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Police officers react to the movements of a rowdy group of demonstrators during protests in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown near Ferguson, Missouri August 18, 2014. Police fired tear gas and stun grenades at protesters in Ferguson, Missouri on M
A sobering warning from a Guatemalan about The Latin Americanization of U.S. Police Forces:
From our experience in half a century in Latin America I can tell you that, once the human rights of a minority are compromised, it is only a matter of time before they are compromised for an entire nation. From that same experience I can tell you it will take decades before they can be regained. Militarized police forces take on a life of their down, at the expense of the society's well-being. The social contract that gives the state the duty to organize police forces itself becomes obsolete, almost a joke. Citizens begin to obey agents of the state not out of respect or cooperation, but out of fear of those sworn to protect them. Eventually, the militarized power of the police reaches such magnitude that political leaders lose all ability to rein them in. We experienced this USA-backed militarized transformation of the police in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Chile, and Colombia. What the U.S. helped do to Latin America, it is now doing to itself.

Even when there will officers who want to adhere to the law, militarized policing organizations become an unstoppable and despotic force. The very ideologies that give them life become obsolete, as do all existing laws that protect citizens. Central American dictatorships backed and armed by the United States government in the 1970’s built police forces, outfitted them with military gear, and allowed them to brutalize and kill with impunity. The murder or incarceration of progressive democratic leaders who resisted this transformation was sanctioned by United States intelligence agencies.

The only way to resist this downward slide into despotism is to stand with those who are having their rights abused now, and that means minorities, immigrants, the mentally ill, protestors, and those members of the media who are actively covering the situation even at risk to their own usually protected status.
For white Americans to think that their race makes them immune to police brutality is a mistake that cannot be afforded. Central American urban mestizo masses ignored the genocide of hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples. They saw these massacres as not their problem. Today we all suffer militarized suppression. Racial division was our greatest weakness.....

But militarized police are not the only problem. Since the 1980's, government, from Washington D.C. to the states and cities, has been poisoned with inept and cynical politicians who play a racist card to keep Americans divided. And this is a necessary part of a militarized state equation. In fact, 21st century United States politics follows a developing path in place in much of Latin America for half a century. I call it the Latinamericanization of the United States. This path includes politicians selling society to the highest bidder, eradicating laws that protect civilians against poverty, disease, job insecurity, and police brutality....

The police...guard the great fortunes and economic interests. Everyone else must suffer insecurity, poverty, prison, and sometimes, random death.

There are more means to turn the situation around available to Americans than Central Americans have had.

The question is, does the average middle-class white American have the will to do what's needed if it means having to stand right now with minorities and demand an end to the abuse by unaccountable, overly aggressive, and now heavily militarized police?

I wish I could say I think the answer is yes....


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Comment Preferences

  •  They Didn't, The Last 2 TImes They Came for (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, Th0rn, Louisiana 1976, thomask, cany

    middle class white Americans, in the Vietnam War era and the Occupy protests.

    Of course those weren't in everyday neighborhoods, and judging from responses around here, amazingly few of us know what happened to several million middle class whites.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 04:36:12 PM PDT

  •  Is "enemization" a bad verb? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Because, concurrent with the police peeling off into a cognitive world of their own, "we the people" have become the enemies of these martial farts. It would be, like, totally ridiculous to dress up like real soldiers and wander around with machine guns and stun grenades and poison gas and portable electrical-torture tasers if you didn't have a profoundly dangerous and evil enemy at hand that needed to be defeated. You know, like how the real men who destroyed the Nazis and communists and terrorists did!

    Eight buckets o'balls and a populace absolutely determined to destroy democracy, ruin your women and children and pervert all that is right & good? SOMEBODY has to do the hard work. Oh, and that ummm, "populace" - that would be US. I seriously, seriously wonder if Hollywood - you know liberal gay abortioning Hollywood - do any of those guys feel the least bit complicit for their role in creating the at-war mindset in the cop shows? In "24" and "Law & Order" and the various "C.S.I.'s" and such, the skells (again - dat's US) are all criminal mastermind serial killer suitcase-bombing pure-evil DEMONS, basically.

    (And just one among the many, many things proving there is no prejudice in the eyes of the law is the fact that "Amber Alerts" are just as likely to be issued for little black Leon in Harlem or little brown Juan in East L.A. as they are for an attractive blue-eyed blond little girl!)

    Although real crime is at a 60-YEAR LOW in America, the marvels of modern communication allow us weaklings to tremble in fear at every guys with a binder full of women in his basement, every child molester in the WORLD gets equal billing, the serial killers in Russia & Argentina and Australia are still, somehow, knocking at our OWN door... we are surrounded by pure evil EVERYWHERE, and if you're not with us (cops) you're against us. Every citizen is just a crime waiting to happen if our brave heroes (cops) take their eye off the ball, ever, even once. Think of how many rapes and murders were prevented by taking out the depraved Trayvon Martin & Michael Brown, before they even got the chance to rape your daughter!

    We are so-oo fucked.

  •  This is true but will be ignored (0+ / 0-)

    The idea of American exceptional ism and "it can't happen here" is far far too strong for most American to recognize the danger.  Look at how the NSA scandals were largely blown off

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