America Is Not Friendly to Black People
Joyce Park stashed this in Modern problems
The nauseating murder of African-American teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson is just the latest high-profile example of the consequences of hyper-militarized law enforcement + racism.
What should citizens do when police commit unlawful acts?
the photo is amazing. it should win a pulitzer. it even has "f*ck the police" graffiti on the mailbox.
It made me wonder what the context was but all the Deadspin article says is:
Top Photo via Scott Olson/Getty Images
When the BUSINESS press says police militarization is out of control...
"We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone."
Are all police locally regulated? Or do the states or Feds have any jurisdiction to police the police?
not sure if this comes through...so here is text:
Eric Garland, "Let us discuss the nature of authority in a police state versus a democracy. In a police state, you are required, as an individual, to side with authority figures at all times, even excusing obvious and absurd abuses of the public trust.
In a democracy, the authorities must prove to you, the individual, that they are worthy of that trust. Your individual rejection of their authority may not hold sway in every instance (see Cliven Bundy, or my opposition to the Iraq War) but they are overall accountable to the public for their actions. You are not forced to give them the benefit of the doubt when authority figures clearly deserve no such thing.
A few miles from my house, members of the Ferguson, Missouri police force, according to multiple eye witnesses, chased an unarmed teenager with his hands up into the middle of the street and emptied a clip into him. They then left his body in the middle of the street for hours without the slightest hint of professional procedure, and then proceeded to change their story multiple times as to the nature of the altercation.
This is still a democracy, if we continue to want one. And as such, we are not obliged to give the Ferguson Police the 50/50, he said/she said benefit of the doubt while they get their story straight enough to have a vague press conference and lawyer up. If their officers and chain of command cannot come forth with an organized response after they kill an unarmed citizen in broad daylight, we should not assume that they have some reasonable story. In fact, it may be more reasonable to assume the opposite - that this was wanton criminal behavior from its officers - until they prove otherwise.
The St. Louis County police, Missouri State Police, or even the U.S. Marshals should step in as authority figures until the Ferguson Police can show why they deserve a legitimate role in Ferguson, St Louis, Missouri, or this nation. The rule of law must be maintained by proper authorities.
If this was an autocracy, I would tremble for my life for daring to ask for accountability. But it isn’t. And neither is this the hatred of authority figures - simply a request that they show how they are living up to the most hallowed principles of this nation as they exercise an extremely sensitive power over the citizenry: life and death.
This is the most sacred issue of democracy: rule of law."
Jared, thank you for that. Heartbreaking in the truth that it speaks.
I didn't realize until I read this Atlantic article that St Louis is one of the most segregated cities in America:
The Washington Post weighs in (with graphs and studies):
That larger context — about geography, history and race — should be part of the conversation about what happened on both Saturday and Sunday. I have no special insight into the community of Ferguson itself, but I foundthis column from the Post-Dispatch's Aisha Sultan helpful in starting that conversation. Ferguson, she writes, is "a place where it's easy for the economic recovery to bypass the poor":
It's part of north St. Louis county, where whites left en masse beginning in the 1960s, creating one of the most extreme cases of "white flight" in the country. But many who remained in power are still white, including much of the law enforcement. A local lawyer said whenever she goes into the North County courthouse all the defendants are always black, the cops always white.
White flight occurred in the 60's in Jacksonville, Fl as well (my hometown) and rather than have the black majority constituency of the urban core hold positions of authority, the white city leaders proposed consolidating outlying suburbs into one giant white-majority whole. The Consolidation measure passed.
Geez this country has a lot of work to do.