Friday, August 15, 2014

Racism, Militarization of Police, Solidarity with Ferguson

From http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-14/ferguson-erupts-after-michael-brown-shooting/5670532 (more photos there)
It's hard to know where to begin when attempting to respond to the tragic shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, by police in Ferguson, MO. So many others have already written thoughtful pieces that I would like to link to a sampling of them:

From the New York Times: "In Wake of Clashes, Calls to Demilitarize Police"

From an op-ed in the NYT, written by folks from the Friends Committee on National Legislation: "Get the Military off of Main Street: Ferguson Shows the Risks of Militarized Policing"

From an op-ed in the Huffington Post religion section: "What White People Can Do About the Killing of Black Men in America"

From Bill Moyers/Tom Dispatch: "The Criminalization of Everyday Life"

From Mother Jones: "How Did America's Police Get to Militarized?"

From Bill Moyers/AlterNet: "Not Just Ferguson: 11 Eye-opening Facts about America's Militarized Police Forces"

From The Daily Banter: "Two Americas: Ferguson, Missouri Versus the Bundy Ranch, Nevada"

From The Concourse: "America Is Not for Black People"

From Think Progress: "The Racist Housing Policies that Helped to Fuel Anger in Ferguson"

Really, I could go on and on. Racism -- institutionalized racism -- is nothing new in America. It has been called the "original sin" of the USA. The militarization of police, however, is a relatively new phenomenon. It is alarming. Put institutionalized racism and militarized police together, and it is a formula for tragedy and injustice.

I'll close by sharing a piece in the Huffington Post by (UU minister) Rev. Meg Riley, called "Up to Our Necks"