Are You Watching Ferguson? You Should Be.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 6.03% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Just on the off-hand chance you’re not following my Twitter feed, which is largely retweets of Ferguson-related news, you should be looking very closely at Ferguson right now.  Short version: Cops shot a black kid.  The people protested peacefully, were run off with tear gas and rubber bullets.  Things escalated, and the cops shut the town down, preventing news copters from seeing what was going on, shoving reporters out, arresting people on false pretenses and refusing to give their badge numbers.
This is the police state.
This is every government fear the NRA has ever inflamed to sell guns.
And yet the usual gang of conservative nitwits are… saying nothing.
I remember someone discussing Watergate, which I didn’t get for a long time: A President got in a scandal, he resigned rather than go to trial, what’s the big whoop?  And an older friend who’d lived through that finally made it clear to me when he said, “What would have happened if Nixon had refused to go to trial?”
That’s when the penny dropped.  That’s when I realized that shit, yeah, our government only works because people agree it does, and if people decide to just say, “Fuck the law, I don’t need it,” then that’s when civil wars result.
What’s happening in Ferguson is important.  It’s a local government flouting the law in the name of ass-covering.  This is, in a very real sense, a rebellion against the laws of the land, and the cops are on the wrong side.  And they’re trying very hard to cover this shit up, and Twitter is really not letting them get away with that.
And I fear that what Ferguson shows is the absolute hypocrisy of the conservative movement – that for all their dumb yammering about “THE GUMMINT’S GONNA HURT US!” and “WE NEED TO DEFEND AGAINST IT!”, the truth is that they see the government as a weapon to crack down on people they don’t like.  Who gives a fuck about following the law?  Who gives a fuck if it’s perfectly legal to film the cops?  Hey, we’ve got some suspicious-looking characters over here, they don’t need rights, what we need are rights to protect us.
Truth is, the law should protect everyone. What we have here is tantamount to rebellion.  And I would feel a lot better about the conservatives going, “Oh, yeah, this is when people should rise up against their government,” but the truth of what they have to say may well better expressed as “People like us can rise up against the government, but you can’t,” and that erasure of whole realms of people worries me.
(And people will inevitably say, “But there’s looting in Ferguson!” – which, yeah, there is, but the cops started by targeting peaceful protestors long before looters came along.  As a Tweet said, I can condemn both the impending police state and looters simultaneously.  I suggest you try it.)
Anyway, this is one of the most important stories to break in a while.  Pay attention.
(EDIT: And there are those who will say, “How dare you turn a tragedy into a political agenda?”  To which I say, a) The tactic of “Let’s not politicize this” is the surest way of ensuring no change ever gets made ever, and b) conservatives are perfectly willing to, say, evince an opinion on Trayvon Martin or Clive Bundy’s respective heroism when it suits them, so I’m perfectly happy to point out what they don’t discuss.)

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Aug 14, 2014

    Really? You’re turning this into a ‘look at those asshole conservatives’ thing? People are being detained by what amounts to an undeclared, illegal martial-law, and this is the time for ‘look at what assholes the political party I don’t like are’? You should be ashamed.

    • TheFerrett
      Aug 14, 2014

      Yep. I am. Because those conservatives should be decrying this the loudest, and aren’t.
      You should be ashamed. Because frankly, pointing out the shortcomings of the political parties is how change results. What you’re saying is, “Don’t attempt to place blame in the light of a tragedy,” which is the surest way of suppressing change ever generated.

      • Anonymous
        Aug 14, 2014

        No, we absolutely should place blame, but I fear that your singling out conservatives leaves you blind to the overall trends, movements and ideologies from all sides of the political spectrum that have led to this. Scrutiny needs to go everywhere on this.
        I also reacted sorely because I’ve been seeing a lot of ‘well where were the libertarians on this’ when my Twitter has been nothing but libertarians pointing at this and going ‘this is the realization of everything we’ve been warning people about, this is important, and this is a militarized police state in the making pay attention‘. I apologise.

  2. Carmel J.
    Aug 14, 2014

    At the risk of inflaming anonymous people again, the only thing I’ve seen out of my conservative peeps in the last few days has been “Why are we mourning Robin Williams when BENGAZI???” Seriously. Well, also the “ISIS is murdering Christians and Hamas is evil so we need to Stand By Israel”.
    I’ve seen very little about Ferguson, mostly from you and the liberal contingent of my FB. Admittedly, I am short on Libertarians. On a positive note, I have yet to see a photoshopped corpse in my feed. And only two of the Bengazi posts, even my Tea Partiers are in mourning for the most part.
    I should start a thread somewhere asking everyone what the biggest news story is in their feeds this week. The results might be interesting.

    • Jenna
      Aug 14, 2014

      All I have is anectdotes, not data, but, the tea partiers on my Facebook feed haven’t said a thing all week. They haven’t even commented on the Ferguson posts, yet.
      And yeah. It’s possible to condemn both the looters and the illegal actions of the police.

  3. Chris
    Aug 15, 2014

    You are painting with an awful broad brush on this. There are lots of ‘conservatives’ depending on how you are using that term that have speaking out against the militarization of local police forces for DECADES and were amongst the first to the party to denounce what is going on in Ferguson.

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