Archives for posts with tag: brutality

And lots of reasons not to. It isn’t a recent phenomenon that started with white officers killing black men in Ferguson, Staten Island or Cleveland: it goes back to the days of slavery, when the authorities enforced the laws by catching escaped slaves and forcibly returing them to the slave owners. It continued through the post-Civil-War era as police were used to enforce Jim Crow laws that kept people of color (POC) in another set of “chains”.

And did the Civil Rights laws of the 60’s fix things? Oh, Hell no. The cops were used to “keep order” among the minority population and protect the white folks from said minorities. Once again, the cops were and are the visible face of oppression, and the means used to oppress the non-white people of America.

Asians are likewise POC, and they deal with a lot of crap from cops as well: immigration, profiling, harassment, civil rights violations, etc. You think anybody in their communities have forgotten the World War Two internment camps? Here’s a hint, boyo: they haven’t. And who put them into the camps? Armed people in uniforms put them in those camps. Cops (and soldiers, in that case).

How about Latinos? POC they are as well, and they have likewise dealt with a history of abuse and marginalization. And yes, once again the cops were the instrument of that extra-constitutional mistreatment.

It didn’t start with Michael Brown, or even John Brown. It won’t end with a single grand jury indictment, or even several indictments. As the Prexy has said, the system can’t function if POC don’t trust that justice will be delivered in an impartial manner.

Speaking as a (formerly long-haired) hippie freak, this writer doesn’t place blind trust in the cops or those for whom they work. Comes from having been harassed, profiled, roughed up, shaken down, and driven to city boundaries with guns enforcing the officers’ orders to “Git, and never come back” on more than one occasion. Being “othered” while looking at the wrong end of a gun makes an indelible impression on a person.

But you know what made the Cranky life a lot easier? Baldness. Cops can no longer discern my political views by a glance. Indeed, a somewhat portly middle-aged white man is rarely targeted by the cops. But…

Black people can’t wash off their pigment. Nor can other people of color. They can never, ever be free of the institutionalized violence and abuse that is routinely heaped upon minorities. Their skin color makes them a target. They know it. Cops know it.

When everybody knows the system is rigged, nobody can believe in the system. We are living in a crumbling edifice, built upon a history of xenophobia and racist hatred. Unless we all get together and build a foundation that truly aligns with the notion that we are created equal, the whole American experiment will fall apart, ending in blood and ashes.

Trust is needed. Right now POC don’t trust the system. And lots of white people are deciding we don’t trust it either. Police of America, it’s time to decide who you work for, and to earn back the trust we need you to deserve.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Back in the day, a bunch of protesters were, well, protesting, and a politician named Nixon had the National Guard called out (by a crony of his), loaded weapons and all. Here’s what happened:

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Nobody needs automatic weapons pointed at them when they are exercising their First Amendment rights. No one deserves that. And no ethical politician should EVER make that their option of first resort.

” Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. ”

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

They are upset about oppression, a non-responsive and discriminatory government, and taxation without representation. Yes, that is correct. The good people of Ferguson we see out there picketing and marching may not be dressed like, say, George Washington, John Adams or Thomas Jefferson; but their complaints are eerily like the ones identified in the Declaration of Independence.

Here is a good article on the matter. Ferguson is making up for revenue shortfalls by levying burdensome taxes and fees upon the populace; said charges not having the consent of the governed:

Traffic fines are the St. Louis suburb’s second-largest source of revenue and just about the only one that is growing appreciably. Municipal court fines, most of which arise from motor vehicle violations, accounted for 21 percent of general fund revenue and at $2.63 million last year, were the equivalent of more than 81 percent of police salaries before overtime.

And the fees are applied in a discriminatory manner, much like what King George did back in the 1770’s:

“If you’re black, they’re going to stop you,” the study quoted one traffic defendant as saying.

In 2013, 86 percent of all Ferguson police traffic stops involved black drivers, the largest share since the Missouri Attorney General’s Office began tracking the data in 2000. According to 2010 U.S. Census data, the city is 63 percent black and 34 percent white.

Got it? The local government is a minority oppressing the majority, and doing so via corrupt, discriminatory and violent means. Just like what sparked the American Revolution. The differences are minor when compared with the similarities.

And just like the American colonists, the people of Ferguson aren’t asking for anything unreasonable: to be treated fairly, have their rights respected, and to have a voice in how they are taxed by the government. Unfortunately, the local administration is likewise resembling its historical counterpart and therefore refusing to change its corrupt and mendacious ways. No way this is gonna end well.

If you repeat the mistakes of the past, you’ll repeat the consequences of those past mistakes. There may not be many powdered wigs to be seen on the streets of Ferguson: but then, when s*** was getting real back in 1776, not many of the American Revolutionaries were wearing them out in the streets, either.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky (whose ancestors were here before the revolution in 1776)