And telling the people of Ferguson, MO to "get out and vote next time" doesn't solve the current problem in the here and now, today.
The whole "but they didn't VOTE in the last election" trope about the people of Ferguson, MO, is really starting to piss me off.
There is nothing wrong with suggesting that people vote. The problem is the follow-up to this trope, which goes something like this:
The White Privilege reaction, if you will, becomes crystal clear, as the entire trauma is reduced to little more than a pedantic lecture on "civic duty". Whereupon some simply walk away and forget about the humanity of an entire city that is being brutalized by armed thugs. I have seen this reaction over and over and over again, whether it's actually put that way or not, but that's what's happening, IMO. And it is wrong and it in no way helps anyone.Oh, well, it's all their fault anyway because they didn't vote in the last election....f**k these people, they are getting what they deserve
Let me repeat--I am not upset at the suggestion that the residents of Ferguson must be more civic-minded and get to the voting booth. But that ignores two current realities:
1) Voter suppression and shenanigans, which are well-documented in precincts large and small, all across this country
2) The police are still armed thugs, armed to the teeth by the United States Department of Defense
I heartily cheer Walt Starr's diary on how the people of Ferguson could fix this "in six months". They can. The diary was pitch-perfect and provided a boatload of great information and facts about the structure of their government. But voting is not the only answer for the people of Ferguson, MO. And it is damned sure not going to bring Michael Brown back from the dead.
All I am asking is that we think that through, before it gets reduced to a huge write-off, little more than "a local problem", a problem for the people of a city who simply didn't vote in the last election. There is an opportunity for those folks to rise up at the voting booth in the future. Maybe even rise up in such numbers that things will change and Brown--and thousands upon thousands of others--will have not died in vain at the hands of the people tasked to protect them from harm. But that doesn't solve the problem we all have RIGHT NOW--streets of an American city, filled with armed thugs threatening to shoot people on film, and a population that is righteously pissed off.
THAT has to change, and that change has to start right now, today.
8:26 AM PT: I just realized that Photobucket seems to have edited my image here. I'll find one that is complete....
Dangit...I suck at photo-embedding, so I guess the current image will have to do, unless someone has an embed link of the picture with the mailbox included that they can share? Meantime, I wanted to highlight this amazingly astute comment by pat of butter in a sea of grits:
Even cities with high voting rates and progressive city councils have police forces that own surplus military equipment and may be following the overall trend toward suppressive behaviors. Just look at Officer Pepper Spray at UC Davis.