A Roseland, Indiana, city council member orders police to remove a fellow city council member. The police escort him out, shove him down on his face and pound his head. Onlookers either cheer, do nothing, joke, behave as if all were normal, or yell at others to let the police do their jobs. Not a single person protests. Only the one victim is hauled off in the police car. No one jumps in and shouts “Before this becomes Nazi Germany, arrest me too!”
A television newscaster announces that planes were delayed in
We must pretend toothpaste and deodorant are weapons. We must pass through metal detectors. We must shout through bullet proof glass. We must refrain from hysterically laughing at police officers who solemnly believe every backpack or stroller is a threat to national security. We must speak freely in “free speech zones,” except when we speak the wrong things freely and go to jail for it. We must be treated as criminals any time we attempt to get near members of our government.
We must accept genocide to support “our troops” doing their job. With very few exceptions, when those troops witness torture, rape, and murder, they either cheer, do nothing, joke, behave as if all were normal, or yell at others to let the mercenaries and the troops do their jobs. They’re brave enough to fight and kill, but just as scared to challenge abuses of power as everyone back home.
Back home in the land of the free, the wrong sign or t-shirt can now land you in jail. The wrong bumper sticker at a peace rally can get you a ticket. The wrong words out of your mouth can now constitute any number of serious crimes. Police brutality is now considered part of keeping us safe. And everyone is too scared to notice that anything is changing. Those who notice, obviously believe nothing can be done or believe someone else will do it. If those abroad who resent the
“If You See Something, Say Something.”
Everyone needs to quit all the idiotic spying on neighbors and snooping around their bags to check for bombs. When you see someone assaulted by police, SAY SOMETHING. Do not let that moment pass.
One young woman approached the
Sam Provance exposed some of the torture at Abu Ghraib. That’s a start.
But most Americans appear paralyzed by fear. And that includes many Americans with the power to put a halt to our slide into martial law. We have an opposition political party afraid to oppose anything. We have grassroots groups that swear obedience to the opposition party, even as the useless unopposing party condemns the activists. Those with the power to end national crimes are afraid to do so. They fund the occupation of
But there are signs of courage. There is a growing and successful counter-recruitment movement. Expensive corporate movies are beginning to challenge the occupation of
Congressman Dennis Kucinich alone in Congress is repeatedly articulating the indisputable but taboo fact that the Democratic leadership in Congress can end the occupation by announcing that it will not fund it anymore. Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey has suggested that pseudo peace activists targeting Republicans may not be enough, that it might be a good idea to challenge pro-war Democrats as well. The Congressional Black Caucus Monitor is holding “Lawn Jockey Awards” for the “four worst black members of Congress.” And many progressives around the country are energetically opposing the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton. There are signs of life still in our body politic, but they are struggling against an incoming tide of fear and self-inflicted terrorism.