laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily


"Righties mad about looting: a nice TV is a small consolation prize for knowing a cop could shoot you anytime for no fucking reason." -- Nick Spencer


















"--God's rage."

Date: 2017-04-20 11:05 pm (UTC)
cyberghostface: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cyberghostface
Yeah but Spencer is not even using the story as a metaphor for police brutality. It is a story about police brutality just one that dehumanizes the police as much as possible.

Date: 2017-04-21 12:23 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
It's not even about police brutality, really, because Rage got brought into custody alive and un-shot, and was beaten into a coma by his fellow inmates instead of the cops.

I don't understand what Spencer's doing with this. The Americops are faceless fascist figures, and yet the instance of police brutality Sam breaks up in this issue is a single cop wielding his nightstick against two black guys. I mean, my god, can you imagine a reality where a cop's first choice is a nightstick instead of a gun?

Date: 2017-04-21 01:02 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
I'm saying it's not about brutality, in that police brutality is not the focus of the story - the stirring sermon doesn't even mention Rage being beaten! Certainly, the Americops are brutal, but so much less so than famous incidences of police brutality in real life. It's bizarre that Spencer has the Americops looking so intimidating, and then tones the violence way down from the real world.

Date: 2017-04-21 01:40 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
Again, the sermon doesn't mention the brutality at all. All efforts go into proving Elvin innocent, rather than proving the Americops guilty. Elvin is bloodied and has a swollen eye when Sam visits him in jail, but does not seem otherwise incapacitated, and even the visual signifiers of his injury seem to have completely healed by the next issue. Police brutality is simply incidental to the story, it's not focused on at all.

Date: 2017-04-21 02:11 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
I'm saying that police brutality is so minimized it feels insulting. We don't have to compare this to shootings - let's compare Rage being beaten by the Americops and their truncheons, to him being beaten by his fellow inmates with their bare fists in this issue. Huge fucking difference in outcomes, eh?

Police brutality is straight-up ignored by the story. Rage, for all his rage at the system, is boiling at the thought of being unfairly convicted and doesn't seem to particularly care that he got the shit kicked out of him. Again, the priest in his sermon of all the injustices that were inflicted upon Rage, says that he was put in a cell, that he was convicted, and ... well, that's it.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2017-04-21 02:48 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
I don't see how those matter if the protagonists aren't addressing it.

Sure, you can portray the Americops as beating the shit out of civilians all you want, but if the narrative emphasis of the story is on how they have to prove Elvin innocent, and how they have to handle community reactions to prevent riots, and nothing about how they should get to work shutting the Americops down, then that's just minimizing and normalizing police brutality.

Like, in another comment you said the Americops exist because they need supervillains to fight. But they're not fighting the cops, they're fighting the courts and the rest of the criminal justice system.

Date: 2017-04-21 02:25 pm (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
You are talking about backdrop. I am saying this should be part of the main plot. Of course I think this is insufficient.

Rage starts off in conflict with the Americops, is unfairly and brutally beaten by them, and then decides that the real problem is the disproportionate number of black men being incarcerated in the US. Rage acts like he's privileged, like his Avengers connections would prevent him from being treated like an average black man - but he's already been beaten by the police! He's already a living example of how black men are unfairly treated by law enforcement! Why isn't he upset about the injustices he's already suffered, instead of seeking to prove a point by forgoing 'special treatment'? Why does he need to go through this whole self-inflicted song and dance when it's so utterly redundant?

I suspect the answer is that Nick Spencer doesn't actually understand the emotional resonance of police brutality, and thus feels like he needs to 'add on' to it in order to raise the stakes, inadvertently losing track of his plot in the process. Yes, this is all 'one filthy whole' in that racism in the US is institutional and pervasive, but the sheer expanse of it makes it even more idiotic to haphazardly leap from one aspect to the next.

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Date: 2017-04-23 06:18 pm (UTC)
raspberryrain: (roll eyes)
From: [personal profile] raspberryrain
Yes, I can.

The lazy cowards who pull the gun and just shoot a pedestrian make the news. The ones who beat civilians up don't, because they're far more common.

Date: 2017-04-21 02:44 am (UTC)
cyberghostface: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cyberghostface
Spencer seeing the police as supervillains would explain a lot about his intent here.

Date: 2017-04-21 01:29 pm (UTC)
cyberghostface: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cyberghostface
If that was his intent than a story where the police are represented with a wholly corrupt fascist force targeting innocent minorities as part of a sinister gentrification scheme probably wasn't the way to go.

Date: 2017-04-21 02:19 pm (UTC)
cyberghostface: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cyberghostface
I don't think all policemen are evil fascists deliberately targeting innocent minorities as part of a gentrification scheme, yes.

Date: 2017-04-21 02:32 pm (UTC)
cyberghostface: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cyberghostface
I don't think you'd disagree that all bigots are by definition bigoted against one group or another, would you?

Date: 2017-04-21 02:43 pm (UTC)
cyberghostface: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cyberghostface
So a story where bigots are depicted as being bigots is not the same as a story where the police are represented as being fascists.

The Batman comics have tackled police corruption (see Year One for example) without having to resort to stuff like this so it's not impossible for a superhero comic to actually deal with such things in a level manner.

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