A response to the baseless “why don’t you join the police department and fix it” argument

The Dallas, TX police chief famously told people protesting police brutality to “Get off that protest line and put an application in [to become a police officer].” That sort of argument has been repeatedly used by those attempting to undermine protests, and it lacks any semblance of a basis in logic for the reasons discussed below.

It is not the role of a citizen to quit their job and start a new job working for the government in order to fix a problem with how the government is rendering a service. The idea that a person should have to give up their existing career and become a government employee before they can object to existing government employees committing murder is beyond ridiculous.

By that same logic, if the post office decides to shred and burn my mail I should have to quit my job and become a mail carrier before I can complain. If the city-owned water company starts pumping sewage instead of fresh water through my water pipes, I should have to quit my job and work for that water company before I can object. If the garbage service run by the city crashes into my car every week, I should apply for a job before I voice my displeasure. Obviously none of that makes any sense, and neither does the Dallas police chief’s retort.

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The real problem with this argument is that it is yet another attempt to deflect from the very real issue of police brutality. Failing to address that problem is costing lives, and the sooner we cut through baseless retorts and get to work on fixing the issue, the sooner that lives will not be needlessly lost.