Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Life in These United States


When I was growing up my parents were loyal subscribers to the “Reader’s Digest,” which I regret to report informed my own foreign policy views until about 1966, when it occurred to me that I was just four years from conscription age, and that a lot of late teens were returning from Southeast Asia in body bags. Anyway, the little magazine used to include a regular feature “Life in These United States,” with charming humorous anecdotes about our lives in the most prosperous and virtuous country ever.

That was a long time ago.

A few days back, Coast Guard veteran Walter Scott was shot to death—in the back, from twenty feet away—by a sociopathic police officer on the payroll of the North Charleston SC police force. The official account of the episode was that the victim attempted to grab the cop’s taser, and that the policeman shot in self-defense. A bystander’s video gives the lie to this account.

No video? The official story would never have been questioned. Officer Slager would have quite literally got away with murder. He may yet.

This is not—is not—an isolated incident. Summary executions and fabricated evidence are SOP at need at every level of law enforcement.

This will not change in the lifetimes of anyone who reads this. What needs to change is the common delusion that we live in a society that does not countenance this conduct.

This is how we live today.
This is how we live today.
This is how we live today.