“Part of the resistance to openly discussing this issue is that many people feel offended by criticism of people who are risking their lives to protect all of us. Our study suggests that this problem is not simply about the actions of individuals, but about the actions of all of society.” ~ Michael Siegel
It turns out that the issue of peacefully kneeling protestors and cops killing unarmed black men is just the tip of the iceberg. The greater iceberg hidden beneath the surface is structural racism, which tends to lead to segregation and structural violence. Bottom line: racism is a cultural problem.
A new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) finds states with a greater degree of structural racism, particularly residential segregation, have higher racial disparities in fatal police shootings of unarmed victims.
Structural racism is a broader cultural problem influenced by institutional practices and cultural representations (statism) manifested by a rich-poor dynamic. Couple that with statist indoctrination and economic debt slavery and you get structural violence. Structural violence is the bastard child of structural racism and statist indoctrination.
Here’s the thing: Most people will agree that racism and violence are inherently unhealthy. So, most people will not purposefully act in racist or violent ways. But when your entire society is based upon violence and segregation (both racial and economic), people are more likely to unwittingly or unintentionally act in racists and violent ways. This includes, most definitely, cops.
If offense-minded policing, based on the hyper-violence of statism, leads to structural racism, on the one side; then it stands to reason that structural violence leads to the violent lashing-out by the oppressed, on the other side. As MLK Jr. surmised, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”
The oppressed person is sandwiched between his/her own state-indoctrinated upbringing within structural violence, and the absent-minded, outdated-law-pushing policeman representing the violent state. The result is a clash of racial violence that most people are not even aware of, where the poor and the oppressed (usually black people) are the victims of those with the monopoly on violence (usually police).
The problem, on both sides, is the violence festering at the core of our culture. It’s a vicious cycle. Structural violence begets the monopoly on violence begets more structural violence. The oppressed get more oppressed. The poor get poorer. Structural violence is the environment where all this takes place. Structural racism is the response from those with the monopoly on violence.
Structurally racist cops say you should just stay within the lines. Don’t get out of order. Don’t break the rules. Definitely don’t rock the boat. They wag a finger in your face. They toss a bible in your lap. They threaten you with legalese, incarceration, and violence disguised as law and order. They toss the phrase, “it’s just the way things are” around as if you deserve it and there’s nothing you can do about it. They are basically telling you that it’s their way or the highway.
Then again, as Eve Ensler vulnerably declared, “Good is toeing the line, being behaved, being quiet, being passive, fitting in, being liked; but Great is being messy, having a belly, speaking your mind, standing up for what you believe in, fighting for another paradigm, not letting people talk you out of what you know to be true.”
Here’s another revealing study from a research team of cognitive neuroscientists out of McMaster University on the subject of status profiling. The research suggests that simply wearing a police uniform changes the way the brain processes information. Simply putting on a uniform, like one the police might wear, automatically affects how we perceive others, creating a bias towards those considered to be of a low social status (structural racism).
The reality is that power tends to corrupt. This applies especially to police. And especially-especially to police that are trained to be offense-minded, oppressive, extorting, overreaching, and violent enforcers of a statist agenda.
Those who dedicate themselves to this culture of violence dedicate themselves to ill-health, racism, and oppression. Those who dedicate themselves to life, freedom, and diversity, despite the culture of violence and racism, dedicate themselves to survival and reap from it the harvest that sows its seed in the progressive evolution of our species. A species hellbent on violence against itself is unhealthy and eventually destroys itself. Racism is violence against our own species. A species determined to be healthy only ever uses violence as a last resort, in self-defense, and for the preservation of the species as a whole.
From the former, the tyrant cop juts his power-tripping head, violently declaring himself free at the expense of the freedom of others. From the latter, the defiant hero rises up, denying the tyrant’s violent oppression, and affirming freedom through the freedom of us all. That’s what Albert Camus meant when he wrote: “I rebel –therefore we exist.”
At the end of the day, our culture of violence must be met with vigilant nonviolent rebellion. This means a vigilant rebellion against oppression, hate, violence, and racism of all kinds. This begins with tackling the problem of violence and racism at the structural level.
The top-down approach to tackling the problem is challenging those with the monopoly on violence (police, who represent the overreaching state). The bottom-up approach to tackling the problem is challenging the very foundation upon which our culture of violence is built (structural violence).
Solving structural racism begins at home. If you can pinpoint and overcome the racism pressed upon you by structural violence, then you might earn the right to help others pinpoint and overcome the racism pressed upon them by structural violence. As Audrey Lorde said, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
Image: Fer Gregory/Shutterstock.
WATCH: Video Shows Bullets Fly as Armored Car Crew Narrowly Escapes Brutal Heist
Dramatic dash cam footage from Pretoria, South Africa, shows the moment that the crew of an armored car narrowly escaped an attempt by armed robes to stage a heist.
The shocking video shows a pair of private security officers transporting cash in a bulletproof Toyota truck on April 22 before they suddenly come under attack by armed assailants.
For the first minute of the roughly three-minute-long video, the security guards can be seen routinely driving down a highway.
The vehicle then comes under fire as bullets can be heard slamming into the driver side of the car, with the window by the driver’s side shattering.
The driver, who maintains his calm and composure during the attack, manages to escape amid the traffic. He also seems to slam into one of the two vehicles belonging to the attackers.
“They’re going to shoot. They’re going to f**king shoot,” the driver then says, urging his colleague to pull out the rifle and prepare to defend their lives.
As gunshots continue to ring out, the two drive silently as the tension builds. The driver then shouts to his colleague: “Phone Robbie, phone Josh! Ask them where they are.”
As the video ends, the driver can be seen stopping the vehicle and grabbing his colleague’s rifle. At that point, it becomes clear that the assailants have realized that their attack was futile they had already fled the scene.
“The suspects fired several shots at the [Cash-In-Transit] vehicle in an attempt to stop it during a high-speed chase,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo , reports News24.
“The driver of the CIT vehicle managed to evade the robbers for a while but later stopped in wait for the robbers,” Naidoo added. “The robbers fled without taking any money. No arrests have yet been made.”
Online users have praised the steel nerves of the armored car’s crew in navigating what could have been a deadly attack.
After Strong Backlash, NYPD Kicks Robotic Dog “Spot” to the Curb
The New York City Police Department decided this week to stop leasing a robotic dog from Boston Dynamics following a sustained outcry from residents and lawmakers, who denounced the use of the high-tech, four-legged device in low-income neighborhoods as a misallocation of public resources and violation of civil liberties.
When the NYPD acquired the K-9 machine last August, officials portrayed “Digidog”—the department’s name for the camera-equipped, 70-pound robot—as “a futuristic tool that could go places that were too dangerous to send officers,” the New York Times reported earlier this week.
Inspector Frank Digiacomo of the department’s Technical Assistance Response Unit said in a television interview in December: “This dog is going to save lives. It’s going to protect people. It’s going to protect officers.”
Instead—thanks to strong backlash from critics, including people who live in the Bronx apartment complex and the Manhattan public housing building where the robotic dog was deployed in recent weeks—the department is returning “Spot,” as Boston Dynamics calls the device, months earlier than expected.
According to the Times:
In response to a subpoena from City Councilman Ben Kallos and Council Speaker Corey Johnson requesting records related to the device, police officials said that a contract worth roughly $94,000 to lease the robotic dog from its maker, Boston Dynamics, had been terminated on April 22.
John Miller, the police department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, confirmed on Wednesday that the contract had been canceled and that the dog had been returned to Boston Dynamics or would be soon.
Miller told the Times that the police had initially planned to continue testing the K-9 machine’s capabilities until August, when the lease had been scheduled to end.
“Robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted in response. “Please ask yourself: when was the last time you saw next-generation, world class technology for education, healthcare, housing, etc. consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?”
And earlier this month, as Common Dreams reported, footage of the robotic dog walking through a Manhattan public housing building went viral, sparking additional outrage and prompting a city council investigation.
“Why the hell do we need robot police dogs?” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) asked at the time.
While there are “people living in poverty, struggling to put food on the table, keep a roof over their head, take care of their kids, afford child care—all this going on, and now we got damn robot police dogs walking down the street,” Bowman lamented.
Bill Neidhardt, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who urged the police department to reconsider its use of the robot following objections from residents and lawmakers, said he was “glad the Digidog was put down.”
“It’s creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers,” Neidhardt said.
Republished from CommonDreams.org under Creative Commons
Senate Intelligence Leaders Say Mystery “Sonic Weapon” Attacks on U.S. Officials Increasing
After it was revealed Thursday that US intelligence is investigating at least two potential “directed energy” sonic attacks on White House personnel – one of which is alleged to have happened just off White House grounds – the US Senate Intelligence Committee weighed in on Friday, saying such mysterious incidents appear to be happening with greater frequency worldwide.
Senators Mark Warner (D) and Marco Rubio (R) agreed that such microwave energy attacks have gone on for “nearly five years” and have targeted “US government personnel in Havana, Cuba and elsewhere around the world.” In a joint statement the two ranking members said, “This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this,” according to Reuters.
As with the late 2016 into 2017 ‘Havana Syndrome’ attacks in which some 50 diplomatic personnel reported experiencing strange symptoms from vomiting to concussions to extreme nausea to chronic headaches, which was believed the result of some kind of undetected ‘directed energy’ weapon, the most recent incidents saw media reports speculate that Russia or China might be behind them.
It was starting last week that the mysterious incidents returned to national media spotlight after defense officials said they believe Russia is likely behind microwave energy weapon attacks on US troops in northeast Syria. Apparently some US troops occupying the country began reporting”flu-like symptoms” which caused the DoD to investigate possible linkage to microwave or directed energy weapons on the battlefield of Syria. Politico reported that “officials identified Russia as a likely culprit, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.”
Despite instances of strange symptoms and even head injuries experienced by diplomatic personnel or troops abroad, no “energy weapon” has ever been found or uncovered that’s believed to have caused any of these alleged attacks. Most often US personnel report the symptoms enough time after the alleged attack took place for the “plot” and culprit to remain undetected. Naturally this has resulted in immense skepticism and pushback.
One deeply critical response to all the reporting late this week quipped: “Another day, another mostly anonymously sourced story about unidentified assailants supposedly assaulting U.S. government employees around the globe. This time, according to CNN, federal agencies are looking into something closer to home: symptoms suffered by a White House employee in Virginia and National Security Council staffer near the south lawn of the White House.”
“Although a government report later concluded the most likely cause was instead some sort of ‘directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy’ (i.e. a microwave weapon), that conclusion was primarily based on a lack of evidence for other causes and received strong pushback from many others in the scientific community.”
The commentary in Gizmodo pointed out further that “No hard evidence of any kind for the technology has ever been publicly presented by the US government. Reports citing government officials who suspect Russian intelligence to be involved have largely been anonymous and buoyed primarily by rumors the Russian government may have resumed Soviet-era research into experimental weapons.”
Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission
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