POLICE BRUTALITY AND OPPRESSION
The police forces in the United States are essentially an occupation force acting to cow ordinary people into submission to the dictatorship of the rich. This may seem like an unjustifiably strong statement to individuals who have not experienced the police as a hostile force, as is the case for many upper middle class people. But for working class Americans, especially black and Hispanic working class Americans, this statement about the police is uncontroversial.
A retired Philadelphia police captain, Ray Lewis, described the police this way:
“I want to try and get a message to mainstream America that this system is corrupt, that police really are oppressing not only the black community, but also the whites,” he said. “It’s an oppressive organization now controlled by the one percent of corporate America. Corporate America is using police forces as their mercenaries.”
The New York Times, in order, no doubt, to give that newspaper some credibility, stated in an editorial Nov. 26, 2014, that:
"News accounts have strongly suggested, for example, that the police in St. Louis County’s many municipalities systematically target poor and minority citizens for street and traffic stops — partly to generate fines — which has the effect of both bankrupting and criminalizing whole communities. In this context, the police are justifiably seen as an alien, occupying force that is synonymous with state-sponsored abuse."
Click here to read an article titled "Ferguson Reexamined" by Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy appointed by Ronald Reagan and a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, who writes:
"The US justice system is no longer concerned with justice, but with the careers of prosecutors, punishing the powerless, and protecting the powerful. As justice has largely departed the justice system, it is hardly surprising that police lack any concept of justice."
Roberts's article includes numerous links to videos showing the "gratuitous violence that police are trained to use" and demonstrating that "the police when they gratuitously murder members of the public are merely doing what they have been trained to do."
"In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread"--Anatole France
Ronald Kramer, in his article in the journal Critical Criminology titled "Political Elites, 'Broken Windows', and the Commodification of Urban Space," [Crit Crim DOI 10.1007/s10612-011-9137-9] explains why the police attack poor people so aggressively. Kramer first demonstrates that the official explanation is bogus. The official explanation is the so-called "broken windows" theory, which police departments across the United States invoke. The theory is based on the idea that if a broken window is not quickly repaired then people will assume nobody cares about the other windows and this will induce some people to break more windows. Therefore, according to this theory, the police need to aggressively prevent little crimes (like graffiti or panhandling) in order to prevent the occurrence of big crimes. Kramer documents that a) there is no empirical evidence to support the "broken windows" theory and b) the theory itself relies on terms that are so poorly defined as to make the theory meaningless.
Kramer then shows that, in practice, the ruling elite label things that poor people do but that rich people do not do as "dirty" and "dishonest" even when there is nothing actually dirty or dishonest about them. The rulers do this in order to criminalize poor people for the crime, essentially, of being poor. Kramer then, based on examining memos by mayors and business leaders, identifies one of the main reasons these ruling elites order the police to treat poor people so harshly; it has nothing to do with believing in the "broken windows" theory. That theory is just a pretext for a policy that has an ulterior motive that the ruling elites dare not admit to having. Their actual motive, Kramer shows, is to make the places where poor people live become more profitable to big business, which prefers an environment in which poor people don't exist or at least are kept out of sight. The police are therefore trained to view anybody who is poor and visible as refusing to submit to "law and order"--in other words, as a criminal.
The New Jim Crow: Racist Incarceration
In addition to using violence and brutality to try to cow working class Americans into submission to the "law and order" of the rich, the police also single out racial minorities for especially harsh treatment. This is one reason why blacks are being killed by police at a rate 21 times greater than whites, as indicated by federal government data described here. The ruling class uses the so-called War on Drugs to facilitate this racial discrimination, as discussed here and here.
The Civil Rights Movement abolished the racist Jim Crow laws but racist oppression was not abolished; it merely took another form: "From the back of the bus to the front of the prison" or "The new Jim Crow." As the figure below (giving prison incarceration per 100,000 population, for blacks and whites and the ratio, from this source) illustrates, Jim Crow was simply replaced with racist prison incarceration, accomplished in large part by the War on Drugs:
In 1975 shortly after Jim Crow became history, the rate of black imprisonment sky rocketed, having been essentially constant for the previous five decades, while the rate of white imprisonment after 1975 rose only very slightly. The oppression of working class blacks after the success of thd Civil Rights Movement took a new form, and is arguably worse now than during the years of Jim Crow.
The purpose of this racial discrmination is divide-and-rule. The rulers of America want blacks and Hispanics to experience greater suffering at the hands of the police than whites. Why? So that whites will be susceptible to the mass media propaganda that portrays blacks and Hispanics as criminals and as people who complain about our society without justification; so that whites will fear and have contempt for blacks and Hispanics, and so that blacks and Hispanics will view whites as racists.
Cowing people of all races into submission to the "law and order" of the rich, and treating minorities the worst to divide and rule: this is why we are seeing so much police brutality and oppression, examples of which are here (with related video here) and here (with related article here) and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here (with accompanying article here) and here (with related article here) and here and here (a cop fired for NOT being a thug) and here and here and here. This has been the role of police forces since their very beginning, as discussed in great historical detail here.
Police Are Exceptionally Brutal in the United States
As discussed in this video and also here, the police in the United States, in sharp contrast to other nations, are a leading cause of civilian killings even though police officers, themselves, are at relatively little danger of death on the job (with most police deaths due to automobile accidents rather than hostile civilians) and in fact police are not even in the top ten list of most dangerous jobs. What's going on in the United States?
Part of the answer, reported in the Wall Street Journal here, is the following:
"Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties."
Why Our Police Are Being Trained in Israel
Of note, American senior law enforcement officials (as discussed here and here and here and here) are being trained by Israel's police, intelligence and counter terrorism forces; and rank-and-file police officers in large numbers are (as noted here) being trained by the pro-Israel private ADL organization. How come?
The Israeli government is the world's expert in removing unwanted people from where they are (were) living and making those who can't be moved as invisible as possible to the "right" inhabitants. The Israeli government violently drove out most of the non-Jews from the part of Palestine now called Israel, seized all of their property, and now refuses to let them return (click here to read why). This ethnic cleansing (not anti-Semitism) is why Palestinians are so angry at the Israeli government. The Israeli government and its ardent backers such as the ADL say that opposition to this ethnic cleansing is anti-Semitism and that armed resistance to it is "terrorism." The Israeli government's expertise in "fighting terrorism" is being shared with American police who are being used (in the name of the "broken windows" theory) to treat the poorest Americans and especially minority Americans in the same disgusting and brutal way that the Israeli government treats non-Jewish (Palestinian) people.
The way to end police brutality and oppression is to abolish the dictatorship of the rich that pays the police to serve them this way. And the way to abolish the dictatorship of the rich is an egalitarian revolution.
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