Sunday, August 31, 2014

Is This What You Want, America?

Funny...I remember being told that the United States entered World War 2, sent troops to Korea, and put soldiers in Vietnam- to say nothing of deploying fighting men and fighting women in Iraq and Afghanistan- to stop totalitarianism.

I didn't think totalitarianism (in one degree or another) would get a foothold, let alone thrive in too many places, on these shores.

It's been 22 days now since 18-year-old high-school graduate Michael Brown was shot and killed in his home town of Ferguson, MO, by one of that city's police officers, Darren Wilson.
Several nights of tense protests ensued after Wilson and his fellow Ferguson Police officers gave conflicting reports about the events that led to Brown's killing; the protests came about, too, because of mounting frustration over the lack of detailed information made available to the general public about just what took place to cause Wilson to fire those six bullets.

Within a couple of days of the death of Brown, armored trucks and other military hardware were seen in the streets of Ferguson.

Not Kiev, Ukraine. Ferguson, MO, USA. 

To top it all off, that same police department fired tear gas (8-13-2014) at an Al Jazeera America TV crew to prevent that crew from taping coverage of the protests taking place in this St. Louis suburb. 

And two other reporters- The Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly and The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery- were detained by another FPD officer at a local McDonald's the very night the Al Jazeera America crew faced tear gas. 

It didn't make one bit of difference that Lowery, Reilly, and the crew from Al Jazeera America were just doing their jobs. 

Things would've been much worse if Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon hadn't called on Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Patrol to take over the policing of Ferguson from the St. Louis County forces and the Ferguson Police. (Johnson- a man from the St. Louis area- even walked with the protesters the night he took over.)

Yes, at the core of it all was the robbery of a convenience store in Ferguson. And yes, the FPD named Brown as a suspect. 

It's also true that Brown was unarmed and had no criminal record coming into 8-9-2014...and that the initial contact between the 28-year-old Wilson (a six-year FPD veteran) and the 18-year-old Brown had nothing to do with the robbery...a theft that took place ten minutes before the killing.  

Wasn't it enough for Darren Wilson to just take Michael Brown to the police station?

Since when did being suspected of robbery warrant death to the unarmed suspect at that?   

I mean, James Holmes got treated better by police. 

Me, I don't know about how the same Aurora, CO police responsible for catching Holmes would've treated the Ferguson protesters.

But I do know I've read where, in the past, Ferguson's Finest (?) have harassed school children...including one who was just going to the mailbox of the child's own home. 

And if you're walking down one of Ferguson's thoroughfares, even if it's the one you live on, chances are one of Ferguson's Finest (?) will stop you...just for the hell of it.

I've been thinking that that city of 21,135 (2012 estimate) doesn't have a police department.

It's got a Gestapo.  

And this country's got too many cities where, depending on what you look like, you'd just better not be caught walking down this or that street- even if it's the street where you live and you're trying to get home.  

I recently read online about a man from St. Paul, MN, who was waiting at a shelter over by the First National Bank Building there. He was waiting on his children...but that didn't stop a bank employee from calling the police on him and getting him arrested. (Supposedly, it was his dreadlocks...and, oh, yes, his skin color.)  

If you're an American and you happen to stumble onto this post, you might want to ask yourself if the city you live in, if it isn't Ferguson itself, is a Ferguson-to-be...or has already had a Fergusonlike incident in recent years.

There's just no reason for a SWAT team to invade a rather peaceful protest. And there's no excuse for a police officer to let his dog desecrate that makeshift memorial (flowers and candles) at the spot where Brown died- the spot where Brown lay for four hours without medical attention.

48 of Ferguson's 53 officers are a city where two out of every three residents are Black.

Are you adding this all up? 

Despite US Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) calling for an end to the militarization of America's police departments, many of Paul's fellow Republicans keep saying we shouldn't continue to shine the Big Light on Ferguson. They're also angry over efforts to get more Fergusonites to get out to their neighborhood polling places...especially on 11-4-2014.  

You know what, Republicans? That's YOUR tough luck!

If you're going to continue to talk glowingly and eloquently about freedom, then you've got absolutely no business calling for the transformation of "the country whose very name means freedom" into a police state.

I applaud those Fergusonites who now are calling for an end to their city's record as an Information-Age East Berlin.  

How about you? 

(By the way...sources for information for this post included Wikipedia and

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