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View Diary: TRIGGER WARNING: Reading this post will give you nightmares (256 comments)

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  •  Actually, MO (5+ / 0-)

    Police brutality was a big issue back in the 60s and 70s, and activists loudly opposed police abuse of authority. I remember articles in the L.A. Times about the issue when I was a teen, and my father, who was the head of our local ACLU chapter, often tried to help mediate for people in our area involved in police abuse cases.

    Then a "law and order" wave swept through the U.S., and the Democratic Party establishment jumped on the bandwagon, running for office on a law and order platform as a tactic of competing with Republicans.

    Its become unpopular for candidates (i.e., the leadership of the Democratic party) to speak out against police abuse.

    And it's been that way ever since, from what I see. The problem is we live in a country obsessed with security, and the tendency is to answer security fears, which are exploitatively fanned into flames by both political parties, by ratcheting up more and more authoritarian solutions. It is very difficult in this country to fight against excessive police power, both with local law enforcement abuses, the criminal justice system, as well as international "policing" by the U.S. and its allies. And any rational argument against it was surrendered long ago by Democrats, in an attempt to win by jettisoning civil rights concerns.

    Our country has become, collectively, a country with an authoritarian mindset.

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

    by ZhenRen on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:28:21 PM PST

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    •  Bet you can't guess who (6+ / 0-)

      has long been on the forefront of fighting any measures to create accountability for police, even review boards (toothless or not), and doing so by consistently smearing early activists against police brutality and police racism as instigators who were creating every problem they revealed. And by the way, police review boards are a communist plot. Cleon Skousen said so!

      We were successful in stopping Police Civilian Review Boards in the 1960s and 70s and in getting the federal government’s Law Enforcement Assistance Administration abolished in 1982.
      Actually, you probably already guessed. The trouble with the teabaggers in particular, as well as the birchers before them, isn't just how wrong they are but on how ridiculously many issues. It used to be that I knew conservatives who were very wrong about some things but could at least understand their position on other issues, or even get some agreement on something (maybe Internet neutrality, or support for small farmers). Now the teabaggers have resurrected the bircher line and gone all out to ensure they're wrong on everything, and to convince more people to be equally wrong with them.
    •  I don't disagree at all (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, kyril

      That's my perception of the politics of this as well. I think it's why it was so difficult to find allies. Many of the folks we worked with were definitely old radicals, and they expressed a kind of stasis too in the activism surrounding this due to that kind of status quo ideal that is pure partisanship/politicking. I would tend to describe it, based off of my firsthand observations, as you have. We found advocacy in all sorts of other places, even unexpected places, due to the civil rights component.

      At the end of the day, this will always be where I cut my teeth and what I most strongly care about: social justice and civil rights, period.

      I feel that the problems have changed over the years because the cops have changed, and the citizenry has changed, and even the geography has, in some ways, changed, but things also remain the same and in many, many ways, have worsened. At the same time, I hope so much that social media sheds light, catalyzes, does something, to wake up Democrats who say their platform is one of equality. In the matter of law enforcement oversight, I haven't seen enough commitment to equality or justice to satisfy me. What I have seen is death upon death upon death.

      We must do better than this.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:32:46 PM PST

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