The American Nightmare
Posted on August 24th, 2014

RANJITH SOYSA

The latest civil riots in Ferguson, Missouri underscored the fact that all is not well in the criminal justice system and police action in the USA. In a survey conducted recently around 75% of the Afro- Amercan and Hispanic people expressed that they do not have the confidence in the investigation process of the Police in relation to any incident in which non-whites are involved. This figure has not seen any appreciable change for last 25 years while the Americans have been boasting of increased social mobility.

Restricting our scrutiny to last 25 years we witness the USA establishment been rudely shocked with civil disturbances in 1992 when the verdict was announced of Rodney King’s killing. In 2001, the Cincinati riots, shooting of Eric Garner in New York , Tryvon Martin, in Florida in 2012 again triggered rioting by the African –Americans. It is obvious that such responses do not take place among the young white men as young Black and Hispanic men are racially stereotyped as trouble makers. They are of course subjected to constant and increased searches and arrests. In Furguson in 2013, 86%of the vehicle stops and 92% of the searches and arrests were of Black people.

Many segments of Black people and other minorities also suffer from direct and indirect racial abuse in the day to day lives and they are very badly hit by the economic down turn . Their educational standards are inferior to the average White man and they are compelled to live within restricted opportunities. In short the majority of the Black and Hispanic people remain left behind.

Meanwhile, the American state is rapidly progressing into a very strong and deadly buraurcacy. In fact , of late a number of writers have drawn the attention of the Americans that the USA is fast moving toward a Police State”. One write lamented We are operating in a topsy-turvy Sherwood Forest where instead of Robin Hood and his merry band of thieves stealing from the rich to feed the poor , you have got a government and its merry band of corporate thieves stealing from the poor to fatten the wallets of the rich. In this way the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. All the while the American dream of peace and prosperity and liberty has turned into a nightmare of endless wars, debilitating debt and outright tyranny”. In such a scenario, the worst affected are the Blacks and the Hispanics who are at the bottom of the social ladder.

The American Corporate state’s attempt to make money at the expense of its own people is well explained by the information relating to handing over of the prisons to private companies. The Correction Corporation of America has offered to buy and manage public prisons in 48 states. The offer includes the expectation of prisoner population of at least 1000 prisoners per prison and THE STATES WOULD HAVE TO MAINTAIN 90% OCCUPANCY FOR AL LEAST 20 YEARS. . This has led to phenomenon of criminalization in which mundane activities are criminalized resulting in jail sentences.” One can of course realize how the disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic people end up in American prisons compelling them to serve repeated jail sentences and very often forced to be part of the dangerous under world rings.

The response of the Black people clearly show their frustrations for having been social outcasts for innumerable years and America’s social aberrations are still open and growing.

When the US Ambassador keeps on actively commenting and involving herself in highlighting unruly incidents in Sri Lanka with her tongue in cheek agenda, one should remind her about the plight of the Blacks and Hispanic people and their utter frustrations manifested in racial riots caused by outrage against the police killings including frequent illegal harassments.

3 Responses to “The American Nightmare”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    PUTIN should give money and weapons (including small “rasaayanik” and “jeewa” weapons) to AFRICAN AMERICAN groups to fight for LIBERATION & INDEPENDENCE.

    IF USA can be broken down to seperate nations of BIBLE BELT, HISPANICSTAN, AFROAMERICANISTAN and the REST, it cannot BULLY the rest of the world.

    IDEAL opportunity for Putin. Not to be missed.

    DIVIDE the enemy before the enemy divides you.

  2. Christie Says:

    Ranjit let us look after our own problems and the Indians in US who are supporting the Indian Union and its Empire. If you got time look at who involved in forming the US policies on Sri Lanka and Indian Union. Does US talks about Kashmir?

  3. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    To set the stage for what happened in Ferguson, it would probably be helpful to understand a bit about how the deck has been stacked against people of color in the United States. Although slavery officially ended in 1863, it was ultimately replaced in the South by not only the state-sponsored terrorism of Jim Crow but unofficial re-enslavement via both the sharecropping system and arrest on trumped-up charges leading to unpaid labor on prison chain gangs. The Civil Rights Era brought an end to the worst of this but the War on Drugs ensured that African Americans continue to be arrested and imprisoned at more than twice the rate of whites for similar offenses even though drug usage is about the same for both groups. And outrageously underpaid prison labor in for-profit private prisons is now replacing what little remains of American manufacturing.

    Richard Nixon augmented white resentment in the way he “resolved” the implementation of Brown vs. The Board, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision on school desegregation, because he shrewdly realized that working-class white Democrats, North and South, would happily become Republicans if the Republican Party “took their side” on the issue. The end result of that was that re-segregation occurred and black schools are now once again under-funded, with poorer facilities, out-of-date and sometimes even *no* books (!), and generally much worse teachers. I.e., not much has really changed at all in terms of education either.

    Worse yet, although blacks once lived in all areas of this country, beginning in the third quarter of the 19th century, they were herded into the cities and literally forbidden to be in many towns after dark. And the parts of the cities they live in generally have far worse services — less frequent garbage pick-up or snow-removal, streets and street lights not well-maintained — but still very high rents, especially considering the quality of the housing. Ostensibly these problems were to have ended with the passage of various Civil Rights laws but again, not really. Redlining is an ongoing process by which blacks are prevented from buying homes in certain areas by making it far more difficult to obtain mortgages and setting higher interest rates for them than whites with similar qualifications. Given that home ownership is generally the primary source of wealth for most American families, this arena too has been closed off to most African Americans. And finally, jobs: given two candidates equally qualified for a position, the African American is significantly less likely to be hired.

    White attitudes meanwhile have not shown much improvement either. This is in part due to Nixon’s Southern Strategy for re-empowering the Republican Party, and in part due to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s deliberate race-baiting (and vote-getting) strategies, including deliberately trumping up white fears of black violence and lying about the extent of welfare fraud by blacks. But the Democrats, frightened at their loss of white voters, weren’t much better: Bill Clinton’s Welfare Reform hurt a lot of innocent people, white and black, because he too wanted to look tough on black crime — which had actually been declining — while ignoring the serious and far more expensive crimes of wealthy whites. Another factor here is due to the relative isolation of whites from blacks: it’s far easier to remain afraid of people you never get to know, especially if the media commentators you trust keep filling you with stereotypes instead of telling the truth. And make no mistake about it: the most prejudiced whites are also the most frightened whites. Sadly, it is not only to the benefit of the Republican Party to keep them that way but, because few blacks vote Republican, the Democratic Party really doesn’t have to work very hard to get the black vote — so they don’t much bother either. So it’s a truly lose-lose situation there too.

    Now for the police. Racial profiling and police brutality have always been a fact of life for people of color in USA. This stems in part from the fact that traditionally the people recruited to be policemen have been quite likely to view blacks as inherently inferior, dangerous and more likely to be criminal. Gun use is deeply ingrained in American culture, and those who hold such racist views are particularly likely to see their guns as essential for personal safety and the only real way to maintain public order. It should also be noted that fears of a black insurrection as well as the desire to conserve one’s human property led quite early to the formation of armed paramilitary slave patrols throughout the South, a primary reason for both the inclusion and peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. The growth of the American gun lobby over the past 25 years has both fed upon and reinforced these views but in point of fact, parents in the black community have traditionally had to sit their pre-teen children down for the rite of passage known as “The Talk”, in which they’re given very specific instructions on how to behave with sufficient meekness and submission to, hopefully, remain alive.

    However, the over-militarization of local police — up to and including official instructions to consider and respond to non-violent protesters as terrorists — is a disturbing new trend. The Department of Homeland Security has been a huge profit-making venture for the Military Industrial Complex, both in terms of providing taxpayer-funded grants to local police and fire departments ostensibly to protect us from terror attacks but in fact to ensure that items no longer needed for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could be sold somewhere. So now the tiniest rural fire departments have armoured vehicles they can hardly afford to fuel, and local police have the latest in military equipment and Mossad training inculcating in them a genuine terror of the population — i.e., us — they are paid with tax dollars to protect.

    Innocent people of every age and color and sometimes even their pets being brutalized and/or murdered at traffic stops, in clearly non-violent situations in their own homes when simple medical or other assistance had been requested or again the police burst into the wrong home, and/or the simply because the policeman did not feel his (often quite arbitrary and illegal) orders were being sufficiently obeyed. There is also considerable evidence to suggest poor screening for excess violence or poor behavioral controls, previous job infractions of this sort and/or drug and alcohol abuse among applicants for police work.

    Add in a “normal” quantity of southern racism (also quite present in the North, of course, reinvigorated by Sarah Palin and deliberately amplified by various rightwing media in efforts to get Republicans out to vote), a large group of African Americans recently moved from the inner city to one of the few areas they were begrudgingly allowed to enter, and a town whose second-largest source of operating revenues comes from the fines and fees paid by African Americans disproportionately targeted for traffic stops and other low level offenses Ferguson was a recipe for disaster. The event itself though, while hardly atypical, is in some ways less interesting than its aftermath, which provides almost a Rohrschach test for America’s people, media and governance at this point in time.

    The evidence on which all parties agree is that Michael Brown was an unarmed 18-year-old highly regarded by his teachers who wanted to start his own business and had no criminal record. He was shot and killed by Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson while walking with a friend to visit his grandmother at approximately noon on Sunday, August 9, 2014, just two days before he was due to start college. There is no police video of the shooting although an audiotape of several shots appears legitimate and many eyewitness tweets and a later video of Brown’s body are also on record; nevertheless, many details of the incident remain unclear. What can be stated without dispute is that Wilson stopped the two teens and ordered them with rather questionable legality to get off the street and onto the sidewalk; accounts differ as to how hostile this confrontation was or whether Brown remained on the street, was pulled by Wilson towards or into the car or was at some point actually in the car assaulting Wilson as later claimed by the police. It is fairly well established, however, that Wilson was seated in his car when he first shot at Brown and his friend through the open car window but missed as they fled. He then got out of his car, fired again at Brown and continued to shoot multiple rounds after the teen turned around with his hands up, ultimately killing him with a shot in the head as he fell. What happened next is like plate tectonics or watching a Greek tragedy unfold.

    Not trusting the hostile and overwhelmingly white power structure in Ferguson, Brown’s family requested a private autopsy by a former NYC forensic pathologist; his results showed nine gunshot wounds (four on the right arm, three on the head and two on the chest) suggesting he had been shot at least six times though not from very close range since there was no gunshot residue on the body. However, the full findings from the official autopsy by the St. Louis County medical examiner’s office have not been made public, so the presence of any residue on Brown’s clothing or in Wilson’s car remains uncertain. The Justice Department was also asked to conduct an autopsy, though it is highly doubtful that additional information can be obtained.

    Michael Brown’s body lay in the street for four hours afterwards at police insistence, Wilson’s name was not revealed for another week and although the Ferguson Police Department filed an incident report on 8/15 alleging that Brown and his friend had committed a robbery just before he was killed, it took the department another full week to file even a highly-abbreviated report of his murder. It was acknowledged, however, that Wilson had no knowledge of the robbery at the time he ordered Brown off the street.

    Meanwhile, when the police finally allowed people to access the site of his death, Brown’s family and other residents placed flowers and candles over the bloodstains on the street. At that point, in gestures of contempt quite familiar to people who had lived through Jim Crow, one policeman let his dog urinate on the memorial and others re-blocked the street from cars and then deliberately drove their cars over the candles and flowers, scattering the petals, ruining the memorial and deeply horrifying the already shocked, grieving people.

    Over the next few nights the unarmed mourners and protesters grew increasingly restless and perhaps a dozen of them began looting and vandalizing and set one business on fire. Accustomed to enforced deference but at this point genuinely afraid they might have a riot on their hands, the police refused to acknowledge any culpability, attempted with questionable veracity to place the entire blame on Brown, and responded to the protesters according to the Mossad training provided their chief. This included riot gear, SWAT team tactics and helicopters the first night, followed by tear gas, wooden pellets, rubber bullets, smoke bombs, and flash grenades. The results were about as predicted, the governor intervened, steps were taken to calm things down, more people protested, the situation gained national attention, the media took their accustomed positions along predetermined political fault lines, the police over-reacted again, the intensity ebbed and flowed, the National Guard were called in, many people were roughed up, threatened and arrested, including several journalists, and statements by the Obama administration appeared more interested in the violence perpetrated by the protesters than against Michael Brown. Things finally began to calm down after his funeral.

    Nevertheless, just as people all over the world are becoming increasingly aware of the Anglo-Zionist Empire’s true role in taking over and/or destroying so many other countries, the ugly difference between myth and reality in American life — essentially unchanged since our very beginning — has been revealed for everyone to see. The sad truth, however, is that the vast majority of Americans remain locked in to their own propaganda-induced preconceptions, and while efforts continue to be made to address the underlying issues of police militarization, brutality and unequal treatment before the law, the likelihood of genuine improvement in any of these areas is extremely low.

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