I have to wonder -- as I often do, I'm afraid -- just what exactly Gov. Jerry Brown is thinking. He was out of town -- at an undisclosed location -- when the UC Davis pepper spray incident happened, and he issued no statement. Now he's back, presumably in his office, and he still hasn't said anything.
The folks at CalBuzz have a good suggestion for the statement he could have made:
The use of pepper spray and night sticks against peacefully protesting students at UC Davis represents exactly the wrong message our great universities should be sending to our young people.
Instead of supporting and encouraging students who have become productively and non-violently engaged in the important issues of the day, university authorities unleashed overwhelming military force against them.
It is not enough for University of California officials to call for a review of policies and procedures. Those responsible for this outrageous assault on human rights must be held fully accountable, Students and parents must be reassured that the University of California and all higher education institutions in this state respect and applaud young people who reject apathy and embrace personal involvement in what ails society.
I could go further: There's video of a police officer breaking the law, and he should have been arrested and charged with assault. Not saying he should go to jail or anything, but when there's clear evidence of a crime, typically the perp is arrested and the courts sort it out later.
But what is going through Jerry's mind? Does he condone this shit? (I've known him a long time, and I can't imagine he does.) Is he so far out in space that he doesn't realize how bad it looks for him to stay silent?
Is he worried that the cops won't like him if he says something critical? Because a lot of other people are mad that he's said nothing at all.
This isn't an isolated local incident that he can kick down to the city or county authorities. The University of California is a state agency, and its cops are state employees, who more or less indirectly work for the governor.
Jerry: Silence is consent. Quit ducking.