Readers wanted to discuss police accountability, the impeachment hearings, the electoral college, and Barack Obama in this round of feedback. We print your letters for “When Even The FBI Can’t Hold Police Accountable, How Can Anyone Else?,” “Freedom Rider: Ukrainegate Farce,” “The Electoral College’s Racist Origins,” and “A War Criminal Chastises Children.”
In “When Even The FBI Can’t Hold Police Accountable, How Can Anyone Else?” Nida Khan examines the difficulties in prosecuting a racist police chief whose department’s negligence played a role in the death of the writer’s father.
Vanessa Byrne writes:
“First, I must say I am deeply sorry you and your loved ones lost your father this way, and that you were then treated so abominably by the police and other authorities in your area. It is a travesty on so many levels...it boggles the mind that such cruelty dwells in the hearts of men and women, and yet there it is as plain as daylight for all the world to see.
“I think it is a testament to your own personal decency and enduring humanity that you pose the following question near the end of your article:
‘Why weren’t the backgrounds of these officers investigated more thoroughly before they were hired in the first place? ‘
“I must tell you that, in my opinion, the backgrounds, views and aptitudes of candidates for the police force *are* carefully screened and, sadly, the candidates selected (and later promoted) exhibit the exact traits the establishment is looking for. The police (with rare exception) recruit racist, violent, and undiscerning individuals of below-average intelligence. I believe those in positions of power know *exactly* what they are doing and the system is working *exactly* as it is meant to work on behalf of those whom it is designed to serve.
“That is why the whistleblower in this more recent case on which you report is such a rarity. That is why, despite the abundance of damning evidence against Police Chief Nucera, the system once again exonerated their dutiful, psychopathic servant. I have become radicalized over the last number of years. I always opposed the death penalty and other racist, draconian aspects of our so-called justice system. But now?
“Now I am an unabashed abolitionist. I support the abolition of: the police; ICE; mass surveillance; and mass incarceration, just to name a few. They are all, without exception, racist, profit-driven enterprises thriving in a rabid capitalist system, which provide the added benefit of controlling/executing the citizenry under the
consciousness-sedating guise of ‘protection.’
“I lost my mother to a reckless motorist many years ago. I know what that kind of loss does to a family. But my mother’s case was thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. My family was treated with respect and the loss we suffered as a family was likewise viewed as a loss to the state: the loss of a valued citizen. It did not bring her back to us, but the state (in our case) honored our loss and that lengthy, difficult process brought us some measure of consolation and closure. What happened to your family is an all too common disgrace, one which disproportionately befalls families of color and which compounds the psychic wounds of the family and community of the victim.”
“Freedom Rider: Ukrainegate Farce” by Maragaret Kimberley argues that the impeachment hearings are a ploy for Democrats to win votes without delivering anything tangible to their voters.
Mark F. Buckley writes:
“Bad guys are never going away. The only thing that works, as this article correctly observes, is the construction of an effective opposition. In order for that to happen, massive changes to the Supreme Law must happen first. But that *can't* happen, because of Fox. We're screwed, chewed and barbecued, same as always. Contempt for the status quo, in addition to racism, are the reasons we have Trump. It was a Democratic president who shipped the manufacturing economy to China and later locked up 1 in 5 black men, and it was a Democratic president who set the record for war. He also set the record for persecution and prosecution of journalists. With friends like Barack Obama and Kissinger-acolyte Samantha Power, the left does not require enemies.
“‘The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum....’
― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good”
“The Electoral College’s Racist Origins” by Wilfred Codrington III traces the history of America’s strange method of electing presidents to Southern slavery and the three-fifths compromise.
David Weiner writes:
“Great critique! Whites continue to embrace a kind of ‘supremacy’ that weakens them as a demographic. They accept permission to bully and as a result prosper a little as they preen a lot, always under the auspices of a ruling class that becomes ever more insulated from dissent should whites ever find the courage to express it.”
Joseph Manning writes:
“The rationality of domination mitigates the freedom which is prerequisite to liberation.”
In “A War Criminal Chastises Children” our poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner rhymes about Barack Obama’s recent comments against call-out culture and far-left Democrats.
Peter Breschard writes:
“By not prosecuting those officials who ordered torture, Obama became a war criminal himself (not that there weren't other reasons).”
Brian O’Connell writes:
“Why would the Left ever listen to a guy who rode the coattails of the anti war movement into the WH and then proceeded to continue with Bush’s war right where it was left off? Not to mention he was a true friend of Wall Street. He’s a demagogue, a charlatan, a liar. At least the Republicans tell you they’re sticking a knife in your back, Obama does the same thing to you but sings Al Green and smiles at you while doing it.”
The legacy of Obama looms large over progressive politics today. Our task is to continue to spread the truth about his disastrous tenure and to point to an alternative.
Jahan Choudhry is Comments Editor for Black Agenda Report. He is an organizer with the Saturday Free School based in Philadelphia, PA.
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