11 August 2014

Ferguson - A symptom of a problem that won't go away

        By now everyone else has written something about the tragedy in Ferguson, MO over the weekend. It is a sadly repeating story about a black teen killed by the police. The pattern was the same as in all the other cases like this, the media ignored the story until there was some violence that they could report on. I say this because the violence used against the teen was not sexy enough, the media had to wait until there were riots and looting in order to sit up and take notice.
        How many more people do the police have to kill before we realize that there is a REAL problem with the police all across America? There is a never-ending cycle of police violence that we are suffering from, and yet no one wants to address that issue for fear it will upset the status quo. If the status quo involves police killing unarmed civilians, then it it time to upset that status quo!
        This problem cannot be addressed without discussing racial issues in this country. There is no way to frame this in a "law and order" style as most Conservatives would like to. The attempt to framne the issue in this manneer is indicative of the refusal to address the underlying causes of the problem. Since a minority is disproportinately targeted in these killings, the media in this country wants to picture them as the problem. This also defeats the real purpose of getting to the root of the issue. 
        The American public folliows these stories with distracted interest until violence occurs. "If he would have done what the police said" is the most common rationalization I see from people who don't want to truly solve the problem. This approach is a way of making themselves feel good and demonizing the victims of the police violence as somehow deserving it.
        Race relations in America have always been complicated. It is something that only discussion and understanding will ever hope to resolve. Sweeping the problem under the rug and blaming the victim for bringing the misfortune upon themselves does NOTHING to start the process of understanding each other. I find it interesting that the people who will blame a woman who has been the victim of rape for somehow "deserving or asking for it" take that same tone when it comes to Black Americans being the victims of police violence.
        The police are supposed to protect the population, not to terrorize it, not to terrorize  targeted portions of the population. To question the police is to be seen as part of the problem rather than someone seeking a true solution. This is another Conservative trick philosophy designed to get the majority of White Americans to instantly discredit anything said that impugns the integrity of the police who are supposed to protect THEM from harm. Sadly, this philosophy somehow includes the precept that those who disagree are not entitled to the same rights, and deserve much quicker and harsher "justice" to be delivered to them.
        America has a real problem with the police. Militarization of the police after 9/11 has only worsened the problem. We need to stop this insanity before more people die and are then ignored by the media and the rest of the population. This is NOT how America is supposed to be.