Over at Time.com, Rand Paul gets it mostly right on the over-militarization of the police and the targeting, literally, of black citizens (link):
Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.Paul can't resist taking a swipe at "big government":
The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm. It is one thing for federal officials to work in conjunction with local authorities to reduce or solve crime. It is quite another for them to subsidize it.
Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem.Here is where I think he's a bit off. The problem is not "big government". Income taxes, clean water laws, public school teachers, and all the other things that drive libertarians crazy aren't responsible here.
What is to blame is a security-obsessed, warlike government. And in his very next sentences, Paul hits upon this truth:
Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies—where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement.Read the whole thing, it is good.