The Thin Blue Line / Camaraderie…
American veterans like myself understand camaraderie. We also recognize that camaraderie is a functional component in criminal gangs and enemies. The “Thin Blue Line” defines camaraderie as it exists among police. Men and women of a singular organization (police or law enforcement) that stand on this line when facing any and all opposition and adversity.
In a bar fight between a single squid and a single jar-head, sides formed immediately and became Navy v. Marine despite the nature of the argument or who was right and who was wrong. I’ve been there… I’ve seen it and I’ve been a part of it. It is a part of who we are and is almost as instinctual as breathing. The feeling of belonging and being part of something much larger than yourself. It’s effects are intoxicating and inescapable. In the heat of the moment, it doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong only that the line stands strong and the side you are on wins.
The difference between the camaraderie I experienced in the Navy and what I see today by the men and women in blue is that in the end, military personnel ultimately came to care about what was right and what was wrong whereas the police today only care about the line itself and winning despite right and wrong.
Camaraderie is generally a good thing when the group as a whole does it’s part to ensure that truth and law prevail despite the consequences.
Today, the thin blue line is maintained for ill gotten gains and self preservation. The line is maintained for wrongs more than rights which makes this camaraderie a really bad thing. Enjoining yourself in what is evil is just as possible as enjoining yourself in what is good.
In the Navy, we first policed our own. Our line was impenetrable not because we all wore the same uniform but because we knew the character and commitment of our shipmates.
Today the Thin Blue Line serves to protect police that commit crimes much more than it protects good cops. People like Leo Mioduszewski and Larry Stelma, two Michigan Sheriffs, that stand behind this thin blue line as criminals with their own army for protection… an army that faces who? We the People.
Camaraderie is an alignment within a group that requires your belief and trust that encapsulates your own values, morals and sense of purpose.
If you have to ignore the acts of the men and women you stand and serve with… it is long past time that you reevaluate your loyalties and your personal commitment to help hold that line.