Ferguson is not about police militarization, it is about racism

Ferguson is not about police militarization, it is about racism August 16, 2014

Photo: Sid Hastings, AP
Photo: Sid Hastings, AP

I am going to go ahead and agree with Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo (TPM) and say that Ferguson is not about police militarization it is about racism.

That does not mean that police militarization is not a problem, it clearly is and it clearly played a role in escalating the situation in Ferguson, but it is not the cause of the events that took place.

Racism however is. Another young African-American gunned down, unarmed and for no apparent reason, when upset citizens took the streets they were called animals by local law enforcement, even before the armored vehicles rolled into town.

As noted on TPM:

The images coming out of there could have come out of any of the hundreds of crackdowns on Black communities in America going back well over a century.

And while militarization is an important issue, TPM again notes:

Pushing this militarization angle lets the cops and America as a whole off easy. And it won’t change a damned thing. The police regularly do this to Black folks, and were doing it long before they got their hands on surplus military goods.

And that is simply the truth; long before the 1992 bill that started giving the police military gear these actions were taking place.

So while we should be concerned with and figuring out how to deal with police militarization in the US, we cannot become distracted and lose focus on the issue of racism, to do so would be a great disservice to all those who have lost their lives simply because of the color of their skin.

(h/t: Talking Points Memo)

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