Finals are finally winding down, giving me the chance to jot down a few words here on the blog. Apologies all around to all five of my dedicated readers. I’m taking a break from my last paper of the semester to rant and rave some more about the state our country is in.
It’s a sad state indeed. It’s a country where protestors are robbed of their constitutional right to peaceful assembly. It’s a country where the rich are pressing their heel to the throat of the poor. It’s a country of pipe dreams and temporarily embarrassed rich people. These are things I’ve said many times before.
But what I want to talk about here is the militarization of our police forces. Earlier today I stumbled upon an article where police used predator drones to catch cow thieves in North Dakota. I’m sure you’ve heard the term predator drone thrown around before, especially when talking about our various wars in the Middle East. They’re unmanned air crafts that can be either used for recon, as seen in this case with the cow-snatchers, or they can be outfitted with all sorts of missiles to rain down hell on the unsuspecting below. Many Middle Eastern civilians know first hand the death and destruction these machines of war can wreak.
This raises a question. Why does a local police department in North Dakota have access to a highly sophisticated, extremely expensive machine of war? Did they really want to get the cow back? Probably not.
What we are seeing is just another piece of the ongoing trend of militarization in our domestic police force. We’re seeing a shift in mentality. No longer are the police there to keep the streets safe. No longer are the police there to maintain peace in order. They are starting to treat citizens like they are enemy combatants.
Look at how they treat the Occupiers. They face unarmed protestors dressed in full riot gear. They use tear gas, mace, and rubber bullets. More and more they treat innocent people like they are criminals.
And don’t think this use of military technology by the police is just an isolated incident. Look at SWAT teams: originally, they were only used in urban areas in the most extreme of situations; now, every police department has a SWAT team and will not hesitate to deploy them. There’s a good chance that every major police department will have access to predator drones, if they don’t already.
There’s something that we need to understand about these machines. Their potential for abuse is extremely high. They can be used to monitor civilians with cameras, again like in this cow case, or outfitted with weapons to make sure everyone toes the line. A crowd of protestors can’t really stand up to a missile.
Right now most people are in denial about our relationship with the government. They still think that those in control want what’s best for us, when really what they want is to control us and for us to remain quiet, sedated and obedient. And if we don’t, they’ll wage war upon us. They’ve already given themselves the right to do so.
We are at the cusp of something large and scary. But hopefully, if enough people realize soon enough, we can shake free of our shackles and accomplish something great.
Stay free my friends.