good shit

This isn’t a police officer. This is a fucking storm trooper. Look at him. Nothing about this man says protect and serve. This man’s profession is violence and his paymaster is the state.

This is the kind of jack-booted thug Governor Jay Nixon wants working on behalf of Missouri against the peaceful citizen protestors in Ferguson, and here’s where it gets extra fucked-up: This poster-boy for police militarization also happens to be a racist right-wing cop who recently shot and killed yet another black teenager.

Yep, that’s right. This is a confirmed photograph of Jason H. Flanery, the gun obsessed wingnut of a police officer who fired 17 shots at 18 year old VonDerrit Myers Jr. last month. Here he is, in all his geared-up glory, still very much on active duty, ready and willing to reign down even more brutality and terror onto the civilian population of Ferguson.

Last night, a man with a pocket knife was shot dead by the LAPD on a bustling corner of Hollywood Boulevard. Of course, no officers were hurt.

“No officers were hurt.”

I’m constantly reading that sentence these days. It’s the go-to closing line for every dry and dreary news report about some poor bastard being beaten up, choked out, or gunned down by the police.

The news that no officers were hurt is supposed to be a good thing. It’s supposed to be an assurance. For me, it’s not. For me, it’s an accusation.

If no officers were hurt, then tell me why another man is lying dead in the fucking street. If no officers were hurt, tell me how you can even begin to justify the use of all that lethal force.

“No officers were hurt.”

Every time I read that line, it feels like further proof that police are trained to kill before risking even the slightest injury to themselves. I’m sorry, but I’m just not okay with that.

We give these men badges, and in exchange for that authority, we expect them to be held to a higher standard. We give these men guns, and in exchange for that power, we expect them to put the safety of others ahead of their own.

They aren’t living up to that standard — not in Los Angeles, not in New York, certainly not in Ferguson, and probably not in your neighborhood either. Time and again, all I see is evidence that the police aren’t putting anyone else’s safety ahead of their own.

Do you know how I know that?

“No officers were hurt.”

Unless you have investigated a problem, you will be deprived of the right to speak on it. Isn’t that too harsh? Not in the least. When you have not probed into a problem, into the present facts and its past history, and know nothing of its essentials, whatever you say about it will undoubtedly be nonsense. Talking nonsense solves no problems, as everyone knows, so why is it unjust to deprive you of the right to speak? Quite a few comrades always keep their eyes shut and talk nonsense, and for a Communist that is disgraceful. How can a Communist keep his eyes shut and talk nonsense?

It won’t do!

It won’t do!

You must investigate!

You must not talk nonsense!

—  Mao Tse-tung, “Oppose Book Worship” (May 1930)

A man in a stars-and-stripes t-shirt picks up burning tear gas canister, hurls it back at the militarized riot cops who just shot it at him, and all the while he never puts down his bag of chips.*

This photograph captures the purest essence of America I’ve ever seen. I hope everyone under siege in St. Louis finds safety tonight, and of course, fuck the police.

* RED HOT RIPLETS #fortherecord

I was reading an otherwise unremarkable article about women in combat when I stumbled upon this photo. It absolutely took my breath away.

It’s of two women, both Marines, both harsh and beautiful, their strength and poise almost palpable. It’s like a modern-day Dorothea Lange photograph, crisp and real, but still with a dreamlike quality.

I don’t know why the image struck me so hard, but it did. I haven’t been able to look away from it. As an added mindfuck, the caption told me their names — Lance Corporal Brittany Holloway and Lance Corporal Brittany Dunklee.

They’re both named Brittany. The socio-political implications of that alone are staggering, but it also just adds to the poetry — “The Two Brittanys.”

I desperately want to meet them. I don’t know what we’d talk about, and they’d probably hate my guts, but I don’t care. I’d be totally okay with that.