Everyone has his version of the truth but seldom share it. Whether it’s the taste, the smell or whatever, the ugly thing can help you lose friends and create bitter enemies. I wonder if it’s because once acknowledged, the truth will not leave until you do or stop doing, a particular wrong. Our criminal justice system is an apt example.
Let’s take the current situation in Missouri. Not that it’s unique. Far cry. But because it is active, makes that a good example, willing to say a textbook case of what leadership is not. Step back with me a bit.
Jay Nixon was a two-term Democratic governor when Ferguson managed to make world news. That was due to the police killing of Michael Brown and the conduct of the entire criminal justice system in Missouri. As Gov Nixon and Ferguson Mayor Knowles went into hiding for four days, the police were left to “pacify” peaceful protesters. No one could have imagined police management to be that inept, or any criminal justice system is so inbred and corrupted.
The current governor Eric Greitens is a Republican. He never went into hiding, but nothing says “I don’t know what to do”, like readying the National Guard to control a relatively small number of cooperating protesters. So far, more than 150 persons have been arrested for petty misdemeanors, especially not moving when told by the police.
Both dealt with protesters as the problem. Neither appeared capable of confronting and addressing the root of the problem. But quite willing to talk tough and use force.
No civic-minded person supports lawlessness. So let’s agree conditionally: lock them up if their behaviors are imminent threats to public safety. Not because the police told them to move. Do we have a Constitution or not? If the answer is doubtful (as it’s becoming) repeat next year and the years afterward. Finally, both the state and protesters would be locked in an increasingly dysfunctional, dangerous way of life. The state CANNOT win. That would be despite being a police state, as America already is.
Right now, both Blacks and Whites, males and females are being threatened and arrested. How long do the state and local governments think that they can keep this up? I’ll hazard a guess. When you stop seeing truth as the enemy.
By Leyland A. King
September 30, 2017
After centuries of arduous work to give me freedom by saving me, I beg of you, please stop. Stop! The fact is, that when there is any rescuing done at all, the beneficiary is only you. For centuries! Heavenly inspired you were, to rescue my body from the heathens in Africa, but then changed the rules for my getting to heaven because you said, God wasn’t yet convinced and comfortable, with the question of whether (1) I had a soul, and (2) whether it was worth saving.
Of course, external threats and domestic terror are exempt. That is your cardinal role, and even that needs rethinking, but it’s not my focus here. What are my focus and consternation are the sweat and treasure needlessly expended; all devoted to saving me from myself. I never made an appeal and I am so aware that even if I did, the remedy you concoct is too often detrimental to me and those similarly entangled in the widening, strengthening, all-consuming tentacled web flung upon me. Me! A person whose greatest vice is a weekend gelato and a pecan sticky bun.
You, having made vices crimes, then turn around and tax the very crimes. I am flabbergasted that you could not have distinguished (1) the difference and (2) the consequence of the crimes you created. Oh, you’re regulating the vices to prevent their proliferation. Sorry. My friend, the neighborhood half-wit, alleged that you, the government, are a pimp. He said that a pimp is defined by what he does to enable and protect, paid sexual intercourse between consenting adults. You tax the product and intellectual property rights of sex workers and producers. Therefore, argues the half-wit, you are the worst kind of pimp and the best at managing it. When business is slow, you send goons to employ various means of entrapping and prosecuting the poor ones. The arrested pay for the meals the judge eats. That’s called fines. The legal name you created for it is “living off the earnings of prostitution.” That means, the government the kingpin pimp.
Since our institutions follow your lead and adopt your worldview, one cannot be surprised that the sale of two cigarettes might be more important than human life; in your zeal to save me from myself, I pay the price through my insecurity and unceasing surveillance. Thus, I don’t have to actually engage marijuana crime, it is sufficient to lose my personal freedom or life because a cop claimed to have smelled marijuana as he passed my car. Demanding that my constitutional rights and God-given right to own and control my body are respected, could bring upon me a swarm of law enforcers to kill me. I’m not exaggerating, this is what you have done to save me from potential vice. Me!
Look, gambling is a vice. You made it a crime. A few retirees and six slot machines in a storefront, bring hell’s coals delivered upon their grey heads, by men in blue carrying large sticks, chemicals, and guns.
Secretive consensual sex; having a beer all by myself on my own driveway, could get me manhandled and arrested if a paper bag didn’t cover the bottle. WTF! Masked, armed men could, without warning or warrant, break down my door and enter my home night or day and take me out or take me away, and take my money, because, I suppose, they think I am some sort of a combatant in the war on drugs. Their supposition based on your decision that I am a danger to myself and a corrupter of society. Me? All by myself.
The interesting thing is, despite my plea not to be saved from myself, you’re determined to do it anyway because you are obsessed with what you call law and order -what I hear as control and contain. We ask for jobs, you offer us 10,000 more cops. Four-fifths of them White males. Not to be outdone your Attorney General, who has panic attacks at the mere mention of the word marijuana, called for increased prison time; more private prison space; he decided, based only on his addled notion, that the police need to be unfettered from such inconsequential matters as arbitrary arrests, excessive detention, brutality, and murder. After all, they are there protecting me from social degeneration, that started the day the government decided that something ought to be done about enhancing the flow drugs into my body.
So, as state governments grapple with pressing matters like drug testing the poor, to catch one in a thousand; increasing the rate of executions lest the chemicals expire; crafting laws to shoot death row criminals because it’s cheaper, unhindered by pesky constitutionality, trips back and forth to the Supreme Court or the innocence of the citizen who invariably, just happens to be poor.
So, my dear rulers, I’m not asking for much, just to be left alone to self-regulate me. Something that only you believe corporations are capable of. Why not me?
Someone was sufficiently concerned to bring attention to this continuing tragedy: that is, deaths of African-American women who come in contact with the United States Criminal Justice System. The caption above says these five citizens died while in custody in the month of July 2015. In fact, referencing the dates of demise they occurred within just two weeks in July 2015.
I am speaking up for all citizens, even those who would never acknowledge the atrocity and feel that this is necessary for the protection of our morally unblemished population. What hurts and angers me, are two responses, each equally as repulsive. The first is that not one of the subjects had to be incarcerated. Not one! Let’s look closer. Two died as a result of the economic crime of shoplifting. One, Sandra Bland, died for no reason other than activating a traffic turn signal, which she was not even required to do. So it seems that only two of the women might have committed offenses where arrests were necessary. But even so, there is this thing called bond that never gets extended to African-Americans. Innocent until proven guilty never apply to us. The second is Americans refusal to see what the world, including the United Nations, see clearly.
On Native-American females dying in the American Criminal Justice system, it is reportedly worse. Their mistreatment and fatalities are just as unconscionable. The deaths in American institutions would be serial killers’ dreams. The horror is hardly given the media coverage deserved. But, more sickening is the justification offered every time the failure to protect those hauled into custody gets brought to public attention through social media, the American Citizens’ twisted logic centers on this: the person must have done something to deserve their death, for example stealing orange juice.
For African-American, male citizens, the most dangerous place to be in America is related to the street. Whether pedestrian or conveyed. Just breathing can get you arrested and if you protest the injustice, as one should, ten more of arms of justice arrive to ensure that citizen dies or have a near death experience. These are not mistakes. It is not the institution. People are doing this. Individuals with names, with or without badges, judges, state attorneys. All are complicit in this human debasement.
Sadly, this is what is. This is not what will be.
Glad you posted this article. It is something to be understood and that is why I’m responding thus: Stop with the FFFFing snivelling, timidity!
Of all the African-Americans engaged in communications media, you presented about four professionals who are in fear of losing their jobs. So, they lose their jobs. Get another gig or adjust your own situation to outlast whatever storm you percieve imminent. You should have been saving your money anyway. Do as Andrew Sullivan, Amy Goodman, Malcolm Gladwell did when they discovered that the industry was beginning to crumble. They adapted.
Some of us want things as they are, that has a price. Some of us refuse to believe that the country they are protecting is not standing with them, well what exactly were your expectations? How many times does history have to ‘say again’?
That does not mean that we, like other vulnerable minorities, should not be concerned. That plays right into the hands of racists who despite history telling otherwise, believe that numerical superiority wins every battle. Do you think they’re out to kill you? Damn right, they are. The question now is, how do you respond? No! Learn the term pyrrhic victory. “A Pyrrhic victory is where the underdog knows he will be vanquished but inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way. However, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit”.
So you’re scared of White men entangled in white sheets? Okay, the sheets are easy to see at night and they are flamable.
Afraid of White men with guns menacing your work place as they did recently at the NAACP office and the police did squat? Well, if by now you don’t know where to get a gun and how to use it proficiently, then you are what Donald Trump spent years grabbing at.
Two things you need to get accustomed to:
(1) Identify the real threat. Nope, it is not 62% of the population. It is as multi-racial as we hoped our society to be. Dr Ben Carson, Sherrif Clarke, many of your pastors, and 4% of your own brothers and sisters are among those who want to be rid of you.
(2) Recognize that you are on your own! Very much so. Your history and current events informs such.
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