BLOWBACK: An unforeseen and unwanted effect, result, or set of repercussions.
If your reading this right now, I'm sure that I don't have to tell you that we as a country have spent yet another sweltering Summer week in a cracked bathtub full of boiling blood. And I'm sure that I'm not the only one who feels fucking exhausted with this countries total inability to learn a goddamn lesson and I'm rapidly approaching the end of my rope. I'm just so fucking sick and so fucking tired and all I know how to do is type.
On the first Wednesday of July two more innocent black men were murdered by the police. Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in St. Paul. Both men were were reasonably armed. Both men were minding there own fucking business. Both men were black. One was pinned to the ground and physically subdued before being senselessly shot multiple times at close range, execution style. The other was blown away as he tried to provide his I.D.. Both murders caught on tape or rather on phone. And the sane world wept. And the sick world shrugged. And we all died a little bit more inside. Just another dog day in sunny America.
On the first Thursday of July, the people of Black Lives Matter held another peaceful protest in Downtown Dallas with the full consent and co-operation of the Dallas Police. The protest was coming to an uneventful close when all hell let loose. Shot's rang out. Police hit the ground while there fellow officers returned fire. By the time the smoke finally cleared several hours later, six people were dead, five cops and one gunman. Another seven cops and two civilians were maimed.
The gunman was a black Army veteran of the Afghanistan War named Micah Xavier Johnson. By all appearances he acted alone in a fit of rage against white police officers. Just like the cops in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, it mattered little if the people he killed were guilty or innocent. He was the judge, jury and executioner. And once again the sane world wept. But the sick world couldn't shut the fuck up.
Because according to all these lovely gnashing heads in the permanently televised sick world, this was Black Live Matter's fault. Those cops were clearly killed by the reasonable demands of uppity black kids seeking the right to walk down a fucking street without getting murdered. Or maybe this was all the NRA's fault, because the Second Amendment is just so 1776. The only thing that couldn't possibly be at fault was the police state itself AKA blowback. But, like usual, the gnashing heads of the permanently televised sick world were dead fucking wrong.
I first and foremost want to make it perfectly fucking clear that when I say the police state, I don't necessarily mean the police. There are many good, hardworking, blue collar cops out there, I have had the pleasure to consider some of them family and I have no reason to believe that the dozen cops shot by Johnson weren't among this silent majority among the violent minority. My beef is not with the police, at least not as individuals. My beef is with the putrid system that has made even good cops complicit in a never-ending war against poor people, particularly those of color.
Over the last couple years alone this country has seen an endless procession of innocent, mostly unarmed people of color, slaughtered in cold blood by trigger happy cops. As horrifying as this sounds the orgy of bloodshed wasn't the truly shocking part of this latest spree. Black and brown and queer people have been telling their friends in the white/straight world for years that this shit's been going down. What made these cases different was that most of them were recorded and what made this downright horrifying is that it didn't even fucking matter. In case after bloody case, the pigs, and these were not cops but pigs, were tried before a rigged court and released with just a slap on the fucking wrist, if that.
Eric Garner, Micheal Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Jonathan Ferrell, Sandra Bland, Samuel Duboise, Freddie Gray and now Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Case after case after goddamn case. Kids were killed. There killers were set free. The people protested (mostly peacefully.) And the bodies just kept pilling up. It quickly became graphically clear to the whole country that these pigs were above the law as long as they kept there bullets in brown bodies.
There is only so much a people can take before they break. Martin Luther King Jr. said it himself, paraphrasing JFK- "Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable." Sooner or later someone will break under the colossal weight of oppression and it'll usually be someone already on the edge, but, regardless, without reform it becomes inevitable.
Black and brown and queer (particularly trans) people in this country have been consistently taught through the actions of the people supposedly payed to protect them that there lives don't matter and any kind of justice in the legal system is all but hopeless. The reason behind this unfortunate fact isn't simply a matter of racism or bigotry. It is a matter of unchecked power. The police state in this country has been given a free hand to annihilate with impunity and even good cops have been rendered powerless to stop this legacy of bloodshed due to the strictly enforced culture of blue silence. There success and even there safety within the police community is dependent upon keeping there mouths shut and looking the other way when things get out of control. This deeply ingrained practice has created a community where, sadly, bad cops rise in the ranks while good cops are left with only three options- Go silent, go bad or just go away.
The only way to change this hopelessly corrupt system is to destroy it and replace it with something more transparent and democratic. This can be done by making the career progress of cops dependent on the approval of the communities they police and by having acts of police violence prosecuted by attorneys who work outside the law enforcement community, perhaps by creating a separate prosecutorial organ that works exclusively on cases of police brutality thus avoiding putting prosecutors in the corrupting position where they have to prove the guilt of someone they have to work with on a day to day basis to win cases.
Until this kind of radical reform happens the violence coming from both sides of the law will only get worse and the divide between the police and the citizens they serve will only grow wider. If left unchecked this divide may ultimately make the ultimate act of violent social upheaval a forgone conclusion when even peaceful people will be given no choice but to defend there own communities from predators with or without a badge.
One more quote- "Violence is the midwife of any old society pregnant with a new one."
For better or worse, these contractions are coming closer and closer. A C-section via peaceful revolutionary reform maybe the only way to prevent a violent revolutionary birth.
Peace, Love and Empathy- CH