I watched the video embedded below, and a nasty, discouraging thought occurred to me.
This is me. This is you. I’m not referring to the people on the ground being mercilessly and gleefully beaten and stomped. I’m referring to those administering the wanton abuse. Sure, they are part of an organization that has received billions of dollars of U.S. ‘aid’ over the years. Sure, while we were toppling a government that provided its citizens with one of the highest standards of living in the Eastern world, and the most freedom to its female population, we were letting the violent tyranny represented in the video go unchecked.
That is all true, and we as U.S. citizens are partly responsible for that behavior, but the nasty, discouraging thought had little to do with events so far removed. Behavior such as this has been meted out to dissenters right here in the U.S. Much of it has been hidden from the masses by the complicity of our corporate media, but enough has gotten through the wall of silence and obfuscation that most of us should understand what’s been done in our name (but on behalf of a very slender segment of the population).
Even the violence and oppression handed out to the Occupy movement isn’t precisely what I’m referring to. After all, it isn’t anything new. The ‘Miami Model‘ has been in effect for roughly a decade now, at least. In fact, the nasty thought piqued by the video above refers to an application of the Miami Model which is now being arranged for my own city next spring.
On a recent day at work, I heard talk of generous amounts of overtime to be offered to a number of fire and police personnel. There will be federal and probably some military deployments as well, to be sure, as the G20/G8 Summit and the NATO Summit will be held a week apart in Chicago in May. I’m sure much of the city center will be turned in a police-state fortress, all so that undemocratic organizations can shield themselves from the nonviolent anger and dissatisfaction of representatives of the majorities they refuse to represent.
Our city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is a dear friend of the elite financial interests represented by the G20/G8 contingents, and a close ally and fellow traveler of the neoimperial interests represented by NATO. So Emanuel will have no trouble securing the many millions of dollars needed to pay for the temporary fortress (even though there’s no money available anywhere to pay our unionized public school teachers). Even that nastiness isn’t what I find discouraging.
What I find discouraging is that all this money will be spent, all the intimidation and, if possible, violence, will be handed out, and the local and national corporate media will sell it as necessary business as usual. And you and I will sit there and buy it. Some of you are my colleagues, some of you are my allies on the street (police officers); you will be the worst, because some of you will put on your uniforms and whatever riot gear and collect the overtime and go out intimidating the protesters and cracking their skulls, and for what? To defend the interests of some wealthy assholes who are just waiting for the right time to fuck you out of your pensions and benefits? But you won’t be alone. The rest of us will sit there, while the kind of brutality in the video above is either implied or acted out before our eyes, and we won’t do shit about it. In fact, most of us will probably line up a few months later to elect some of the same assholes who have brought us to this point.
We suck, and we deserve what’s happening to our country. I would like to be able to say that the human race deserves better, but I seriously doubt that. We may think we can get away with ignoring the brutality being meted out to our fellow human beings, but Planet Earth is warming up to give us what we deserve, even as we shop and entertain ourselves and pretend there’s no price to pay for our catastrophic irresponsibility.