Is there such a thing as a good, ethical or moral code of silence?
Today the most prominent public attention to a code of silence is with the Blue code of silence of law enforcement. The current moral argument goes that all police are complicit with the murder of unarmed citizens due to the blue code of silence. Therefore the murder of black Americans by law enforcement is not a case of a few bad apples because the Blue code of silence makes all of law enforcement complicit.
Why? Because there is only one reason to have a code of silence in the first place: to cover up. You don't cover up helping kids getting their cats down from a tree. No, cover-up is done for unethical and immoral acts. Codes of silence are always evil because they cover up immoral things. The fact that law enforcement employs a code of silence makes them all complicit with evil. Every single one. Don't want to be evil? Don't subscribe to the code silence. It is that simple.
Most States in the U.S. have felony murder laws. Felony Murder, Wikipedia:
The rule of felony murder is a legal doctrine in some common law jurisdictions that broadens the crime of murder: when an offender kills (regardless of intent to kill) in the commission of a dangerous or enumerated crime (called a felony in some jurisdictions), he/she is guilty of murder.Felony murder laws make everyone complicit. The advent of body cameras and citizen filming has lately encouraged law enforcement to enact a firing squad in a police shooting so as to ensure it is nigh impossible to pin down who fired the killing shot. The law of unintended consequences founded on a corrupt system created by a code of silence. Under the felony murder law they all should be found guilty. Bruce Springsteen wrote a song about 43 bullets, perhaps a rare occurrence at that time. Today execution by a firing squad cops is one the rise and will continue do so to ensure no one goes to jail or is held accountable, as a defense against body cameras and citizen filming.
Codes of silence perpetuate immorality and escalate immorality when under threat. The police in this country are becoming more immoral by the day in order to maintain this system.
Of course they are far from the only ones. The Catholic Church and the diddling of young boys by priests is perhaps the second most popular code of silence in the public eye today. Just recently the Catholic Church lobbied and succeeded in keeping the statute of limitations time from being extended for child molestations. What a vile, wicked entity.
However there is a code of silence every bit as evil as the Blue code of silence and mirrors it perfectly: the Black code silence.
I lived in Oakland from 1993 until 2001, mostly while I attended the University of California, Berkeley. During that time I lived at the corner of 42nd and Broadway in Oakland. Yeah, it has a sexy sound to it because of New York and 42nd and Broadway. However, that intersection in Oakland is the home of Oakland Technical High school: a run-down, dilapidated school. While I lived in that neighborhood I was mugged twice at gunpoint. I also witnessed two knife fights on the school lawn. The fights were on the school lawn because the school had metal detectors at the doors. It found it depressing that the paint on the outside of building was so old that it was half-gone and peeling off in chunks. How hard can it be to paint? When I enquired as to the paint being so bad I was told that the paint had lead in it and that the expense of toxic clean-up was too much to justify re-painting so the kids went to a school building painted in lead. There was a sign that said, "Penalties and fines doubled for selling drugs within 500 feet of a school zone." Across the street was a drug dealer with two rottweiler dogs for protection. People came and went 24 hours a day and the dogs barked accordingly. I was mugged twice at gunpoint when I lived there. Both times was at a distance greater than 10 feet and I just threw my wallet at their feet.
Shortly after I graduated from college I witnessed a crime in Oakland. It was a hot summer day and I was at my lady friends apartment. The sun was going down and we were hanging on the porch enjoying the cool night air; waiting for the inside to cool down. We were sitting on cheap lawn chairs made of the multicolor polyester fabric strips you see everywhere, sipping lemonade. We were living a stereotype.
Oakland had long ago dealt with the cruising problem in residential neighborhoods by laying down those cheap, nasty speed-bumps that are nothing more than six-inch-high concrete semi-circles. We had three on our block between stop signs. Salt in the wounds of the work class and poor, prematurely wearing down used and old cars people can barely afford.
Anyway, my lady friend and I were enjoying ourselves the night air when BAM! A truck tries to fly by and in pursuit with sirens flashing and lights blaring were the police. Three such bumps. I had to laugh. The whole scene looked like something out of a bad movie. The thief driving the truck didn't stop at the stop sign and was t-boned by the another pick-up coming through the intersection that was only a 2-way stop. The victim truck stopped on impact as it wasn't moving that fast. The thief’s truck came to a stop as the front tire was badly damaged. The thief got out of the truck and proceeded on foot into the nearest neighbor's backyard.
The victim manages to get out of the pick-up truck and collapses onto the street. The police had stopped at the stop sign. They two officers got out and started administering aid to the victim as well as stopping traffic. Shortly other police cars roll up and begin the process of going door-to-door searching for the suspect.
Then I saw something I didn't understand. The neighbors piled out and eventually started yelling at the police. Why? Because the son of a lady who lived on that street corner was being held back from coming through the intersection. The son was on a motorcycle. Soon a bunch of the neighbors were yelling to let the motorcycle through, he just lived right there. Finally her son gunned the bike through the intersection, past the police and the victim and parked his bike on front lawn. The police chose to ignore him. There was no respect for the police or the victim.
What does all this have to do with a Black code of silence? Well, since my lady friend and I witnessed the entire event we walked over to the police and stood in line to give our statements. An officer took our statement but indicated that it was highly unlikely we would be asked down to the precinct for further testimony. First, police officers saw the entire thing, so we would just be back up. Second, the neighbors were not co-operating and the police couldn't find the suspect. The Black code of silence.
The Black code of silence plays out every day in cities like Oakland and Chicago. People die every day because of it no different than with the Blue code of silence.
I experienced another case of black code of silence personally. A few years later I had moved to Mountain View, California. I had moved near Shoreline Ampitheater and could hear the summer music as I was that close.
One summer KMEL, a local radio station, held a summer JAM concert at the Shoreline. It seemed like half the city of Oakland had come down to Shoreline to go to the concert. A man was murdered at the McDonald’s two blocks from my apartment. I didn't hear it. My neighbor came over to ask me if I had heard anything and let me know. Turns out it was a drive by shooting and the parking lot of McDonald's had been full of witnesses. Not a one came forward.
It is the height of hypocrisy for the black community to call out the complicit nature of the Blue code of silence makes all of law enforcement liable when in fact the Black code of silence is supported and sponsored within that very community.
Codes of silence are immoral and evil because they exist only to cover up wrong doing and pointing out other people's such wrong doings when doing the same damn thing is not right.
Codes of silence are a powerful force that are all too prevalent. Here is a short list of today's more prominent codes:
- The Vatican and the Catholic Church. Priests diddling children makes this code of silence particularly reprehensible and the whole lot of them reprobates. Some things you can't cannot ever redeem. This is one of them. The Catholic Church lost any footing for a discussion of weighing good vs. bad with this. There is no argument. The Catholic Church is just evil and no amount of soup kitchens can walk back their pedofillia.
- The U.S. Security System. Snowden exposed the fact that the security code of silence has nothing to do with protecting us and everything to do with monitoring us. But that's just the latest indictment of our governments evil security code of silence. In 1990, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, I attended a college conference where Louie Lavoie spoke about the Soviet threat during the cold war. Louie included in his talk a very damning indictment of code black security projects. To hear Louie tell it 99% of the time projects are given black ops status to cover up incompetence and corruption and black out status has nothing to do with security. Of course he had to refrain from spilling details because he was sworn to a code of silence. Louie said that if he were asked as to which would be a bigger threat to our national security: removing 100% of all security clearance from our government or just keeping what we had in 1990 in place, that then he'd be hard pressed to make the argument for keeping a security system at all. That's how bad it was. That was in 1991 before the Internet. He was a nuclear threat analyst.
- Gangs. This is pretty much the same as the black code of silence only much less cultural and more about the drug business.
- Fraternities. How long are fraternities even going to be allowed to exist as every year it seems a new video exposes some immoral act that previously went unnoticed due to a code of silence.
It is worth pointing out the difference between a secret that is not enforced by a code of silence and a code of silence.
Patents are not the only way of protecting IP. One can simply keep a trade secret hidden from everyone else. Coke, for example, keeps its Coca-Cola formula from potential copiers but does so as a trade secret and not a patent.
A code of silence is different than protecting a secret like Coke's formula or a surprise birthday party because there is no cover up of ill doing. Codes of silence exist simply to cover-up what would otherwise be unacceptable, immoral acts.
There is one moral argument to be made for a code of silence: the greater society is evil and the sub-culture wants to be good and in doing so will be persecuted. A classic case of this is religion, where a sub-culture religious group must outwardly adhere to the great culture religion to survive.
Fortunately this moral argument can now be given a modern treatment where such things as secular societies exist.
I was lied too as a child. So were millions of other children children in America growing up in 1960s and 1970s. Specially I was lied to by our Methodist, Sunday school teacher. Specifically we were taught that polytheism lost out to monotheism due to reason: Thor didn't throw lighting bolts and Poseidon did not make storms on the sea. Sure, why not? We are also told God had removed himself from the day-to-day affairs after Jesus rose from the dead and so all activity on the planet was now natural until Jesus' return. What were not told is about the hundreds of years of bloody war between the pagans and Christians. We were not told the Christians won out, but not through reason, but through killing. We were not told that the Catholic church felt so embolden by its success with religious genocide of the pagans that they tried again with the Islamic faith. Well, Crusades did not go so well as with wiping out the pagans.
So the pagans went underground and employed a code of silence. This didn't prevent the Catholic church from hunting them down to kill them. These hunts eventually became known as witch hunts.
Of course my sympathies lie with the pagans and the countless witches who were butchered alive by being burned at the stake alive. Just for this one fact of burning women alive at the stake then the Christian religion can never by redeemed; the balance of all the good that Christianity has done can never move the scales of justice when weighed against the evil of religious genocide and burning "witches" alive. Christianity is and always will be evil.
So were the pagans moral in their code of silence? The greater society wanted them dead.
In a modern context let us consider a 2x2 matrix comparing moral objectivity with moral relativity. In the following cases is a code of silence moral?
- Yes, but.
Objective morality versus objective morality. This is the case of the pagans above. One religious objective moral system is pitted against another objective religious moral system. Yes, in this case, the code of silence is moral. But it is only made moral by an even greater immoral system: objective morality.
Objective morality versus relative morality. The answer to the moral question here was best stated by Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty or give me death." In this case the moral cause of the relative morality mandates rebelling unto death against objective moral systems.
Relative morality versus objective morality. This is the case of the U.S. in 1789 and is the case today. This is a case where moral objective systems of religion compete peacefully in a secular society. Since there is no violent persecution by the greater society then any code of silence is immoral. An objective moral religion is not allowed to cover up immoral acts, like say the priests diddling the children.
Relative morality versus relative morality. Clearly in this case a code of silence is simply used to cover up immoral acts.
Mmmm. If you...kind reader...have made it this far into this essay then mostly likely your sensibilities have been disturbed by the frequent use of the word "evil".
Good, good. This is not by mistake. First, I use the demonizing words of religion so as to steal their power. But that's not the point here. The second reason I use "evil" is usher forth in your heart your objective moral empathy so as to squash it, git rid of it. Objective moral empathy is no longer valid. The millennials today are coming to grips with moral relativity. The notion of a social justice warrior as well as the excessive, heavy-handed political correctness of the younger generation today moves away from objective moral sensibilities. In a morally relative system then evil and good have different connotations than objective morality where evil and good are states of a person.
So what is the new relative moral empathy? I created a post about this awhile back. What's important to summarize is that with moral objectivity good and evil are either/or situations about the state of a person. Take, for example, the cases of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Both of these guys are heroes of the American revolution and founding fathers of this country. Are they good or evil? Well, on one-hand they founded this country and so are good. On the other hand they both owned slaves and so are evil. Which is it? People who suffer from moral objectivity must put these guys into only one of the good or evil boxes, not both. If a morally objective person wants to view them as good then cognitive dissonance is created with respect to them both owning slaves. And the reverse is true in that if one wants to see them as evil then cognitive dissonance is created because of the good they did in creating this country.
So, to a moral relativist such as myself and for a system such as Irreni World Scale, people are not in a state of good or evil. People just do good and evil things. The objective is to encourage the good and discourage the bad. Good and evil are supernatural states of a being in an objective moral system. They just describe helpful and harmful acts in a relative moral system.
Love everyone. Moral relativity is about finding a space to love everyone. The language of de-humanizing people by calling them things such as evil, a thug, despicable, degenerate, filthy, etc. must be neutralized.
Well, we have strayed far away from the main thesis, a code of silence. A code of silence is always immoral and evil. It is always a thing to discourage and work against. But realize when it is said that previously that all of law enforcement is evil and culpable for killing due to the code of silence that this is done in a modern context of moral relativity. Just like I can value George Washington as both good and evil then I can also law enforcement as good and evil both. Because I live using moral relativity and because we all do good and evil acts then social morality is about us being other's keepers and we need to help each other overcome evil, our harmful acts.
So everyone, give up the codes of silence. No good ever comes from them.
Politics as Science!
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Empathy for all!
Moral relativity: think it, breath it!
Prove it or lose it!
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Scale your empathy, scale the world!
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Well come! and well met!