After Ferguson, There Is No Justice in America

International Marxist-Humanist Organization

There is no justice in America—not for victims of police abuse, and surely not for Blacks and Latinos who are enduring the oppressive apparatus an American “civilization” that long ago shed its last trace of humanity.

800px-Middle_of_the_crowd_in_FergusonThere is no justice in America—not for victims of police abuse, and surely not for Blacks and Latinos who are enduring the oppressive apparatus an American “civilization” that long ago shed its last trace of humanity.

It is hard to draw any other conclusion in light of the refusal of the grand jury to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who last summer murdered 18-year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Clearly, the prosecutor didn’t want the grand jury to issue an indictment; otherwise, he wouldn’t have taken the highly unusual route of submitting “evidence” to the grand jury without any sort of recommendation as to what action it should take. Clearly, the grand jury was not moved by the fact that Wilson—who referred to Brown as a “demon” in one of his depositions—shot him no less than six times at a considerable distance after their alleged initial altercation, even though he was fully aware that Brown was unarmed. Clearly, a criminal injustice system that is structured to hand out indictments against Black Americans for the pettiest of offenses can’t bring itself to compel a police officer to stand trial for gunning down a Black youth who lives in a community that has long suffered from racial profiling, arbitrary arrests, and interminable abuse.

There is no great surprise in any of this. When was the last time a cop served time in prison for murdering a Black or Latino? What was the last time police were held accountable for their actions? What was the last time that the community had a say in the amount of money the police receive for the latest techniques in “crowd control,” military surveillance, and weaponry? When has democracy and justice ever reigned when it comes to the conditions endured by minorities and workers in the U.S.?

What is shocking, however, is how the events in Ferguson—and elsewhere in the U.S., where the problem of police abuse and harassment is as severe as ever—reveal how little regard the powers-that-be have for even the most basic humanity of their citizens. High-tech capitalism can produce an array of technological wonders—especially in terms of sophisticated surveillance equipment and military hardware—but somehow it cannot “afford” cameras to be mounted in squad cars to keep track of the actions of police officers. Study after study has shown that “stop-and-frisk” rules, “broken mirror” policies, and mandatory sentencing laws have deliberately targeted minorities for abusive treatment for well over a generation, and yet little or nothing is being done on a national level to reverse them. What we are subjected to instead is a seemingly interminable effort to demonize African-American men and women—which is vividly illustrated in the stance now being taken by those denouncing the “violence” committed by those protesting the grand jury’s decision.

That protests have erupted around the country over these events is a welcome development, as are the actions of those in Ferguson who took to the streets to express their rage at these conditions. That they did not listen to the pleas of politicians, preachers, and self-proclaimed “civil rights leaders” to “remain calm” is to their credit. There is no point to “remaining calm” when the police can murder our brothers and sisters with impunity. What is needed on our part is a persistent refusal to adhere to any impediment to expressing opposition to the gross inhumanity of this capitalist, racist, sexist system.

The words of Frantz Fanon, issued more than 50 years ago, address the essence of what faces us today: “As soon as you and your fellow men are cut down like dogs there is no other solution but to use every means available to re-establish your weight as a human being.” The time to act—and to think out what new forms of action are needed to reverse the dehumanization of this society—is now.

 

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