Can’t an officer of the law relax and get his shoes shined without the entire weibosphere getting up in arms about it? A policeman from the Fuzhou city of Nanping (南平) recently received a shoe-shining while sticking his feet out of his police vehicle in the Zhejiang city of Quzhou (衢州).
Though the uproar from netizens is filled with plenty of vitriol concerning the inequality the photo symbolizes, a substantial contingent defends the policeman’s actions as perfectly within legal bounds. Some declare that the scene is quite ordinary, and that any ordinary citizen sticking their feet out of a car to get their shoes shined wouldn’t cause a minor ruckus online.
For our part, we think firing or suspending the policeman would hardly be a reasonable way to deal with the situation. The fact that public security authorities are accorded higher status than ordinary citizens in China won’t change due to embarrassing little incidents like this one being revealed, and simply punishing one ugly-sock-wearing schmuck would be ineffectual.
Instead, it seems that any anger expressed over Police Vehicle Shoeshine Brother is a form of venting at authorities that wouldn’t necessarily be so convenient, in far more egregious and controversial cases of policemen abusing their power.
If the policeman had simply decided to pull up to the side of a curb to solicit a prostitute instead, he’d then become a viral internet celebrity, briefly loved and admired by millions, rather than the recipient of so much approbation.