We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
The Police: a Glossary
This might seem at first glance like an overly biased, overly cynical view of the police. But, I think this glossary is an accurate portrayal of the functions of policing that poor people, especially poor people of color, face daily in their communities. What is seriously needed are reports from whistleblowers in the ranks of the police, other enforcement authorities, and knowledgeable observers that reveal the details behind this reality.
Is it accidental that policing has become more aggressive and brutal as society has become increasingly divided into a small class of super-rich and vast numbers of poor? I think not. Policing, like all institutions of society, has always been about protecting the interest of the ruling capitalist class. As more people become disposable and angry in this system, we will continue to see an escalation of such tactics until poor areas of the US become like any other nation under armies of occupation, or until we end this barbaric system and construct a real egalitarian and democratic system which owns and controls the economy for the benefit of everyone.