Now that a state of emergency has been declared by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, lets ask again: what’s happening in the city of Ferguson?
Or more broadly, what’s happening in America?
Did The Terrorists finally win? Did the September 11 attacks become the decisive battle that turned Big and Small Town America into paranoid, militarized enclaves that were ironically designed to ensure that the terrorists did not win?
Has increasing social inequality in America created a sufficient amount of paranoia where police departments are injected with military-grade steroids as a precaution against the lid blowing off this democracy we live in? Remember how the FBI erroneously linked the Occupy Wall Street movement to terrorism?
Or is the civil unrest and police response we witnessed in Ferguson, Missouri and across the country the outgrowth of legal gun runners’ “more guns=more profit” motives?
I just read a Radley Balko blog post about how the Baton Rouge, Louisiana police department sent a heavily-armed SWAT team to investigate a home suspected of selling marijuana. There were no arrests but the police kicked out the teeth of a 22-year old man — and joked about it. The same post described a SWAT raid involving a 68-year old woman.
There are plenty of writers who exposed the increasing trend of local and state law enforcement officers bringing bazookas to pea shooter fights, so we know the issue is not restricted to Ferguson.
But let’s stay on Ferguson, Missouri for a moment. The police chief’s initial refusal to disclose the name of the officer responsible for shooting Mike Brown to death reminds me of something former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak would orchestrate through his secret police—hardly the behavior of a textbook democracy. In fact, didn’t President Obama condemn Mubarak’s actions? I mean, before the secret police was revived under a new regime, and Obama decided to fund the Egyptian government again?
The City of Ferguson can tell the public tomorrow that the protocols which govern its police department’s use of heavy weapons and tactical units will be revisited and revised—but that won’t address the problem we’re facing.
US Attorney General Eric Holder’s remarks which question the wisdom of sending surplus military equipment to police departments across the country will not address the problem either.
The problem is that America is becoming a democracy without a soul.
Anyone who wishes to solve this problem can start by rereading this country’s constitution…
song currently stuck in my head: “nomingo” – sonic liberation front w/ sunny murray