By Mark Naison
Three stages of the militarization of American police
Stage 1. After the 1960’s riots and uprisings which swept through more than 60 American cities
Stage 2: During the War on Drugs of the 1980’s and 1990’s funded by the Federal Government ( Michelle Alexander writes about this in “The New Jim Crow”)
Stage 3: After 9/11 in response to the alleged dangers of domestic terrorism
And now we see what the face of militarized policing looks like. Look who it is being used against.
There is a war going on in Ferguson that shows no sign of stopping. It reveals the ugly fault lines of a society which marginalizes and oppresses large numbers of people and has created a militarized apparatus that rides roughshod over civil liberties while reinforcing inequality and segregation.
You saw what happened to Occupy, a majority white movement. You saw the tanks and gas and rubber bullets- the application of Patriot Act protocols to ban the press.. Now you see an even more brutal application of force and attacks on the press in a majority Black community.
If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. Or, you are confident that none of this will ever affect you.
Mark Naison is Professor of African American Studies and History at Fordham Univeristy.