As protests mount in Baltimore over the death in police custody of Freddie Gray from a spinal cord injury, video has surfaced in South Gate, CA, of a cop grabbing a woman's cell phone as she records police and smashing it to the ground.
Both incidents are receiving national coverage by TV networks. That marks a difference. The coverage itself is different. A CBS report about the Baltimore protests puts that case in the context of a history of police misconduct. That indicates certain elements of the ruling class are beginning to take notice, sounding the alarm, pointing out the need for reform.
Not too long ago such things went pretty much unnoticed by the general public, like an incident in Bakersfield, CA, where, after the police shot and killed an unarmed Latino, they went around and confiscated the cell phones of all the witnesses. Last I heard about that no one had gotten their cell phone back.
This past weekend I posted a piece that put rampant police criminality, that's finally beginning to see the light of day, in the context of state power, and I posted one this morning listing the many places around the world where our warmongering federal state is causing murder, mayem and instability.
Whether the general public begins to make the connections between corrupt police and the criminal exercise of state power remains to be seen. I was radicalized at a young age. The illusions dropped away. The curtain was pulled back. I'm not burdened by nationalism, which we like to call patriotism. I view Capitalism itself as a criminal activity. Most people don't. To see things that way would represent a big leap, a complete reversal, almost.
We need to believe that our country will right itself, that things will get back to normal. That the future will be better than the past, that there will be good jobs again, that we can trust the police and the government, and feel safe. We need to believe that things are going to keep keeping on. We need to believe in something.
The solution is pretty simple, really. We need to believe in each other. They have us divided, Republican and Democrat, right and left, black and white, brown and black, young and old, engaged and disengaged, socially conservative and socially liberal, religious and otherwise. It's hard to see how much more divided we can be. But there are things that could unite us in a hurry. Fear. Mass disillusionment. The realization that in each of us there's a desire for justice and fairness. A human being.