I went to a man’s house the other day.
“How are you?”
“Oh, I’m fine.” he says. “An apparent saint was martyred the other day. However shall we live?”
I knew he was referring to Ferguson, Michael Brown. And he’d bought into the normal pattern. He’d done his part.
Encounter, Execute, Assassinate.
Encounter: Someone in authority encounters someone, usually black. It could be a routine traffic stop, or a normal situation, like waiting for your kids in a mall.
Execute: You kill them. (Treyvon, Eric Gardner) Or you arrest them for something that a white person would get off for, putting a sentence on them that effectively ruins their lives.
Riddle me this: ~15% of whites and blacks use MJ.
~41 million black people and ~221 million white people. (Census.Gov)
Yet our arrest rate is 3-4x for blacks. This means that in absolute terms, more blacks are arrested than whites although though blacks make 16% of the population. Not cool.
Assassinate: After the deed is done and the disproportionate consequences are administered, the victim is killed a second time.
Every case – Treyvon – Michael Brown – features a posthumous character assassination. It’s not enough for the police to murder someone, they also want to be thanked for it. We don’t get justice, we get victim blaming.
We’re told things like:
- He shouldn’t have been in that neighborhood…
- He should have obeyed the cops (though Michael Brown was apparently surrendering when he was shot at close range in the head – what’s the incentive to obey?)
- He had a checkered past so he must have said something.
- He had thug-like text messages on his phone
- If the races were reversed it would never have been news (orly?)
Each time the victim that is killed is then blamed. It’s not enough to kill, we also must feel like the Police have provided us with a service. We have to thank them for getting that element out of our society.
They are, after all, the heroes of 9/11.
The major disappointment of Ferguson is that some sort of libertarian dystopian fantasy played out. And the tea party was absent. Fleeing at the sight of real power.
And despite calls from Rand Paul on the matter, the “police state” hasn’t yet gained traction. Part of it is partisanship: people are unwilling to credit Rand Paul with anything. We’re hearing mild scoffing about police powers, but this is exactly the problem with police powers. This is an inevitable response; to divide us and conquer.
It’s not a far bridge to cross to go from “it’s OK to shoot black people” to “it’s OK to shoot anyone.”
We all ought to fight. We all ought to be concerned.
Our land must have liberty and justice for all.
First, they came for the blacks…