I don’t have much to add on the grand jury decision in Ferguson. It went exactly as I expected. This isn’t because I thought the process was corrupt, although it certainly might have been exactly that. It was just that police offers are only indicted in the absolutely most egregious cases. So unless there was a photograph of Michael Brown on his knees with Darren Wilson putting a bullet into his head, I would not expect an indictment.
Regardless, none of this is about Michael Brown or Darren Wilson. This is about a “justice” system in the United States that is totally out of control. The police literally have a license to kill. I just saw a couple of minutes of MSNBC and one of their commentators said one of the standard things, “When police go to work in the morning, they don’t know if they are coming home that evening.” That’s even more true of truck drivers and cabbies. But no one holds that up as a reason we should apologize for them acting like Bernhard Goetz. The “police have a dangerous job” is not really true and is no excuse for bad behavior.
So what are we going to do about this? Nothing. We didn’t need the death of Michael Brown to point out that we have a broken system. And that broken system goes far beyond what police and prosecutors do. An arguably even bigger issue is inequality and racism. But in general, we won’t talk about them either. It is considered “class warfare” to do so. Mitt Romney claimed that we should talk about these issues in “quiet rooms,” which is just another way of saying that we should never talk about it.
Meanwhile, people are born into hopeless situations because of their “race” and the economic situation of their parents. But this supposedly is not about class warfare. We have a society in which actual class warfare is defined as just the way things are. There is neither racism nor a lack of opportunity because Daymond John! But bringing up these issues supposedly is class warfare. And the people of the United States — most especially minority groups and the poor more generally — are so beaten down that they just accept it.
And now it has been decades that we’ve been sold a kind of social Darwinian lie. And it all sounds very noble: we must reward the winners! But if you dig down just a little way, you will find fascist dogma: the weak are dragging down the nation so we must let them fail (that is: die). And we must worship the powerful because they are great. Of course, evolutionarily, this is nonsense. What a species needs is diversity. And what is unsuccessful in the current environment might be amazingly successful in a later environment. It isn’t hard to imagine a future where people who are good at trading stocks are useless and people who can predict the tides are priceless.
But fine, let’s kill the weak and worship the the powerful. Because: freedom!