One of the major take away lessons from being a sociology major was the concept of “empirical Indicator” which means that some real life items we view in life stand for something else which often times is way more important. Another aspect for finding an empirical indicator is it frequently stands true for other similar situations. So, you can often times make a collection of these indicators to carry with you for future encounters. Often times they help you to look behind the facade of life for a deeper understanding of more important issues.
The use of lethal force upon a black man by multiple police officers, killing him slowly and with way less regard for his existence due to his skin color is an empirical indicator for the obvious bigotry of that police department. It was multiple officers that killed the man so this indicator stands to be broad, not specific to one person. This indicator of bigotry in the Minneapolis police department also probably stands for multiple significant other factors such as that government’s alleged endorsement of racial inequality for putting that police force in power and to exist. You might even examine the possibility that county and state politicians also support this racial inequity in other more distant areas of the state’s operation.
The empirical indicator we come away with in this instance is the killing of person of color who was treated differently. This incident is the indicator; it reveals what is more important which is a high level of believing, viewing and treating people who are different. It indicates that there is inequality in this portion of that city’s government.
Taking this empirical view as a possible core take away for the more hidden meaning of bigotry in this one government agency we can then sit back and witness how the politicians react to this event and measure if they get the reality of what is going on. They do not for these reasons:
- No mention of reforming the Minneapolis police department.
- Attacking the protesters for their riotous behavior, which is ok but never a follow up of we need to reform our own government attitudes and operations.
- Telling the public that all the people who were arrested for rioting came from out of state may be true but is a deliberate diversion of attention away from what is going on.
Using the empirical indicator that we found significant alleged bigotry in the Minneapolis Police Department, we can then use that “fact” as a possible measuring tool. And, so far, the results are quite awful. No politician seems to understand the underlying message that the empirical indicator revealed.
Posted May 31, 2020
Updated June 1, 2020