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The recent riots in majority-black Ferguson, Missouri have seized the attention of the world. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, universally described by the media as an "unarmed Black teenager" was shot and killed by a police officer. According to the police, he participated in a violent convenience store robbery and then resisted arrest, attacking a police officer and pushing him into the cruiser. Brown then struggled for the officer's gun before being shot dead by the officer outside, on the street. According to Brown's supporters, he was chased and shot by the police officer while having his hands in the air.
Immediately, before the local prosecutor even had a chance to consider the facts, Ferguson erupted into riots, with Molotov cocktails and rocks being thrown, and shots fired at the overwhelmed police. The local and county police responded in a swift, effective, militarized fashion, with machine gun-armed police officers on military-style vehicles and helicopters. Representatives of the media immediately started complaining about "heavy-handed tactics" and a "media blackout". And libertarians like professional cop-hater Radley Balko started crying foul about the "militarization" of American police. But both the libertarians and the liberals conveniently forget that unlike in every other recent urban American riot, there were no fatalities in Ferguson. Seems like it was exactly the "heavy-handed tactics" and the "militarization" that prevented Ferguson from erupting into a 1992 L.A.
The mainstream media predictably blames "police brutality" and ceaselessly points out that 70 percent Black Ferguson has a "nearly all-White police force". For some reason, the same talking heads do not complain about the fact that nearly all doctors and teachers in Black neighborhoods are White. There is also the inconvenient fact that the newly minted martyr Michael Brown was a member of the violent "Bloods" street gang and was pictured wearing gang colors and flashing gang signs. But do not expect these and other mere facts to stand in the way of the anti-police (read: anti-White) hysteria of both the liberal and the libertarian media. This is Obama's America after all.
While I agree with most things in this post, there does seem to be a strong trend towards militarization of the police. Seemingly, a large number of local and state police act more like stormtroopers than peace officers. Throw in some random internal highway checkpoints harassing average commuters and the trend does not look good.
Perhaps the two most ludicrous things I've run across so far are first, an article with a picture of Michael Brown in gang colors flashing a gang sign that claimed it was, "only a peace sign," and second an article that lamented how he was going to start college on Monday to pursue a degree in heating and cooling engineering. I've never heard of HVAC technician certification at a vocational school referred to as a "heating and cooling engineering" and thought that a pretty good stretch for the hack who wrote the article. I think that same article talked much about how he just graduated from high school failing to mention that the high school is apparently one of the most violent in the whole state (a quick search turned up an article less than a year old discussing how students were using pepper spray on teachers . . .etc.) I'm not saying any of these facts in any way justifies the act of the cop (I have no opinion on the case itself seeing as how practically nothing has been revealed to the public), I just found them notable attempts to beatify Mr. Brown to fit into the narrative.
There seem to be two forces at work. First, the state expanding the power of the police in order to assist the expansion of the state. At the same time, the level of violence on the street, measured by organization and firepower of the criminal element, demands a stronger police force. Reflexive attacks or defenses of the police or civilians are, as I think sensible people know, to be avoided.
What shameless race pandering by the Missouri Governor. This is what Reconstruction gets you.
One of the true metaphors I found in Ayn Rand, (there were not many) was towards the end, the prophetic collapse, when productive citizens had left, the lights were going out or growing dim, chaos was beginning to ensue, the utopian dream of everyman an island and consenting adults left to themselves bearing rich fruit in the street, etc…,… even then the crowd continued to blame everyone but the destroyer.
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