Thursday, April 16, 2015

Emeryville Police Chief Misquotes Thomas Paine, Says "Human Nature is Corrupt"

Emeryville Police Chief Ken James speaks with members of the public and appears to completely misquote Thomas Paine, suggesting they read 'Common Sense' because, in the words of James, Paine said, "human nature is corrupt." James brings this up to explain why humans need to be governed. "The reason that we have government is because we cannot control our vices," James states. "We need a government to control our vices [...] Government came into effect to give protection from those who are stronger," he says. When he is questioned about the government controlling its own vices, he dodges it. Here is an actual quote from Paine: "man, were he not corrupted by governments, is naturally the friend of man, and that human nature is not of itself vicious." (pg. 116 of 'Rights of Man')

This video was recorded on November 25, 2011 when Police Chief James was present and observing community members who were participating in the annual protest that marks the desecration of the sacred Ohlone shellmounds that were once at the location of the Bay Street Mall.

Later in the video, James mentions Native American Casinos during the conversation in an effort to discredit indigenous political movements.

The words from James are especially relevant, and on some levels add more context, to the February 3rd killing of Yuvette Henderson by Emeryville police.

For photos of the protest, see:

10th Annual Black Friday Demonstration to Protest Desecration of Sacred Ohlone Shellmounds

For videos of the protest, see:

AIM Song at Protest Against the Desecration of Ohlone Shellmounds

Ohlone Song at Protest Against the Desecration of Sacred Shellmounds

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