Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Climbing the escalation ladder.

I don't understand the logic of sending in the National Guard to calm Ferguson, MO. How could sending in armed forces to confront protesters do anything other than escalate things?

It has been interesting to watch as the police force in charge since the protests started last week has climbed up the escalation ladder. It started with the Ferguson police department, then the St. Louis County police took over to investigate the shooting. Then the Governor ordered the state highway patrol to take charge. That seemed to work briefly, but then it didn't. So now they have called in the National Guard (the only armed forces which are controlled by a governor). The only place to go from here is to call in the U.S. Army, although that would be illegal. I'm not sure why they don't try to go back to the initial highway patrol strategy of engaging the protesters rather than the heavy-handed curfews and tear gas. It just seemed to work better.

I keep debating whether to mention this, but I have personally witnessed one clear incident of police racism in my life. The police involved were the St. Louis County police. (See? It seems like it is relevant, but really it isn't. There are probably racist cops in every police department in the country--just as there are also some non-racist cops out there. The one incident I personally witnessed says more about happenstance, my race, and the fact that I lived in St. Louis County for three years, than anything else).