Charles Manson spoke of his ‘Helter Skelter’: a race war between black and white that would tear the US apart. After last night’s decision by the St. Louis grand jury not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of the unarmed teenager Michael Brown, hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Ferguson, New York, Chicago and other major cities to voice their outrage.
Fittingly, the whole process has been a whitewash and the ugly side of the USA, the one that is full to the brim with racial tension and division has been shown to the world once again.
The killing of Brown sparked weeks of riots, looting and feverish debate in the newsrooms, living rooms and bar stools of the nation. And in a week where Cleveland police shot and killed a 12-year-old black boy, the grand jury’s decision could not have come at a worse time.
Millions of people across the United States feel that the police, more so than ever, are targeting, segregating and brutalizing young black men for the unspeakable crime of being born a different color. How dare they!
In the aftermath of the decision, Ferguson is starting to resemble a doomsday scenario right out of a Michael Bay film. Hundreds of fully-equipped riot police stand firm while businesses, homes and vehicles burn brightly into the night sky. Despite 400 National Guard being posted to Ferguson BEFORE the decision was made, reinforcements were summoned under the orders of Mayor James Knowles III and Governor Jay Nixon (never trust a Nixon!).
America, particularly her police forces, is a nation unwilling to learn from the mistakes of the past. Three decades on from the beating of Rodney King, the unbelievable acquittal of the assaulting officers and the subsequent riots and we are in the same situation again; a nation on fire, ripped asunder and with the darkest of futures ahead.
Events in Ferguson since Brown’s killing have given keen insight into a nation determined to show its militarized might to the rest of the world. But the response from the authorities has been over-the-top, unjustifiable and disgusting from the very beginning. Videos and pictures from Ferguson have shown police officers tooled up like Robocop, wagons that resemble army tanks and the rough-housing of any poor soul who gets in their way. A no-fly zone was even declared over the town to prohibit sky-high media coverage.
THIS is the America that has long prided itself on being the seat of democracy and freedom. THIS is the America that wants to open its arms to the tired, poor and hungry. THIS is the American Dream turned into a nightmare; the nation that will turn around and split you in two for daring to be one race or another, for daring to speak out against the injustices that take place right before your very eyes. THESE are the people sworn in to protect you. Lies, fallacies and more damned lies.
One of the saddest aspects of this entire episode is the point-blank refusal of some (white, rich, Christian, etc.) to accept that the system supposedly designed to protect people is failing their fellow man.
WOW JUST WOW pic.twitter.com/veYc0puTdc
— Bartholomew Kuma (@_pACEsetter_06) November 25, 2014
For those of you who want to make your voice heard worldwide, there are a number of protests scheduled to take place in Toronto, Oregon, London (UK) and elsewhere. Search your locale for details.
As for the rest of us, what can we do? Protests don’t work, acceptance of injustice simply creates more and the authorities can only ever get stronger. It’s a mad, bad world and we have to keep fighting… but stay safe out there.