Blowback in Ferguson, Missouri

When Benghazi is a dim memory, what happened in Ferguson, Missouri will be remembered as the moment when the blowback from America’s covert and not-so-covert domestic wars–on terror, on drugs, on African American youth–went mainstream.

As Digby writes at Salon:

All this week people were shocked to see police officers dressed up in what one wag called “commando-chic” pointing guns directly at unarmed civilians. They were taken aback at the idea that heavily armed officers wearing desert battle fatigues would enter a McDonald’s where children were present to roust the customers and arrest reporters who were sitting quietly charging their laptops. They saw the unmotivated discharge of tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters. They wondered why there were tanks and automatic weapons in our streets. Well, it’s a long overdue wake-up call. We’ve been spending billions of taxpayer dollars for decades to turn the streets of urban America into a war zone at the merest hint of dissent. And now it’s here.

And yes it’s ironic that the Tea Party and its ilk claim to be as opposed to state tyranny as they are, because these uber-militarized county cops are local Frankensteins that are largely of their own creation.

Back in the early ’60s, when the John Birch Society coined the slogan “Support Your Local Police (and Keep them Independent!),” they were back-handedly saying that the tyrannical, black-loving, communist-inclined, de-segregationist federal and state governments couldn’t be trusted with law enforcement. Sovereign Citizens like Cliven Bundy have raised it to a constitutional principle. 

The usual suspects on the right have had a lot to say about the looting and of course the threats of Black Panther actions (check out this Fox News discussion), but their pointed lack of outrage about what the police are doing in Ferguson (or for that matter, what Bloomberg’s New York City police were doing with Stop and Frisk in this city’s minority neighborhoods) is telling.

It will be interesting to see how they react to Governor Nixon’s belated decision to relieve them.



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