Ferguson heartbreak.

Today is a sad day. No, I did not expect the grand jury to indict Darren Wilson; that would have been contra everything I know about U.S. jurisprudence and the racist rot at the heart of vast swaths of American culture.

I am continually astonished that so many of my fellow whites shrug it off (or worse) while the state targets, brutalizes and incarcerates people in numbers that dwarf the rest of the world—and people of color, already among our most marginalized and impoverished citizens, make up a wildly disproportionate percentage of them. Not just disproportionate to their percentage of the general population, disproportionate to the number of whites (including cops) who commit the exact same offenses with impunity. Susan McGraugh, a criminal defense lawyer and professor at the St. Louis University School of Law points out:

Officer Wilson got preferential treatment. I represent only poor people, and he was given a lot of courtesies that my clients have not. I can guarantee you that if one of my clients had killed somebody with a gun, they would have been arrested and they’d have been charged. And they would have either had to post bond or sit in jail while the grand jury deliberated on their case.

This explains both why whites generally tend to have faith in the criminal “justice” system, and precisely why they should not. And just like our murderous for-profit health care system, imprisonment has been very profitably privatized, once again to the disproportionate detriment of people of color. And compounding all of these injustices, after serving their time ex-convicts are further disenfranchised and marginalized: in many places they are legally denied housing and other public benefits, jobs are virtually unattainable and they are prohibited from voting—for life. Is it really such a mystery why so many return to crime? Ask yourself who benefits from these policies. Christ, even these hateful assholes preach that once a person has been punished, they are not to be penalized further: doing so is not “Christian”—or at least, not biblical—which is really saying something, my friends.

I saw with my own eyes (mostly white) Occupy protesters surveilled, harassed and arrested by NYPD for being in a park; and from the relative safety of my apartment, I observed with growing horror the escalating police assaults and brutality, including pepper spraying and tear-gassing captive people who could not escape police cordons. It was not lost on me then or now that this is exactly what it’s like to live in many black and brown communities every single day.

Except the occupiers were not being routinely slaughtered in the streets.

Not this time, anyway.

The injustice of killer police (and police rapists and citizen vigilantes) going free should outrage every person of conscience. But even if you’re just a run-of-the-mill narcissistic shitweasel—i.e., conservative—if you think a militarized police and surveillance state could never come gunning for you, you are terrifyingly ignorant of all of history—including the recent history of the United States.

R.I.P. Michael Brown. May this day mark a turning point in the broader culture, for all of us.

__________

Recommended reading from the Palace Library:

See also:

2 thoughts on “Ferguson heartbreak.

  1. One of your links is duplicated (cop framing for DUI).

    Also, FUCK! Black Lives Should Matter. I so wish I didn’t have to worry about my ability to enter the USA, because if I didn’t, I’d be in Ferguson standing up for justice. If I get arrested, though, they could disappear me into the CBP dungeons until I’m deported and told not to come back for five years. Which would upset my partner in Baltimore greatly. :/

    Requiescat in pacem, Michael Brown. I’m sorry we failed you.

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