A few weeks ago Brian Tannebaum wrote a post calling for a national conversation on law enforcement. He says ‘it’s time’ as if a police officer pepper spraying a group of peacefully protesting students would stay in our national memory long enough for us to actually have a discussion on it. We, and by ‘we’ I mean those of us who actually have our eyes opened to the way our justice system works, have asked for a conversation for a very, very long time. And we keep hoping that every time an incident comes up it will spur folks on. You know, like maybe seeing a group of white college students getting sprayed in the face might wake us up to what’s happening in our country. How can one not feel that something needs to change after watching this:
Oh, but COME ON Mirriam, we’ve all already seen that. Why are you so slow with all of this stuff – that was last month’s (week’s, yesterday’s) news.
And now we’ve moved on to something else. But here’s the thing, nothing has changed still. We are still here:
And perhaps we need to be reminded over and over and over again that these are real people who are standing up for things they believe in and are doing it non-violently. I’ve seen the video of ‘what really happened’ at UC Davis and the theory is those kids deserved it for failing to move along when told. Well, seems to me that in 1963 in Selma, those kids deserved it to since they also failed to abide by a lawful order. It really just depends on what you mean by lawful though, doesn’t it?
Stick our heads in the sand and pretend racism doesn’t exist anymore because we no longer open water hoses on people. Instead we do this:
Wait. That’s China. That’s not us. We would never do anything like that. I mean, we are a democracy after all. A civilized nation that would allow our citizens to, to, you know:
The time for a discussion about law enforcement is now. It’s then, it’s always. Because we do not learn from history, we continue to push forward without ever looking back, until it is just way too late.
Look, I don’t know what those Occupy people are protesting. I really have no idea. I think it has something to do with the staggering downward spiral of our economy – the fact that the rich get richer on the backs of the rest of it. I don’t agree with how they are doing this stuff. I mean, what kind of protest has no real purpose and where is it supposed to lead. But I believe in the power of their voice for whatever and I am kinda proud of them for doing something while the rest of us sit here in our suits and click away at the keyboard. Good for them for showing some courage in the face of all of us (and by us I mean me too) that are apathetic to whatever it is they are saying. And, after all, this is America and people can protest if they feel they need to. Right?
This is our country and look what we have made of it. We intend to spread democracy to poor, stupid nations like Afghanistan. We think Iran should not have nuclear power so we send in Drones. We assist in assassinations of our own citizens because we hold ourselves out to be the keeper of all that is good and right and moral and just. And meanwhile we act like savages to one another.
I am posting this after everyone else does so you don’t forget. I will keep posting the same shit from now until things change or I die or get sued again or whatever. But this cannot go on. We must make it stop. And by ‘we’ I mean me and you.