Why reward stupidity?

I have a confession to make: I understand how the fellow in the Starbucks in Tempe, Arizona, felt. Sometimes I, too, am seized by an almost uncontrollable fear of police officers. It makes me very uncomfortable.

Usually, it happens when I notice a police or sheriff’s cruiser parked near the highway, then glance down and realize my car is doing several miles an hour over the speed limit.

My palms get sweaty. My right leg twitches and often, my foot stabs at the brake pedal. Crazy thoughts race through my mind: Is the proof of insurance in my car’s glove compartment? Is my inspection sticker current? How much is the fine?

So you see my dilemma.

Thanks to the Tempe coffee drinker, I have a solution. On Monday, I will call my local police and sheriff’s departments, explain how uncomfortable their officers and deputies make me feel, and ask that they be told to stop parking their cruisers beside the roads I drive.

Perhaps I’ll phone Gov. Justice, too, and take care of the state troopers.

I trust you’ve already muttered to yourself, “That’s absurd. The guy has lost his mind.”

No, I’m not going to call the sheriffs and chiefs. They’d think I’m an idiot.

One wonders why the Starbucks patron in Tempe wasn’t told that to his face.

If you missed the story, here it is: On July 4, six police officers went to the Starbucks in Tempe. They ordered and paid for their coffee, then stood near the door to drink it.

Then, a customer told one of the Starbucks baristas the officers made him feel uncomfortable. The employee told the cops the patron “did not feel safe” in their presence, and asked them to move to a different area of the store. The officers left.

Starbucks management has apologized, emphasizing that’s not how customers are supposed to be handled.

Indeed.

At what point in our culture did we start rewarding selfishness, spinelessness and stupidity such as that displayed by the scared customer? It seems to happen a lot these days.

Remember the college where administrators told students they didn’t have to take exams the day after the 2016 presidential election, because they were too upset?

How about the situations in which college students demand professors they don’t like be dismissed — though they’ve done nothing wrong?

And since when did we start telling six cops who, by all accounts, were behaving themselves nicely that they somehow were in the wrong because of the uniforms they were wearing?

At least they can be glad they weren’t wearing ICE uniforms, I suppose. That might have really made the stuff hit the fan.

This is nuts. There are plenty of things out there to make us genuinely afraid without going out of our way to invent new ones — and rewarding those who do by talking about “trigger words” and “safe zones.”

You want to know about “apprehensive?” Follow a cop around during a couple of his or her typical days.

Meantime, just shut up and let them enjoy their coffee. Think about a world without those scary folks in blue, gray, green and khaki.

Think about a border with no one patroling it, as one or two members of Congress have suggested.

If that doesn’t scare you, you’re an idiot.

Sorry. Did I make you feel uncomfortable?

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligencer.net.

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