The Bozena Riot mobile crowd-control unit
The Bozena Riot is a 15,000-pound riot-control bulldozer whose frontal wall can expand to the width of city streets, raising and lowering to either protect or release dozens of police. It’s bullet- and fireproof, and it can be operated either from a cockpit behind the wall or by remote control. Its loudspeakers, cameras, and high-pressure tear gas nozzles just scream “consent of the governed.” As the manufacturer’s website puts it:
The system offers a solution for both protecting the law-enforcement units in action and controlling the situation whenever peace maintenance is required.
The primary use of the passive voice in English is to disguise whoever is doing something. This
bulldozer system offers solutions for “whenever peace maintenance is required.” But who requires peace? If the Bozena Riot’s first role is to protect “law-enforcement units in action,” who endangers them by ordering action in the first place? The answer, in theory, is us. We pay the taxes that might purchase this thing, and we require the peace to be maintained. Right? You love the Bozena Riot and are glad someone manufactured it. I mean, what else could you love? Riots?
Smick sent me a link to this long essay ostensibly by a teacher at a predominantly black high school, supposed to have first appeared in the Rants & Raves section of Mobile, Alabama Craigslist. It appears all over the internet with that attribution, although the original has yet to be found. It reached Smick via a chain email, and he sent it to me with the possibly facetious question, “Is this racist?” Spoiler alert: yes, the essay is extremely racist. Besides repeatedly using the phrase “the blacks,” it also contains this paragraph:
One might object that there are important group differences among blacks that a white man simply cannot detect. I have done my best to find them, but so far as I can tell, they dress the same, talk the same, think the same. Certainly, they form rival groups, but the groups are not different in any discernible way. There simply are no groups of blacks that are as distinctly different from each other as white “nerds,” “hunters,” or “Goths,” for example.
Bob Parks described it as “the kind of truth that is often taken back out of PC fear.” He would have sourced it better, but his nephew was visiting him at his cabin.