Public Opinion

376 – “It’s hard to change public perception, it’s hard to change what people think and feel about you, it’s hard to change their interpretation of what you do. But what we can do is we can change ourselves.”

–Sgt. Curtis Davenport of the Atlanta Police Department addressing 22 officers in deescalation tactics

Note: I believe  that Sgt. Davenport provides an interesting perspective as an African American police officer. I highly recommend that you check out the full article this came from, and the three other pieces in the series.
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326 – “Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.”

–George Washington, 1st President of the United States of America
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292 – “The framers of our Constitution firmly believed that a republican government could not endure without intelligence and education generally diffused among the people. The Father of his Country, in his Farewell Address, uses this language: ‘Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.’”

–Ulysses S Grant, 18th President of the United States of America

Context for this quote shows a paternalistic, but somewhat progressive for that time, view arguing that African Americans, who had been enfranchised only a few years before, should be allowed to educate themselves in order to make them selves “worthy of their new privilege,” which was the vote. An educated and informed Public is a requirement of for any democratic form of government to function well.
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221 – “The relative freedom which we enjoy depends of public opinion. The law is no protection. Governments make laws, but whether they are carried out, and how the police behave, depends on the general temper in the country. If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.”

George Orwell
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