Thursday, August 14, 2014

"For the Rest of Your Life"

“Mom, how long will this happen to me?”

“For the rest of your life.”

A Ferguson, Mo., mother explaining to her 12-year-old son why he should get used to being patted down and questioned by local police, simply because of the color of his skin.

Something like that happening to me as a 12-year-old would have scared me to death.

Something like that happening to my own 12-year-old kid would make me mad.

And then you see pictures like this.

And then you’re told to tell your kids not to be afraid of the police.

If I saw this coming down the street at me while at a peaceful protest, I’d be crapping my pants. This is not police protection, or even police presence. This is police intimidation, pure and simple.

I do not know what happened leading up to Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson. I do not know the facts. I’m distrustful of what the police have to say because they’re seriously covering their asses right now. I’m distrustful of what witnesses said happened, because it’s known far and wide that witnesses above a certain age often report what they wanted to see, not what they actually saw.

This is what I see:

African-American families rightfully fearful of their local police force.

The local police force out in full riot gear, giving no one the appearance that they’re there to Serve and Protect.

If Ferguson, Mo., were my home town, I’d be ashamed. Ashamed of the looting and arson. Ashamed of a police force that thinks it has to pull out the heavy weaponry and arrest and harass journalists, let alone arresting and harassing those they’re paid to S&P. Good news came today when Missouri Go. Nixon pulled the St. Louis County Police out of Ferguson, substituting the highway patrol.

I've written a lot in the past few months about Aldous Huxley's vision of the world gone sour. Now suddenly George Orwell's police state rears its ugly head. Not sure which is worse, but I do know I'd rather see neither vision fulfilled.

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