I suppose that one of the benefits of insomnia (if such a thing truly exists) is that I can write in total peace and quiet, without all the noises and distractions around me. This helps me to focus like at no other time. It is on these quiet moments that topics and inspiration flow more freely within me.
The topic that has entered my sleep-deprived mind is the tragic situation in Baltimore involving Freddie Gray. It is a direct indictment of our society that this can be applied to so many other victims in so many other cities, but the Baltimore situation is the latest and most sharp in our memories. The police have KILLED someone without justification. If there is any justification for ever killing someone on the street, or in the police wagon, as in this case it should involve the public raping of a Nun or some other horrific crime that is universally repugnant. Sadly, this is never the case with these police killings. Whatever crimes these persons might or might not have committed do NOT justify DEATH if they had gone through the normal justice system. This is the problem. The plice are acting as Judge, Jury and Executioner without fear of being called to account by society.
Why is this? Something so abhorrent should make us all rise up in anger and protest, but so many of us are conditioned to accept any obviously fraudulent or lame excuse put forth by the government and the police after the fact and just carry on with our lives. We are conditioned to accept that those in authority must have done the right thing under the circumstances, and this is dangerous to us as a society that prides itself on freedom.
I believe, especially in my sleep-deprived state, that what the police, media and government are actually doing is defending their interests. I believe that the police, the media and the government are conspiring to protect the criminals in the police force in order to preserve the system that is in place. This is the reason that every time the police act out of line that the victim is always the one to blame. It is a very neat trick, put someone on trial after they are dead and expect them to defend themselves. I don’t think that will ever fail as long as we are so willing to accept this practice as normal.
The role and perception of the police has radically changed over the last 30 years. The police are now seen, correctly, as the defenders of those in power rather than as the protector of the citizens. We see and hear CNN openly weep over the destruction of a CVS, while adding almost nothing to the thought of Freddie Gray because he is dead. The media only invokes the name of Freddie Gray in order to associate him with the people who are protesting in the streets. I think it is beyond a coincidence that the media makes certain that they are at spots where the police are determined to provoke crowds to get a response from them. In effect, the police are providing a ready-made story for the media.
Then we hear from the government. There are the calls for Justice to be done, but once again, that Justice seems to be focused on the people who were provoked by the police into violence. It is seldom that the phrase “Justice” is used in terms of dealing with the police officers who killed Freddie Gray. The politicians go on about addressing the root causes of the violence within the community without addressing the violence from the police against that community. They want to buy calm with promises of useless trinkets when the people are demanding justice instead.
These 3 forces (police, media, and government) have no interest in really solving the problem of police brutality. It provides them with a platform to convince the population that they are somehow being protected against the fringe elements of society. Hence the cavalier use of terms like “thugs” that are clearly used as a racist dog whistle to alert the more feeble-minded that whatever the problem, it cannot be the fault of the police, and to blame the victims instead.
The good news (if it can be called that) is this charade is becoming more and more ridiculous every time it happens. Too many people are waking up to the practice of police brutality. The endless acquittals and lack of action against the police can no longer be accepted as it once was. Too many people can see and record these events. Pictures speak louder than words, and this is a good thing. More and more elaborate distractions and lies are becoming necessary as the police, media, and government try to cover up their dirty work. These pathetic excuses are ripped apart by the citizenry that was supposed to accept them without question. The authorities are scared, and they should be.
The practice of having an occasional sacrificial lamb victim of police brutality to ensure a subdued population is ending. What we are seeing in the case of Freddie Gray is an example of this. The old lies won’t work anymore, people aren’t going to accept them anymore. The media is not trusted anymore, and the government is not in these cases either.
The defense of a corrupt system is a crime in itself. To add the murder of individuals to the list of crimes to protect that system shows the desperation from those in power. The tide is turning, and they know it.