Ta-Nehisi Coates:

The killings of Officers Liu and Ramos prompt national comment. The killings of black civilians do not. When it is convenient to award qualitative value to murder, we do so. When it isn’t, we do not. We are outraged by violence done to police, because it is violence done to all of us as a society. In the same measure, we look away from violence done by the police, because the police are not the true agents of the violence. We are.

We are the ones who designed the criminogenic ghettos. We are the ones who barred black people from leaving those ghettos. We are the ones who treat black men without criminal records as though they are white men with criminal records. We are the ones who send black girls to juvenile detention homes for fighting in school. We are the masters of the American gulag, a penal system “so vast,” writes sociologist Bruce Western, “as to draw entire demographic groups into the web.” And we are the ones who send in police to make sure it all goes according to plan.

When defenders of the police say that cops do the work ordinary citizens are afraid of, they are correct. The criminal-justice system has been the most consistent tool for making American will manifest in black communities. The tool for exercising that will is not the proliferation of ice cream socials. I suspect, we would like to know as little about criminal justice system as possible. I suspect we would rather the film of Eric Garner’s killing not exist. Then we might comfort ourselves with the kind of vague unknowables that dogged the killing of Michael Brown. (“Did he have his hands up? Was he surrendering? Was he charging?”) Garner, choked to death and repeating “I can’t breathe,” trapped us. But now, through a merciless act of lethal violence, an escape route has been revealed. This overstates things. To the extent that this weekend’s murders obscure the legacy of Eric Garner, it will not be due to the failure of protests, nor even chance. The citizen who needs to look away generally finds a reason.

I wonder if there is some price attached to this looking away. When the elected mayor of my city arrived at the hospital, the police officers who presumably serve at the public’s leisure turned away in a display that should chill the blood of any interested citizen. The police are not the only embodiment of democratic society. And one does not have to work hard to imagine a future when the agents of our will, the agents whom we created, are in fact our masters. On that day one can expect that the tactics intended for the ghettos will enjoy wider usage.

3 thoughts on “Yep

  1. A Republican would have fired them all. It’s a shame really. Cops want you to respect them, not because they’re just or right, but because they’ll kill you if you don’t. Amerika: freedom and justice for none.

  2. The fascists, they are Republicans and FOX viewers, are quite content in allowing the police to control our lives. After all they bring order to a chaotic country. The fascists also love the military because they bring order to a chaotic world.
    Margret Thatcher, like all good fascists, wasn’t very fond of the collective or group. She much preferred the individual. Fascists believe that individuals can be controlled far more easily then groups can be controlled. That’s why they abhor and condemn protest marches.
    A large group of people gathered together and discussing issues is a threat to fascists. Fascists must prefer that the individual stay at home and interact with other humans as little as possible.
    It’s the job of the cops to keep the streets free of groups of agitators and free thinkers.
    It’s also the job of the cops to make sure that the streets aren’t completely safe. Especially in poor neighborhoods. Large groups of people won’t go into the streets if they fear for their safety. We wouldn’t want folks to begin planning any changes to society if they gather in groups on the streets.
    But the oligarchy isn’t as smart as it thinks it is because their end is near.

  3. I’ve given up posting very often on any site, progressive or otherwise. I’m through voting, even for dog-catcher. The entire political system in Amerikkkka is rigged, top to bottom. The poor have no chance at all: their generations will only continue to fund the privately owned and operated penitentiaries. The rapidly vanishing middle class has lost virtually all its political power, and the country has never been more divided since the Civil War! Seniors on Social Security—-of which I am one—-are more well off than most, even young grads with extended college degrees. It’s a shame that a once powerful country has come to the point where the threat of showing a movie can bring it to its’ knees. I’m glad that I’m 69 years old and won’t be around to see The Armageddon of Amerikkka in its’ final moments.

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