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Michael Brown was a thug who was caught on video doing some thuggish things in a deli.  He was also shot 6 times by a cop.

I don’t like the way the internet is taking over from the justice system.  Regardless of what Michael Brown may have done or what the police officer might have done, this story is starting to resemble a mediathon event a la Nancy Grace.  And I really don’t like Nancy Grace.

You know what would be great?  It would be great if we let the justice system do the work here.  And yet, after I read Matt Taibbi’s recent book, The Divide, before it devolved into yet another obligatory polemic against Bill Clinton who seems to have been the only politician in the last twenty years with any agency, I realized that there really isn’t justice in this country anymore.  Once you have committed a crime, even a small one or one you didn’t know existed, you’re pretty much screwed.  The system is set up to find you guilty if you don’t have a small fortune to prove your innocence.  It’s prepared to throw you in jail and deprive you of all you own at the slightest provocation.

On the other hand, if you’re wealthy and well connected, you can ruin people’s lives with impunity, risk other people’s retirement funds without consequence, and practice the equivalent of global and domestic economic terrorism and get away with it.  No one shows up at your door to arrest you for loitering where you shouldn’t or threatens your livelihood or keeps putting you back on the Start square in a real life game of Sorry!  Once you reach a certain level of wealth, you are untouchable.  (Well, at least until some clever vigilante individuals figure out how to circumvent the neo-feudal curtain walls.  It’ll happen eventually.)

But if you are a person of color or a woman or just poor, your life and belongings are inconsequential.  You’re not entitled to anything.  You’re lucky if you escape with your life.  And if you complain, the system will bring out a militarized police force and technology that will make you sick, to put you back in your place.  I saw it in Denver in 2008 (where was Claire McCaskill during the convention?) and at Zucotti Park in 2011.  And now we are watching it happen in Ferguson.

That’s because Americans have been allowed to indulge themselves in thinking that some people “deserve” better treatment than others.  But to the Supercitizen, no one below them is deserving of anything.  The dehumanization of the average American starts with race and women and poor people but sooner or later if things keep devolving at this pace, everyone but the supercitizen will be affected.

Internet coverage is not the same as due process, evidence, trials and justice.  And a justice department that has settled for weregild when it comes to global economic catastrophes and corruption, while bringing down the hammer on ordinary people has lost all credibility. It’s part of the problem.

When you’re deep in a hole, stop digging.

17 Responses

  1. You’re such a smart cookie; I had to look up weregild and got lost in the world of Beowulf.
    I’m one of those “wait and see” types, so I get condemned by both sides. Fun.
    Of course, there is two tiered justice in this country; it’s always been true, it’s just more blatant, now, that poor whites are affected as well.

    • And when it comes to immunity and impunity for FIRE sector crime waves, the HolderBama Department of Justice Obstruction has made us all feel the effects of Grand Theft TARP, Grand Theft Foreclosure, Grand Theft Secret Fed Lending Window, etc. As John F. Kennedy might have said . . . ich bin ein Poor White.

    • You two need to knock it off with the poor “whites” s#%^. It sounds like it’s straight out of Fox News’ meme machine.
      The point is, it doesn’t really matter what color you are when you make less than several hundred million a year. Also, there have been a LOT of unnecessary deaths of African Americans. Police seem to think they can harass African Americans with impunity. That pisses me off. The problem is only just now rising to the level of obama’s attention. But really, he treats everyone the same. In other words, his peeps are in the business community. Everyone else is just keeping him from eating his waffles.
      It’s an economic distinction, not a racial one.

      • I don’t know if you have disunderstood Sweet Sue’s intent, but you have entirely disunderstood the meaning of my message. People who call themselves white currently resist calling themselves poor. They also resist accepting that there is a lower class majority in this country. “Ich bin ein Poor White” is a start towards getting white-identified middle class poseurs to realize that . . . ” you know, I’m white and I’m poor”. There is nothing “Fox News” about that. Its pure Joe Bageant. Therefor, I will continue to referrence Poor White whenever appropriate. I don’t refer to it every comment, after all. In fact, this is the first comment where I have mentioned it at all.

  2. Very well said, RD.

  3. Michael Brown is a thug, but the problem is that’s irrelevant to being killed by the police for backchat. The local authorities seem incapable of understanding that, including the representatives of justice there. So signal boosting to get it out of their purview is actually justified in this case.

    But, yes, that whole testerical and tribal shtick gets real old.

    • How do I know Michael Brown was a thug? Because a video picture has been painted?

  4. I only added the poor whites phrase because, traditionally, in the South it was impossible for African Americans to receive justice and that was about their color.

  5. That sentiment hardly makes me a Fox News zombie; rather, the opposite I should think.

    • Let’s just say that it is a common complaint among the Fox News cohort. You don’t have to watch it directly to still be influenced. I hear it enough every day and I never watch Fox News.

      • It’s a common complaint at Fox that African Americans couldn’t get justice in the South years ago?
        That’s news to me.

        • No, it’s a common complaint from Fox News watchers that ONLY african americans get any attention from Obama and that poor white people get no attention at all. It’s like they’re watching all the crap in Ferguson and the chokehold on Eric Brown and stuff and they can’t understand why african americans are getting all the attention.
          And I’m not denying that poor white people aren’t getting the shaft but they’re less likely to get shot by police officers who are acting like judge and jury in the street.
          In other words, the “poor whites” meme isn’t helpful right now. It’s a political meme from the same people who gave us Monica Lewinsky.

          • So, we don’t disagree. Please read my comments and you’ll see that.
            Mike Brown.

  6. I’ve always loved your blog, once again you make a great point!

    Philip @ http://raysremovals.com.au

  7. On Bill Clinton, I’m always amused (though no longer amazed) about how many on the Left point to Clinton above all, as if he was still in office from 2001 to, well, now. Not to say Bill deserves no blame for anything that came after, but I do seem to recall someone named Bush. And that guy, O…something…who might have had a little effect as well.

    • To the likes of Thom Hartmann and Thomas Frank, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan are equally evil politicians.
      No wonder we’re screwed.

  8. We certainly don’t have an actual justice system…that has been true for some time..I will also point out that every incarcerated person represents a nice chuck of moola for some prison corporation …that’s a mighty temptation to stock up

    Because the system can no longer bother with actual justice or laws ,
    it goes by who has juice or not. That’s it . We’ll have more swat teams and fewer murder investigations and domestic violence will go back to being called ” life ” because the dough will be going to the swat teams .
    Armored trucks don’t just grow on trees ya know

    Interesting article

    German journalists arrested in Ferguson


    They guys were arrested , processed and put in a cell for three hours

    …Graw concluded his report as follows, “Then they actually took the famous mug shot. Welcome to the criminal records. This was all a new experience for me. I have been in several crisis regions, I was in civil wars in Georgia, the Gaza Strip, and illegally in the Kaliningrad region when the Soviet Union still controlled the travel of Westerners strictly, I was in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, and China, and I have secretly met dissidents in Cuba.

    But to be handcuffed and snarled at aggressively by the police, and to see a prison from the inside, I had to travel to Ferguson, Missouri in the United States of America. My childlike trust of the US police, who I defended passionately against critics as friends and helpers, in spite of their often rough actions and lack of transparency, is gone.”

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