Sunday, February 15, 2009

Interesting Conversation between Lawman and MSW

When Sunbeam and I discuss a social ethical problem we view it from different perspectives. I am a law enforcement officer, but I want the law to be applied with as much common sense and deference as possible. Sunbeam expects certain norms to be respected as a condition for residence.

We had a interesting conversation about West African immigrants. West African countries have similar problems, but differ in degree. For example people from Ghana are less apt to have linguistic problems or practice polygamy than those from Mali. HIV in Mali probably is not as great a problem as it is in Nigeria.

In general I am a social libertarian. I really don't want the government in anyone's bedroom. I want people to respect the laws or at least have the common sense not to
flaunt its violation.

The question is what should the government do if anything about naturalized citizens who practice polygamy. I favor the NYC style of treating the families need without passing judgment. Sunbeam favors a more interventionist do not admit them in the first place. She is also in favor of family unity in whatever country of origin they
wish to practice polygamy. She does favor treating the children and women to needed social services. The French approach is more coercive where women are offered subsidized apartments provided they leave their husbands and are encouraged to divorce their husbands. She understands this approach and is far more sympathetic to it than I am.

I am reluctant to have the government decide whose practices are correct. I can envision a future where Chasidic women are viewed as persecuted due to the culture of arranged marriages and dress. This is also why I am very respectful when religious attire becomes obtrusive. The current policy is to have a female officer check the identity of women under religious garb that makes identification impossible. When this problem presented itself I also asked the subject if he would feel more comfortable with a female officer and was told no you are respectful. Switching officers is a lightning rod topic and is frowned upon. We have had cases where people ask for officers of another race, gender and ethnicity. These requests
are turned down as the applicant is reminded about respecting our traditions and the process.

No comments: