By Elizabeth O'Meara Adams
The brief legal definition of deliberate indifference is "the conscious or reckless disregard of the consequences of one's acts or omissions. (lectlaw.com)
An internet search on “deliberate indifference” will bring up many links, most of which are related to jail populations, but also some in relation to school and work environments.
But based on the definition above, I see deliberate indifference as the core issue within our government and powers that be. From this deeply ingrained attitude does the bulk of government action (and inaction) take place. The current election cycle has brought this to the forefront, seen most recently in the Democratic Party’s platform, which refused to lift the cap on Social Security and supports the TPP. The Democratic Party used to be called the party of the people, but it can only be that if the definition of “people” is the Supreme Court definition, which conflates corporations with living, breathing, suffering human beings.
Deliberate indifference is so deeply ingrained in the United States, inequality in all aspects of U. S. life just gets worse and worse. And the absolute worst outcome of this inequality has finally been brought to the open for all to see. It is a deliberate indifference that is more obvious and much more lethal. It is that of the criminal “justice” apparatus: the apparatus that incentivizes arrests to fill jail cells, keep the coffers full, and otherize human beings who have non-white skin.
The videos we have seen, thanks to unimaginably brave witnesses, are showing anyone not afflicted with cognitive dissonance how utterly fucked up our nation is. And these crimes against our citizens did not just start taking place since the advent of social media.
The deliberate indifference starts with the initial contact over a minor infraction, which wouldn’t have taken place had the person been Caucasian. It continues to the next level with the use of lethal force. And then the second shot. And the third. And the fourth.
And it continues even further with the startling lack of medical attention. If shooting another human being to hell doesn’t say someone doesn’t value another life, leaving them to certain death does. Disregarded at the beginning of the encounter, discarded like a piece of trash at the end, these people are paying the ultimate price for society’s failure to give a damn.
- Forcing a woman out of her car, threatening to taser her, and slamming her head on the ground during a stop for failing to signal a lane change. #SandraBrown #DeliberateIndifference
- Taking the time to handcuff a cooperative unarmed woman while her boyfriend bleeds out during a stop for a broken taillight. #PhilandoCastile #DeliberateIndifference #CPR #EMS
- Shooting an unarmed man in broad daylight, as he runs away from you, and not calling EMS or attempting CPR while he bleeds out. #MichaelBrown #DeliberateIndifference
- Worrying more about getting in trouble than providing life-saving help to an innocent man whom you just shot. #PhilandoCastile #DeliberateIndifference
- Using deadly force on a man selling CDs and not initiating life-saving measures. #AntonSterling #DeliberateIndifference
- Americans should be “troubled” by the videotaped murders by police, but we are “horrified” by the “senseless” murders of police officers. #DeliberateIndifference #TargetedDronesKillInnocentBrownPeople
- When you are harming someone who is not harming you, you are judge and jury. When you do nothing to save his/her life, you are executioner. #DeliberateIndifference #BlackLivesMatter