After the Sony hack, Barack Obama said, “We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States. That’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about.”
Throughout his presidency, Obama’s said this, “That’s not who we are, that’s not what America is about.”
Yet in each instance, it is exactly who we are, what America is about.
The imposition of censorship, however, doesn’t originate with “some dictator” in another country. It is the dictators here at home that enforce tyranny.
When I read that two police officers had been executed in Brooklyn, I became agitated, thinking, powder keg. Knew that this would be used to crush dissent, just as the events of 9-11 were exploited to deliver the PATRIOT Act, invasions, deaths, maiming, militarization of the police force, and the groping penetration of our privacy.
Foreign terrorists have won.
The terrorists sitting at the head of the US corporatocracy also have won.
The execution of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu has been used by Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki, two has-beens, thrusting themselves onto the airwaves, aspirations obvious, eager to assign blame to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Eric Holder.
More fomenting from Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, who said, “That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor. When these funerals are over, those responsible will be called on the carpet and held accountable.”
Another, felon and former NYC Police Commissioner Bernie I’ve-been-waterboarded-and-it’s-not-torture Kerik, opened a recent TIME article with: “War is being waged in our homeland. Not a war of the enemies we have become accustomed to—ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, radical extremists who hate everything we stand for and want to annihilate us.”
Kerik continued that this is a war of our own making (aren’t they all?), one that “pits Americans against Americans, those who serve against those who are served.”
And this: “ . . . if you have listened to some in the media, purported civil rights leader Al Sharpton, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and others around the country over the last several weeks, you’re forced to believe that nearly all of America’s local and state police are out to kill minorities.”
But Kerik, himself, is perpetuating a lie. Neither Al Sharpton nor NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that nearly all of America’s local and state police are out to kill minorities. Nor are we “forced” to believe anything from “some in the media” when we have video evidence, one video in particular detailing the hideous facts of Eric Garner’s chokehold death.
Not all cops are bad. Good cops would denounce a shirt emblazoned with the insensitive taunt: “I CAN BREATHE.” Bad cops serve up savage power on behalf of the oppressor class, functioning to intimidate and immobilize anyone who challenges authority.
There are good protesters and there are bad protesters. Good protesters chant: “Black lives matter;” “All life matters;” End the violence’” and “I can’t breathe.” Bad protesters shout, “Kill more cops.”
Because Mayor de Blasio had expressed support for protesters of police power, the need for police reform, had admitted engaging in that talk with his son, the talk parents of Black males must have about encounters with police, officers turned their backs to him when he entered the hospital after Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were murdered. If only de Blasio had told them to turn something else, “Your badges, turn them in.”
Instead, the mayor soon announced a moratorium on protests, bowing, licking brutality’s boots, and ceding more of our liberties. We shouldn’t be surprised.
Missy Comley Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Baltimore. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.