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What better way to defuse racially-charged tension following a police shooting of an unarmed man than with a show of militarized force? Cue the tough talk from the pudgy pink police chief. Wait, scratch that, let's try bringing in a handsome African American highway patrolman who uses a soft touch and hugs demonstrators.

On second thought, let's get tougher, then bring in the National Guard. Curfew? Yes! Whoops, maybe not. Oh, and don't forget to arrest a handful of reporters along the way. This is like the Keystone Kops, except those cops didn't have grenade launchers, automatic weapons and mine-resistant armored vehicles.

The situation in Ferguson is a tragedy on many levels. An unarmed kid on his way to college was shot and killed (yes, he also apparently stole some Swisher Sweets cheap cigars and had marijuana in his system, neither of which are capital offenses). It seems like we blinked twice, and our local police forces were replaced with creepy, faceless militarized enforcers. Amidst all the flashing lights and military hardware, let's not forget that there are a lot more Michael Brown's out there. (You can find more links to stories behind the cartoon here.)

[bzzzt, bzzzt, bzzzt-- scratch, gun cock heavy]

This is a message from the Department of Post-Racial America, Emergency Alert System.

We have activated this alert system to assure you that racial strife is a thing of the past.

What matters is not the color of your skin, but the content of and the quality of .

We understand residents of are upset by the recent of an unarmed black man.

We urge you to voice your concerns through the proper channels.

Be advised that though a police department of individuals contains only African-Americans, your concerns will be heard.

Street demonstrations and intermittent Constitutional outages are in no way related to income, educational or judicial inequality.

These outages result entirely from the recent and related .

If you are a , please exercise your Amendment rights during the designated hours posted.

If curfew has been lifted, you may exercise your right of before the .

Rest assured, we will protect you-- from violence.

If you are a member of , all races, colors and creeds, must report from the .

Today's police response will be overseen by <                          > and will rely on the principles of <                       >.

The Department of Post-Racial America, Emergency Alert System, would like everyone to come together and honor the memory of

Please stand by for periodic alerts from the Department of Post-Racial America, Emergency Alert System.

[bzzzt, bzzzt, bzzzt-- scratch, gun cock heavy]

Originally posted to Comics on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 06:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  ha (13+ / 0-)

    Constitutional outages. Ain't it the truth.

    I don't know what's worse, the getting older or the getting wiser. -- G. Callen.

    by OLinda on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:02:28 AM PDT

  •  Pages from the Apartheid Playbook (14+ / 0-)

    Feel free to cover the protest only from our designated areas and we still might arrest you.

    and the protesters have to always be walking

    unless we suddenly decide that they are unlawful

    and suddenly subjected to tear gas and rubber bullets

    Uupsy Daisy... we don't have an incident report for a fatal police shooting

    and the secret grand jury proceedings  will take several months

    and the mayor isn't aware of any racial problems in Ferguson.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:09:57 AM PDT

  •  Brilliant. (7+ / 0-)

    Deserves to go viral.
    Rec'd and forwarded...

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin-- -6.75, -5.78

    by kevinbr38 on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:11:35 AM PDT

  •  Just Ask Any Personnel Idiot/Bigot/Liar (5+ / 0-)

    OPPORTUNITY in Amerika is EQUAL because we are in the "post-racial" era.

    Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy have confirmned this in their Shelby County, Alabama voting rights ruling.

  •  Anybody good with Photoshop? (3+ / 0-)

    This is your chance to go viral.  

    This is like the Keystone Kops, except those cops didn't have grenade launchers, automatic weapons and mine-resistant armored vehicles.

    With great power comes impunity.

    by JustBeKos on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:35:46 AM PDT

  •  so... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deben, Schneewolfe, Dirtandiron

    no police report, which is apparently now standard practice for other PDs as well, and basically anything the cop says is a valid self-defense argument.  And the whitecopsplainers wonder why people are angry and won't just shut up and go home?  

    you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

    by red rabbit on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:38:02 AM PDT

  •  Interesting, isn't it? (7+ / 0-)

    Alternative reactions to two different situations!

    Clive Bundy steals more than a million dollars in grazing fees from the federal government over 20 years, admits it, refuses to pay, and when the BLM agents try to enforce the law, Bundy and his WHITE, right wing friends show up with semi-automatic assault rifles, threatening the agents, and refusing to comply with any laws.  Result:  ZERO arrests.  No tear gas, No National Guard, and the local sheriffs office sides with the robber.

    Michael Brown might have committed shoplifting, but nobody knows.  A local police officer shoots and kills Brown before the local police even know about the incident.  Protesters - without arms - march in the streets and are met with tear gas, smoke bombs, and the governor calls out the National Guard.  Result Hundreds are arrested, including journalists who are covering the protests.

    What's the difference?  Bundy is white, Brown was Black.

    It's as clear as Black and White.  But, according to Justice John Roberts we all live in post-racial America.

    If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

    by NM Ray on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 07:52:44 AM PDT

  •  It's not even a 100% verifiable fact... (5+ / 0-)

    ...that Michael Brown actually "stole some Swisher Sweets cheap cigars".

    The surveillance video preceding that video portion released by the Ferguson PD SEEMS to indicate Michael Brown bought and paid for a handful of cigarillos.

    The subsequent shoving incident may have been an entirely unrelated issue, one of mutual social disrespect.

  •  let's also remember... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, Dirtandiron

    that it's not just black people getting the jackboot treatment - it's anyone who's poor or doesn't look right or who's openly against the capitalist establishment.

  •  Voting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The factor which needs to be mentioned more often, is the finding that only 6 percent of eligible black voters cast ballots in the last municipal election.  Nothing about that fact condones unacceptable police and local government behavior, but it certainly explains the racial makeup of local government in a city with a population which is 67 percent black.  Regardless of any other outcome, the situation needs to be used to emphasize that voting is the primary (first) recourse for people in our governmental system.  It is hard to justify the demands of Missouri Senator Jamelleh Nasheed when the record shows that qualified voters are not going to the polls to seek the kind of government they say they want.

    •  I don't think your last sentence is a valid point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If the ballot in the most recent local election in my state was any indication, some local commissioner, city council, and county council positions up for election were unopposed -- i.e., only one name was on the ballot, so if you voted for that person or wrote a name in, your other choice was to not vote at all.

      The problem in Ferguson MO and I would suggest in towns and counties throughout this country is that not enough citizenry show enough interest in their local government to declare themselves running for open positions or against another candidate.

      More qualified voters might go to the polls if they see one of their neighbors on the ballot, instead of someone they don't know or care about.

      •  Fine. (0+ / 0-)

        I wouldn't disagree. Perhaps I should have said that the lack of voter interest and participation in local (and of course off-year state and national) politics is the more basic problem.   I was somewhat at state Senator Nasheed for ranting about civil disobedience and throwing the f-word around without any criticism of the electorate for lack of interest in participation in the electoral process while bemoaning the makeup of local government. I'm not crazy about what appears to be opportunism.

      •  Hard to run for office if you are surviving (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        white blitz

        on part time work or food stamps.

        American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

        by atana on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 09:56:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Backwards voter interest is supported by election (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        statistics.  Get a "celebrity" governor or presidential candidate driving good turn out and watch the rapid drop off down ticket. Compare off and off-off year elections to the "big" ones.

        To repeat, the person sitting in the governor's mansion or White House almost always has less impact on your daily life, even your life as this case demonstrates, than local officials. A quote from a Washington Post article this morning is a pitiful example of that upside down thinking.

        “Sharpton told them they need to register to vote,” he said, referring to the Rev. Al Sharpton. “Well, these are people who have watched what has happened since Barack was elected. And they look around and see things are not that different for their communities.
        The cop in question is hired by the police chief that is probably hired by the mayor and council, not "Barack." Whether federal funds are sought to help depend on those locals, the county, the governor with "Barack" having damn all to do with that seeking. Yeah, "Barack" can send in the FBI and Justice to look into this, but has zero, repeat zero jurisdiction over local murder cases, charges or prosecution. If you depend on "Barack" or "George" or "Bill" or "Ike" for that local stuff you also might spend some time trying to find the garden gnome's treasure or find a brass lamp and genie.

        A little discussed fact is that one reason more good people do not expose themselves to the lack of privacy, costs and sunk hours into running locally is that they damn well know too much of the electorate they may be trying to represent and help just will not have their back. I've talked to several that tried. Never again! I exposed my family to crap, I wore out shoes and got hoarse, I begged and borrowed and I really was trying to change from some "good ole boy" courthouse crap everyone is tired of and what happened? Too busy shopping, too tired after work or just too damn lazy to get out and vote—so in a miserable turnout the ole boy's gang put him in again. Never again!

        Another little fact. Your vote in those local elections carries one hell of a lot more weight than in that state total that just goes to elect an elector that is supposed to elect "Barack" or "Ike" but may not. If you are just bound and determined to miss an election the reality is not turning out for a presidential is a good bit more sane that failing to turn out for that oddball local election.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:36:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's my question... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pelagicray, white blitz

    I'm still trying to figure out what statement Kajieme Powell was trying to make.

    Have y'all seen the video? If you haven't go watch the whole thing, not just the shooting. The whole thing.

    Kajieme Powell certainly behaved in an unusual way, but it was by no means erratic. He was very methodical and acted with purpose. Why did Kajieme kill himself by generally reenacting the events that led to Mike Brown's killing? When he shoplifted, he went back in to make sure he was noticed. Then he went outside and waited for the cops to show up. Now here's the key... Kajieme brandishes the steak knife, so that the cops will draw their guns... Then he looks behind himself, realizes that the bystanders are in the potential line of fire, so Kajieme repositions himself to the left, so that he's the only person in the line of fire. Tells the cops to kill him, and advances on them... Was Kajieme trying to make a statement on the thoroughly inhumane and militarized tactics of the police, or was he creatively suicidal? I've got to assume that either way, Kajieme made a statement somewhere. You don't premeditate something like that, as he clearly did, and not explain why. He did this to get attention. To tell us what?

    Maybe one of the regulars can write a diary about this. I think it really needs to be talked about. But I'm not much for writing diaries, especially not with a 2-month old. ;)

    •  The St. Louis police certainly made a statement. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We may never know if or what statement Kajieme Powell was attempting but the less than thirty seconds arrival to kill time of the local police certainly makes the statement that, at least in that neighborhood, "serving and protecting" is far from their minds.

      Powell with a firearm? One police statement. Powell with a knife at at least a car or more length away, actually moving away before turning and not even a hint of containment and deescalation is an entirely different statement—one I do not find consistent with responsibilities of police in a free society.

      I'd thought a bit better of Missouri than what I'm seeing daily. I am puzzled at how there is an insistence, probably driven by pandering to a racist base, to cling to prosecution by an office headed by a person certainly not trusted by the minority population. They may be entirely wrong, but it has the appearance of conflict of interest, of favoritism and thus in my old world is to be avoided. Most places have policies about avoiding even the appearance of that, in Missouri it seems sought! Then the police line preventing an elected official from doing the constitutionally protected presentation of a petition to the prosecutor was icing on a shit cake. Escalate, do not defuse seems to be the rule there.

      Nope. DoJ needs to take a damn close look and start nailing some officials and getting some enforceable decrees from federal courts.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 10:56:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Was Kajieme trying to make a statement, or (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jasonhouse, snwflk

      was he creatively suicidal?

      Why not both? From listening to residents of Ferguson, many young men stated they were prepared to die. These men feel they could be gunned down by a cop at any time, even in broad daylight. Committing suicide by cop at least gives one a bit more control of how their life is ended and gave him an opportunity to make a public statement.

  •  Good one, Mark (0+ / 0-)


    When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 12:32:30 PM PDT

  •  Oh please! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Keystone Kops operated with much higher competency and restraint than the Ferguson cops. You're insulting them by associating them with any St. Louis PD.

    •  What's more, (0+ / 0-)

      the Keystone Kops were actors.  Slapstick actors playing incompetence.

      There are no players in Ferguson.  And no actors, either, in the sense of people acting for the public good.

      Only one solution and the people of Ferguson are onto it: Get Out The Vote.  

      May their example spread across the nation.

      The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men - - Plato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . We must be the change we wish to see in the world - - Mohandas Gandhi

      by twocrows1023 on Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 09:59:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i hate it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but i like the truth of it.

    " i'm watchin' and i'm waitin', hopin' for the best.
    even think i'll go to prayin' every time i hear 'em sayin' that there's no way to delay that trouble comin' every day. no way to delay that trouble comin' every day.
    hey, you know something people? i'm not black, but there's a whole lots a times i wish i could say i'm not white.
    well, i seen the fires burnin' and the local people turnin' on the merchants and the shops who used to sell their brooms and mops and every other household item. watched the mob just turn and bite 'em and they say it served 'em right  because a few of them are white. and it's the same across the nation black and white discrimination. yellin' "you can't understand me!" 'n all that other jazz they hand me in the papers and tv. and all that mass stupidity that seems to grow more every day each time you hear some nitwit say he wants to go and do you in because the color of your skin just don't appeal to him. (no matter if it's black or white) because he's out for blood tonight..." f. zappa, 1966
    entire lyrics
  •  USA has always been a total phony lie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snwflk, Bluegeorgia

    EVERYTHING abotu USA is a total lie.  

    USA claims to have fr4eedom and democracy" yet it used slaves for 400 years.

    USA claims to have "freedom and democracy" yet it didnt allow its women to vote untill the 1930s.

    USA claims to have "freedom and democracy" yet it employed ethnic cleansing against the Native American population.  By some estimates 10 to maybe as many as 20 million Native Americans were exterminated.

    USA claims to have "freedom and democracy" yet it didnt hesitate to gather Americans of Japanese decent and to lock them in concentration camps and to take all their property away.

    yes, facts ARE stupid things like Ronnie used to say.  

  •  Post Racial America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The only people who pretend that they really believe this place exists are the 5 Conservative judges on the Supreme Court and their belief is based on their desire to repeal the protections of the various laws passed during the Civil Rights Era, voting rights, school desegregation etc.

    •  Why don't our laws have provisions for getting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      rid of SCOTUS members who prove to be too partisan, incompetent, corrupt, bigoted, hateful, narrow-minded, senile, ad nauseam? I'm not sure that it was a good idea to allow them the freedom of becoming a lifer as soon as their appointments are confirmed...

      •  We do have such provisions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's called impeachment.   It requires a majority vote in the House of Representatives to bring charges, and 2/3 of the Senate to convict and remove from office.  Thomas, at least, should be impeached:  I don't know whether it's possible to prove him corrupt, but he certainly brings discredit on the Court by tolerating the appearance of corruption.  However, nothing will be done as long as we have a Rethuglican House and a closely-divided Senate.

  •  The difference between Police and Military is: (0+ / 0-)

    That you are allowed to shoot back at the military.

  •  We are still too segregated as a people so we will (0+ / 0-)

    have to deal with gross miscarriage of justice until we change that.

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