Friday, August 21, 2015

Police Shootings Are About Class as Well as Race

Do you accept the Police version of the "Biker Gang War in Waco"?  What if I were to tell you there is evidence that most if not all of the killings were committed by Police armed with M4 assault weapons (the actual definition of assault weapon includes the ability to fire bursts or fully automatic.)

I know members of a couple of clubs involved who claim the police did all the shooting.

In the US we are trained from infancy to think of ourselves as a class free society.  In reality class oppression is every bit as real as racism.  Also our society is rigidly class segregated.

When was the last time you described someone as "white trash"?  Or "trailer park"?

Martin Luther King was murdered one year to the day after he started talking about class oppresion along side of racial oppression.

From Huffington Post:


After three days of peaceful demonstrations marking the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's fatal shooting in Ferguson, Mo., yet another African-American man was shot by police there. While the facts are still unclear, the tragedy will surely add to the national protests challenging our racially biased structures of criminal injustice.

A week earlier, a young, unarmed man was shot to death by a police officer in Seneca, South Carolina. Only this young man was not black, but white.

According to CNN, Zachary Hammond was fatally shot while in a Hardee's parking lot. He was 19 years old and on a date. The police officer was conducting a drug investigation and claims that he shot Hammond in self-defense when the unarmed teenager drove his car at him.

A small amount of marijuana was found in the front passenger compartment. Police said the target of the investigation was not Hammond but his date. An independent autopsy showed, however, that Hammond was shot in the back, not the front, contradicting the official story.

"He was a 19-year-old, 121-pound kid killed basically for a joint," the family attorney Eric Bland said.

CNN reported that if this had been an African-American victim, it would have received national attention. That is true now, but only because an active movement of demonstrators have made it so. In fact, virtually the only protests to Hammond's death were issued by #BlackLivesMatter activists on social media.

One year after Michael Brown's fatal shooting in Ferguson, unarmed black men are still seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire, according to a new study by the Washington Post.
So far this year, the Post reports, 24 unarmed black men have been shot and killed by police -- one every nine days. The Post reports that 585 people in total have been shot and killed by police through August 7. (The Guardian database reports that 700 have been killed by police.)

There is no question that African-American men are at greatest risk. After the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, national protests have forced reform of the police and of mass incarceration policies onto the national agenda. The names of those who died from police violence -- Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Samuel DuBose, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Freddy Gray, Sandra Bland and more -- are etched in public memory because demonstrators have demanded justice for them.

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