even knowing it, but it was too late. The notion that they might see theier little muggs on TV for a split second was just too grand a temptation.

    Suddenly, I was not nearly as cool as I’d been the day before because I’d invited them to give some thought to what they were doing, what they wanted and how to best go about getting it.

    Their way was a lot more fun and made for better stories. Who know what I would live to see played out over the coming decades?

  27. BB…I dont think its “reaching” at all. If you want to go back through the ages, youd never be able to stop. The Boston Tea Party? Heck, you could go back to Biblical times and THAT wouldnt be far enough.

    However I DO think that MANY of our social problems today, DID begin “in the 60s” when it was “cool and hip”. There is no denying that the root of our social issues began in the 60s and 70s during that social experiment that flopped. Sure all those things I could list did happen before that time. But I dont think it was that it was “hushed up”…I think it went unnoticed becuase the frequency was less.

  28. When I was young a sadistic music teacher used to rap my knuckles with a drum stick if I let my hands drop while playing the piano and stick pins under my elbows to ensure that I would hold my trumpet high throughout the lesson.

    My wife recently completed a stint teaching high school in Tumwater. The biggest problem was with the parents – who weren’t children of the 60’s – who would harass the teachers and administrators in order to ensure that their spawn would get A’s even when they only completed half of the assignments.

    I see a degradation coming from the greed is good era – yes Reaganomics, the Reagan era of 80s ushered in a succeeding generations of Entitlement babies who had to have the newest electronic devices, brand new cars on their 16th birthdays and not have to work for anything. And their Yuppie parents, who felt guilty because neither one of them were around due to their pressure at work, made sure that there was absolutely nothing material lacking from their bratty spawn’s life.

  29. The key word here is erosion bBoy, and I concur that entitlement among our youthis a sickness, the side effects of which we are all suffering now .We have only ourselves to thank.

    The greed and instant gratification mentality has most definitely contributed to the problem.

    That said, we were talking about a blatant disrespect for authority, and in contemporary society THAT had its genesis among the children of the 60’s and 70’s. All you have to do is make a quick visitation to TV and movie archives to find one piece after another that reflects the early “looking out for # 1″ mindset that took root then. Moms walking out on their families, kids “divorcing” their parents, dads portrayed as complete buffoons while moms were portrayed as all-knowing, their only fault being that they hooked up with the loser dad. The list could go on, but surely you see it.

  30. Roncella says:

    beerBoy, Its interesting how quickly you can relate President Ronald Reagan to some theory you believe, and leave out President Clinton who actually took advantage of a very young intern working in the Whitehouse, who was no doubt very spoiled by her parents and given anything she wanted.

    Selective memory I guess…

  31. Ron……Reagan started it. All ensuing Administrations (with the possible exclusion of Bush I) continued it.

    Speaking of selective memories and Reagan – wasn’t it his Administration that popularized the plausible deniability defense and the standard “I do not recall”?

    Some responses to the Reagan mythologizing:




  32. Bb- some good points you make and I must sympathize with you in the extreme re your hideous music teacher (was that a public school by chance). It may be difficult for one teacher to instruct 40-50 kids each playing an instrument that is monophonic while gluing their eyes to a dotted paper, but an arranged field trip to a pro concert with pre and post q/a with the performers, up close, would yield priceless results. Since most parents know very little about harmony(“that doesn’t sound anything like the song, what’s with all those ‘rests'”) it’s amazing that some of us play any instruments at all after high school. It wasn’t until we hit the “street” that music became fun, sheet music is too slow and it hides your smile and separates you from the audience, we learned teamwork, marketing, financing ,logistics, contracts and a lot you could never learn in school by the time one turned 18, all from getting kicked out of orch. for playing my violin like a guitar. I digress…Reagan did not invent greed, Johnson was closer but he didn’t invent it either, Achan was closer still….

  33. Catholic school, I’ll bet.

  34. Definitely Catholic School. And those abuses were in private lessons. During group singing lessons she told the untalented students to mouth the words rather than attempt to sing.

  35. Sorry about the evil teacher bB, but she is the exception I would guess and should be judged accordingly. I went up to the school once to challenge a neurotic, infantile teacher; otherwise, I taught our kids to respect authority and to realize that a lousy teacher here and there is a life lesson…not all your bosses will be people you like, not even all your presidents!

  36. For the most part, our society is made up of an interesting mix of good people. Americans, in general, are hard working, self supporting, law abiding, tax paying, kind and generous.

    The experiences expressed here are beyond the norm and relatively unique, as is the story behind this thread, which by all accounts is not something seen in everyday life, yet somehow this experience is being used to exemplify how our society has eroded.

    I would much rather use the word evolved to characterize how we got to where we are today and how the 60’s played a small part in that evolution, as did WWII, the Great Depression, the Roaring 20’s, the war to end all wars, immigration at the turn of the last century, and so on back in time.

    Similarly, each of us can look back on our own lives to see the experiences that shaped our individual persona, that defining moment. It isn’t so much what happens to each of us that matters, but how we chose to deal with these occurrences that defines us as individuals.

    Those involved in this incident can’t undo the past. They can choose which course they want to see themselves taking going forward. This incident need not define them and we, as observers, owe them the latitude to emerge from this, better people.

    Our choice, as observers, is whether we want to be part of the problem, or part of the solution.

  37. fortunately sozo, I have had several exceptional teachers and mentors throughout my life that more than make up for the emotionally unstable nun who taught music in grade school. Some of these were music teachers.

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