William Thien

Has America Finally Become A Police State?

Posted on: November 2, 2011

Don’t misunderstand me here as I like the protection a well-trained police force provides a community. The police I know are dedicated and care for the community.

But for some time now I have been switching channels on the television when I get a chance and have discovered that there are Police Dramas on all three major networks at the same time every night of the week and for a substantial portion of the evening. Everywhere you look on contemporary television there are police. And somehow I perceive that it is not just due to viewer demand. I realize it is difficult to accept the fact that we may indeed be living in some sort of Orwellian future such as in 1984, but now more than ever the technology exists.

In one Police Drama a female police officer threatens to “frame” a suspect and in another all men were basically unproductive womanizers. The perception the public must have after viewing these shows is not the reality of real police work, I am sure. The problem though is that television has a didactic effect upon the viewer and when shows suggest that police can “frame” a person in order to get a conviction or that all men are basically unproductive womanizers, well it leaves to a certain degree an impression upon the viewer. And when they then may interact with the police in a real life situation, it is quite possible the outcome can be negative for both parties, the viewer and the real police officer. But even more disconcerting is that the viewer might think it is acceptable behavior for police to frame a suspect or that women are always the victims of domestic violence and do not instigate certain behaviors or initiate domestic disputes.

Couple that with the totalitarian fact that old ladies and babies are being searched at the airport and you can only reach one conclusion, America is now a “Police State.”

And the media is a willing part of the Police State, often softening or clouding our perceptions about that Police State. Don’t forget that fact.

Copyright © William Thien 2011

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