Posts Tagged ‘police brutality

16
Aug
14

Free in America? Bundy Ranch Militias, Open-Carry Ammosexuals, or Ferguson Black Residents?

Free in America? Bundy ranch militias, Open-carry ammosexuals, or Ferguson black residents?

 

by @zizii2

Militias at Bundy ranch,NV

Open-Carry advocates in Austin, TX

Open-carry advocates in Target store, TX

Protesters of Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO

Riot police descend on Black protesters in Ferguson, MO

Riot police descend on Black protesters in Ferguson, MO

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Consider the  photographs above of events that happened this year less than six months apart? There is no comparison. That is the point. They all involve American citizens in protest over perceived affront to their rights. But can the people in those photographs be interchanged with the same outcomes? Can the Ferguson MO black residents stage their protest armed like the Bundy-ranch militias or the open-carry ammosexuals flaunting their AR-15s in stores in public? Would they be covered by the media with fawning deference as we saw during the standoff in Nevada or in the narratives spun about open-carry advocates?

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Of course no. It is not hyperbole to say the streets there would already have been littered with many more black bodies being gunned down by platoons of SWAT teams pouring in to maintain “law and order.” They would not be retreating like the BLM and law enforcement did outside the Bundy ranch in Nevada in order to safeguard “public peace” and NOT escalating the potential for violence. The media would have whipped up the fear factor to the rafters, not the love-in we saw when the Bundy ranch militias had federal officials locked in their gunsights and bragged they were ready to “water the tree of liberty”.

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Likewise, the language of inherent criminality being used now to describe Ferguson’s black residents’ protests would not be invoked in similar actions by white protestors. It is like clockwork, the types of thesauri with stock phrasing that get whipped out to describe public behavior of American citizens depending on their race and class. White Militias are “patriots” defending the “constitution”, not “lawbreakers, or thugs, or looters.” White youths’ public misbehavior and even serious felonies are given benefit of the doubt as “feisty pranks” or aberrant “lone wolves” or “mentally challenged” individuals.

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Blacks and Latinos are described as criminals-in-the-making and bearers of regressive group cultural traits who should be “feared” and removed from civilized society. There is an insistence that their citizenship can only rest on approval of their morality, something that is not required of any other groups. The statistics from our criminal justice system glaringly show the disparities in who gets convicted for similar crimes and who gets slapped on the wrist.

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Therein lies the dirty underbelly of American creed of “Freedom” and “justice”. It was always a lie, from the nation’s founding. But it was a powerful lie that sewed together a nation populated by peoples of disparate backgrounds ever re-making themselves anew with infinite optimism in this vast land. City on a Hill, it was. Even if built on the blood of shackled slaves. Frederick Douglass described this foundational hypocrisy so astutely in his famous speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

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Question is why the lie? Other societies don’t bother to broadcast “Freedom” for all. Don’t pretend to want equality for all. For a nation that prided itself on throwing off the yoke of calcified monarchies, and hewing to the creed — “all men are created equal”, why does this country keep insisting on universal “freedom”? I argue that “freedom” is a useful cover that keeps a tight lid on fissures cracking apart a deeply unequal society. It is a release valve in the same way that maintaining an underclass that can be scapegoated for society’s ills. That way we don’t have to deal with crushing class inequality.

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And what the wielders of power bet on is that the eruptions be it in Ferguson or Nevada, will inure to their benefit. The Fearful buy more weapons, and disenfranchised minorities get slaughtered in the street, or fill profit-making private prisons!

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Freedom!




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