“Let’s stop jumping on every bandwagon of a trending global topic to seem relevant. Our @PoliceUg isn’t perfect without a doubt but the #StopPoliceBrutalityInUganda campaign is far fetched.”

This was tweeted by a leading local social analyst/philosopher recently.

And brutalised Ugandans were like

But seriously, really, when it comes down to it, as people, down to the basics, do you really think this man believes that?

The words are open fuses, and can be exploded into a number of implications but when it comes down to it, with us in our rooms alone with no phone, no blue bird, no one to preen for, no one to threaten us, nothing to attack, nothing to defend, just us and our honest simple inner truth, do we really believe that Patrick “Salvado” Idringi thinks that there is no police brutality in Uganda?

Or that what brutality there is is acceptable?

Or that… you know, every other interpretation I try to make of this statement just becomes wilder and more implausible. Unless the man is secretly a Sith Lord from the Dark Side (Darth Shrek, perhaps) I can’t see Idringi honestly believing that asking police brutality in Uganda to stop is far fetched.

I just cannot picture it, and I can picture Salvado doing many things. I can picture Salvado sucker-punching Kilmonger and taking the powers of the Black Panther from him and then driving around Wakanda in a royal convoy of pimped out Kira Smack EVs with vibranium rims, for example.

But I cannot imagine Idringi actually disagreeing with the rest of us and our laws that say even a single extrajudicial killing by police is already fetched way, way past too far.

I can see him typing it out — he evidently did. It’s right there on twitter in black and blue– but I can’t see him believing it.

In fact I strongly suspect that in Salvado’s opinion lawful arrest, due process and fair trial must be granted to all citizens before any punishment for any suspected crime begins. In life there is what is is obvious vs what is ludicrous. Usually we avoid the latter and cleave to the former. So I believe that Salvado is a normal person who doesn’t want cops to kill chaps fwaa.

But twitter is not real life. It takes a few nasty experiences and a few painful lessons to finally learn but usually we finally get it and understand that what is said on twitter may behave as if it is the same thing as what we have happening in real life but this is a nasty ruse. Don’t fall for it. Do not ever take twitter seriously.

Twitter is like enguli: enguli ingested through the thumbs. It is like mainlining enguli through our fingertips and straight through a special twitter artery which takes a shortcut that avoids the rational and reasoning portions of the brain and goes straight to the gut, where all the wild animal instincts and impulses and emotions slither and slink. Then, like enguli, it begins to excite the vanity and the narcissism within us. Once these are properly incited they rise and begin to trick the higher functions into rationalising them. Waragi makes you think, but it makes you think susuling off the balcony is a good idea. Twitter, in a similar fashion, makes you think pissing 280 characters into the whole internet is a great idea.

Especially political twitter, intellectual twitter and woke twitter. Those ones? Ayayaya! 

This is what I get when I try to find a copyright-free image of Salvado

It starts with this tendency we have to believe that, if everyone is of one view, and you alone are of a different view, this means you have a unique awareness, that you know something they don’t, and you are cleverer than them. 

Of course if everyone says the sky is the same colour as jeans and you see the sky as being the same colour as a giraffe, it doesn’t actually mean you are a genius, it means you are colourblind, so differing from conventional thought doesn’t necessarily indicate rare genius. Nevertheless, the temptation to deviate from common opinion still offers a quick and easy way to satisfy your inner desire to appear intelligent.

So when a person who already had this impulse to disagree with what is trending saw “#StoppolicebrutalityinUganda” and surrendered to that twitter heroin…

Humans suck. They don’t deserve rights

But I don’t know Salvado personally, so I can’t say for sure that he is just trying to feel clever. 

I don’t know if he falls in the category of those stuck in the twitter trap, but I do know that people who do fall into it will stand their ground on the most absurd position just because the opposite position is popular. So desirous are they of the feeling that they are the iconoclast, the renegade, the maverick, the different thinker, that they will defend the most self-evidently stupid idea. 

Salvado may, in actual fact, be a fascist who believes that the police have the right to immediately execute civilians caught breaking curfew and that asking for arrest, charges and court cases before we let them kill us is far-fetched. Or maybe he is not aware of the fact that Ugandans are frequently beaten and brutalised if not murdered by the police and that this has been going on since before, during and after lockdown, which is when the hashtag begun. Whatever his reason…

…I replied to his tweet.

I usually don’t. I never engage on twitter unless it is fun and games. I only go to twitter to be amused, entertained, promote Chandler and Frasier books and then leave. I don’t see twitter as a place to have any useful discussion on any issue of any substance.

But I responded to Idringi. 

I fired off a thread of sarcastic replies to his tweet and now that I think of what I have done, a cold chill comes over me. Now I have to deal with the notifications and the responses. Oh no. What have I done. That is not a question. Now I have penetrated the wrong echo chambres. And some of them will reply! Oh no! My data!

I know why I did it. It is because the same instinct that would cause someone to ball up their fists and punch their keyboards all-capsing about how if they can’t shoot us whenever they fucking feel like it there is no point in having cops in first place, the same instinct that would make a guy see a trend against police brutality, swish their cape and twirl haughtily off in the opposite direction, that is a very common instinct. So common that I have it, too. 

The desire to be right.

The desire to be correct.

To be right.

Oooh! It’s sweet sweet sweet dopamine! Being right on Twitter feels so goooooood!

Who needs this shit when you can be right on twitter?

So good that when someone is wrong on social media I usually have to close the page, switch off the phone, leave the room and sometimes break my fingers to resist typing back.

You must never type back. It’s a trap. And it’s made even more seductive for how cunningly simple it is. When somebody says something whose fault is easily demonstrated all you have to do is type two sentences: “Actually, you will find the statistics show…” that’s all you need to do, and the wrongness will be gone. The rightness, your rightness, will take its place. 

But if you have been on social media any time since 2012, you know this is not what happens. The other guys also want to be right. And they will fight you about it. They will dig in. They will do battle. They will defend their shit aggressively. They will use all kinds of weapons. They will come at you with diversions and distractions and digressions, each one confusing and clouding the question further and further, until you, who is also fighting to be right, find yourself lost in a mist, wondering how you got from debating whether Taiwan isn’t China to arguing whether mixed race people are more likely to be gay. 

It’s best to stay away, but it is hard to.

When the dust dies down, after all the bullshit, I don’t believe Salvado tweeted that in a bid to promote police brutality in Uganda.

Shoot first, use these after

And I confess that I don’t believe that tweeting at him will have any influence at all. We just both gave in to a nasty instinct that makes messy things worse.

So since we are somewhere safe now, let’s talk like sane people.

Compatriots, there are good cops out there, man, and they are fighting the bad cops as well. And they need the support of good citizens in this fight. So let’s hashtag, but let us also believe in our brothers and sisters in the force who are there to protect and preserve the security of their countrymen. Yes, let’s report cases. Let’s make noise about brutality. But let’s not be entirely cynical. Let’s believe that we, us, and the police force together, can change things.

Also, if you are nabbed by a crooked cop and you are going to capture a video, make sure it is a live feed. They can’t delete those.

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