Notes from around the Human Experience…
REED AND MALLOY THIS AIN’T: The Trump Administration will once again permit the federal government to distribute surplus military equipment to municipal and state police agencies. This means local police departments will once again have access to armored vehicles, grenade launchers and large caliber firearms. For a nation conceived in liberty, this is wrong and troubling.
Crystal Ball Me: A hundred years from now when History looks back at what used to be the United States and chronicles what led to our downfall, this will be a contributing factor. The militarization of police – or, more accurately, our tolerance of it.
Consider This: Organizations tend to use the resources they have and eventually the police will use their grenade launchers and large-caliber weapons on us. And as the police get better armed, so will the citizens they are sworn to protect. There will be more and more confrontations and these will become more and more violent. It probably won’t happen tomorrow, but it will happen.
Dry, Technical Matter: The authority for the federal government to give surplus military equipment to police departments had been rescinded by President Obama in 2015. It was originally granted by Congress in 1990.
Can We Get Back On Message Here?: Police say us citizens are increasingly violent, and they’re right, but you know what? It’s our government’s fault this is happening.
Leading Off: Our nation has been at war continuously since 1989. That means we are coming up on 30 years without our nation having a single day at peace with the world. The ramifications of this are profound:
If a country cannot be at peace with the world, it is folly to expect it to be at peace with itself.
Once More…With Feeling: Violence begets violence and it is not reasonable to expect an America perpetually at war to produce peaceful citizens. America’s government is violent and America’s citizens are violent and thinking that is a coincidence is folly.
And Now This: Honestly, the violence that drug’s continuing criminalization causes is all our fault, too. The drug war has failed on so many levels it isn’t even funny. Actually, it’s tragic. Decriminalize drugs – which people are going to use whether they’re legal or not – and the violence disappears. Dealers become vendors, users become customers and nobody is a criminal. The violence associated with getting drugs into the country and to consumers will disappear.
Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: We said this every hour on the hour while campaigning for both the United States Senate and House of Representatives:
Just because something is legal does not make it mandatory. If you don’t like drugs, you are under no obligation to use them.
The Bottom Line: If America had been at peace every day for the last three decades this would not be an issue because America would be significantly less violent than it is now and police would not think they need surplus military equipment. The fact they will be able to access them again means we are counting down to the day they will use them.
GREAT MOMENTS IN US RACE RELATIONS: Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black visiting relatives in Mississippi, is kidnapped and killed on this date in 1955. Four days earlier Till and some friends had been in a Money, Mississippi grocery store where Till had an encounter with a white named Carolyn Bryant, 21, who owned the store with her equally white husband, Roy. Exactly what happened still isn’t clear, but Roy Bryant took offense and along with his half-brother J.W. Milam took Till to a barn where he was beaten, shot and thrown into a river. Till’s body was found three days later.
Yeah, This Is The Upset Of The Year: Bryant and Milam were acquitted by an all-white jury. Since you cannot be tried again for a crime you’ve been acquitted of, Bryant and Milam would later admit in a magazine interview they had killed Till, which everybody already knew anyway.
I Have A Dream Where Blacks Can’t Vote: South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond begins a 24-hour, 18-minute filibuster in the United States Senate on this date in 1957. Thurmond was trying to prevent Senate approval of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which ultimately become law on September 9.
FunFact: Thurmond’s speech remains the longest filibuster in US Senate history.
Really FunFact: Thurmond’s oldest child, a daughter who died in 2013, was half-black. She was the issue of Thurmond’s affair with his family’s black maid.
I Have A Dream, Too: Martin Luther King, Jr delivers the I Have A Dream speech – one of the great speeches in American history – on this date in 1963. King was speaking at the March For Jobs and Freedom in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. An estimated 250,000 people, 60,000 of them white, were in attendance.
Fly In The Ointment: The sound system had been sabotaged the day before the march. Organizers were unable to fix it themselves and the government, seeing organizer’s point about a quarter of million people rioting when they couldn’t hear anything, had the Army Corps of Engineers fix it.
Quotebook: I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal”. – Martin Luther King Jr, 8/28/1963
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The three future presidents that served in the Black Hawk War were presidents of the United States Abraham Lincoln and Zachary Taylor and president of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis.
Today’s Stumper: How long did Strom Thurmond serve in the United States Senate? – Answer next time!