Dave Winer over at the Scripting News has hit on something important in regards to the violence of the U.S. abroad and the militarization of our society domestically. Worth a read.
Talking with a friend the other day I learned something I had not previously understood. The people of the NYPD want the support of the community the same way we support soldiers who are or were fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. They want “Support Our Troops” to apply to them as it applies to soldiers fighting overseas.
The people of NYC are horrified to see what we are supposed to excuse in this support. The video of the murder of Eric Garner, and that’s the only word for it, was totally incriminating. The thought that the perpetrators of that crime would go free is something we can’t accept. Not when the evidence is so clear and overwhelming.
This is a huge disconnect, and we let it happen. The problem isn’t with the NYPD, the problem is with the blanket total support we give our military when it fights in Afghanistan and Iraq. The price of placing zero value on the lives of the people of these countries is that our lives in turn become worthless. What goes around comes around. You reap what you sow. There are dozens of adages and fables that explain this phenomenon. The lives of the people of the foreign countries are worth exactly as much as ours. We overlooked the behavior of American soldiers in these countries. Now the cops want to know why we treat them differently.
And they’re right to ask. Why? If the army can arbitrarily kill thousands in Iraq, why can’t they kill a few people in Staten Island, Missouri, or Ohio? You “support the troops” why don’t you support us, they ask.