Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Yearning

"Hey hey, ho ho, 

These killer cops have got to go!
Hey hey, ho ho,
These racist cops have got to go!"

That's one of the older chants being used during the current series of anti-police violence actions in Missouri and all over the country. 

People, particularly young people, are fed up with the killer-cop culture that's infected police -- apparently everywhere. By and large they seem impervious to the plaints of the People, and they seem to lack any hint of conscience and compassion as well. Witness Darren Wilson's attitude toward his killing of Mike Brown.

The summary execution of little Tamir Rice in Cleveland is one of the most egregious examples of the police killer culture -- simply drive up and shoot and then leave the victim to bleed out until dead or nearly so. It's incredible. And yet versions of that horrible scenario have been happening for decades, and something like it happens practically every day somewhere in this country.

And of course there are the constant lies out of police forces everywhere about these killings. The lies began immediately when little Tamir Rice was killed, but we've seen the practice of constant lying about these killings for many a long year. The lies are always accompanied by smear campaigns against the victims. In the minds of police, it is always the fault of the victim -- who always needed killing anyway. No matter the facts, it's always the victim's own responsibility that he or she got dead, never that of the police who killed them.

Racism, of course, is part of the pathology that infects police forces. As some historians have pointed out, civil police forces (as opposed to military) began as slave patrols and militias, the purpose being to control the restive Africans forced to work for slave-masters, kidnapped for bounty, used and abused for the profits and convenience of the planter-class.

When civil police were established as a department of city administrations, the racism that was at the basis of slave patrols and militias was transferred to police departments, amplified and extended to encompass anyone or any group designated "The Other" -- if you weren't white, prosperous, and "normal," you would be subject whatever abuse and murder the police cared to commit, and for the most part, there would be no consequences and no justice -- for you.

In some ways, it's gotten better. There are some modest controls these days that didn't exist when I was a boy. On the other hand, because of the original sins and the nature of policing in this country, the racism at its foundation is still apparent in the astonishingly high arrest, killing, and incarceration rates of blacks and other minorities compared to whites.

And young people yearn for it to stop.

That's what the demonstrations breaking out all over the country are all about. The demonstrators demand -- yes, demand -- that this crap stop, that the killing stop, that the war police are conducting on the people stop.

End it. Now.

It's clear the police are stunned. They don't understand why the People would be up in arms about what to the police is their highest duty and accomplishment -- killing the Bad Guys, even if the Bad Guy is little Tamir Rice. He was a Negro With A Gun, and according to all the best practices and protocols, Negroes With Guns are to be shot on sight. That's how the police protect you'n'me you see. We should be grateful, we should honor them with parades and medals.

Of course the young don't see it that way. Not even. The young -- especially -- see the police preying on and villainizing the most vulnerable over and over and over again, brutalizing and killing with impunity. Particularly the mentally ill and minorities. Over and over and over again. Without remorse, without conscience, without any understanding that what they're doing is destroying lives, families and communities -- and it has got to stop.

It's clear that police are by and large confused and offended by the lack faith and understanding the young have for the difficult "split-second" choices police must make and the peril they are always in from the predators they must neutralize every day.

Even if it's little Tamir Rice.

There are demons to slay after all.


The young yearn for an end to this madness.

And they won't rest until it ends.

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