WTF Weekly for June 3rd, 2020
This week in the United States, the White House called for war against its own citizens, and police around the country responded. The militarization of police in this country has long been a disturbing trend, but now it feels like no one is pretending anymore.
Threatening US citizens with military force is not something any leader should ever consider pulling out of their bag of tricks, but this administration went there almost immediately. In addition, our president praised the aggressive behavior of police in Minneapolis while taunting governors around the country for being weak. Defense Secretary Mark Esper used the phrase “control the battlespace”.
One of the most well-spoken things I’ve heard this week comes from my friend Clay Daly. I’ve often admired and respected Clay, but never so much as I have today after listening to the latest episode of Just Clay. It’s called 2020-1619=?
I urge you to listen.
The country has entered a moment in which the frog notices it is getting boiled.
America going to war with its own citizens is bad enough, but the cops are pepper-spraying Congresswomen and fighting journalists (including arresting and beating them). I am not saying this to imply that some US citizens deserve more due process than others, but I am saying that a lot of police, military police, and secret service officers deployed in our cities right now clearly DGAF.
That message has been received by men around the country, some uniformed, some not, who seem to believe that Trump, Barr, Cotton, and the border patrol speak to them directly. The message is: Join the fascist party. We’re winning.
Trump has been about lying for the benefit of the people who want to believe him since day one, and he’s continuing to work straight out of that playbook. His most recent “appearance” as commander of law and order illustrates this nicely.
What should trouble you very much about this article is how many supposedly intelligent officials enable and go along with his irresponsible1 demands. Also not surprising, but very troubling, is the eagerness with which “Father knows best” Vice President Mike Pence considered the idea of sending active duty military into the nation’s streets.
Many white people still don’t understand that the experiences of non-whites with the police in this country are vastly different than yours. My friend Clay mentioned in his podcast that I linked to above that people treat him differently when they find out about his doctorate degree because it startles their assumptions about him. The same appears to be true about Joyce Beatty in the eyes of at least some police.
We have got to stop with the underlying assumptions of motive, intelligence, experience, and character based on skin color. We have got to stop assuming that those who point out unjust treatment are whiners who can’t get over the past and realize that it is the very present in which they and us live in different worlds based on how we’re seen and received and treated. These things are real.
It looks like the aforementioned Mark Esper has decided today that he maybe doesn’t think unleashing the might of the military on American soil is a great idea, and this is not winning him friends in the Trump administration, a company of vipers in which ideas and dissenting views are not welcome or really even tolerated.
One thing is certain, white nationalists are heeding the dog whistle and outright summonings of dear orange leader, and they’re convinced this is their moment. Social media is definitely their friend as well, because they want the type of people who believe anything shocking they read online that satisfies their confirmation bias.
Social media in general is a huge problem for the human race. We aren’t equipped to be tied together mentally 24 x 7 like this. I think Twitter has serious issues, but Facebook is unequivocally one of the worst things that’s happened to humanity in a long time.
Also: could Donald Trump Jr. be a bigger asshole?
Finally, it’s important to recognize how the military has enabled the current state of the police in this country. There’s no way for police to run around with military gear on and not see US citizens as the enemy in a war. It’s not psychologically possible for these guys.
Hit me up on Twitter to yell at me about typos or to talk about anything I’ve included here.
At best; fascist at worst. ↩︎