Welcome to the new, more egalitarian America: we are all niggers now.
Wendy McElroy has a piece about the horrifying case of a badged criminal killing two sisters by crashing into the car carrying them with his police car at high speed. The officer, who was driving 126 mph without sirens at the time of the crash, had been sending emails and talking on the telephone seconds before the crash. Despite the clear evidence of criminality, the family could not be certain of a conviction, and opted to accept a plea bargain by the officer. While convicted of a felony, the officer will not have to spend a day in jail. Instead of the lengthy prison sentence which would await any of us, the criminal in this case received 10 years of probation.
While many people who have not concerned themselves with the police will be surprised to hear it, the simple fact is the police are a special class of person in the United States. Not since the era of slavery and the subsequent Jim Crow era have we seen second-class citizenry displayed so unashamedly. And do not think that the comparison between police and slaveholders and oppressors of the past is overstating the case. It is not overstating the case in the slightest. The family of the victims in this case had concerns over whether or not the officer would be convicted at all. The evidence in this case is even stronger than in many of the shameful murders of blacks in the past, yet being able to secure a conviction against the new massahs was a dubious matter.
Police, for all practical matters, have rights far beyond those which ordinary citizens enjoy. Police may request identification from people, detain people, beat people, and even kill innocents, with little or no fear of the negative repercussions which any of us would expect were we to do any of those things. My father described similar experiences in Birmingham in the 1950s. Welcome to the new, more egalitarian America: we are all niggers now. Just as in the past, convictions were difficult to obtain against people who were clearly guilty of assault and murder, so today is it difficult to obtain such convictions. Just as in the past, blacks had nearly no ability to exercise self-defense without severe negative repercussions, so today do people of all races have nearly no ability to defend themselves against thuggery from the elite class.
In light of the new reality, why don’t we reinvigorate some proud American traditions? Police departments already cooperate in apprehending fugitives, so the fugitive slave laws won’t fill the bill. We still have them, as anyone who has been pursued for tax evasion or any number of other phony crimes could tell you. What then? Well, how about just establishing a new 3/5th rule for those of us not in the oppressor class? It would not only be an appropriate reflection of America as it is, but it would also be a constant reminder to us field hands and house slaves of who really runs things around here.
RECENT DEVELOPMENT: Friends to both my right and my left latch onto my admiration for Ludwig von Mises as a way to avoid using the word “libertarian.”
Today I was invited to help out on a political campaign, a run for office by a man thinking of using the “Tea Party” rubric. To get my support, he said that his campaign organizers were all “Misesians.” And a neighbor of mine, a famous rock musician, has repeatedly brought up Mises as an indicator of my political and social thought and orientation.
This interests me, in part, because it seems something new. “Mises” is becoming a brand, “Misesian” a respectable label.
It also interests me that the Hayek Brand appears to be receding in importance. Twenty years ago, I am sure Hayek would have been chosen as the hero corresponding with my ideology. Though “Hayek” still soars in academia, in America at large “Mises” has gained ground, and perhaps even surpassed “Hayek.”
Further, none of my friends and interlocutors really want to dredge up the one thinker with whom I most readily identify: Herbert Spencer. His brand is still in the proverbial toilet.
As Michael Barnett points out, government can’t do anything efficiently, at least not without spending enormous amounts of tax dollars and violating our rights. The border wall is one example of a project the Federal government will never be able to complete to anyone’s satisfaction: for closed-border advocates, it won’t be effective in keeping out illegal immigrants; for open-border supporters, it will be a monument to government waste and tyranny. The only way it might work at a reasonable price (reasonable for government, anyway) is to put a lot of armed guards along the wall.
Arizona is now seriously considering another application of the brute-force approach, in the form of a “papers, please” shakedown of anyone who doesn’t look, well, legal:
The Arizona House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a wide-ranging bill that, if signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, would cement the state’s reputation as the leader in tough and controversial immigration-control measures.
Senate Bill 1070 would, among other things, make it a state crime to be in the country illegally and bar what its proponents call “sanctuary city” policies.
Most disturbing among the bill’s provisions is granting cops the ability to arrest an immigrant without a warrant if they have “probable cause” to believe the person has committed an offense for which they can be deported. And inviting an illegal immigrant over for dinner could land even legal residents in hot water, if they know their guest’s immigration status.
Just imagine how Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who holds illegal immigrants, criminals and civil liberties in equal disdain, might utilize these new powers. Given that his uniformed thugs already routinely round up Mexicans in sweeps and were so abusive of their authority that ICE stripped the sheriff of some of his immigration enforcement powers, the Arizona legislature has effectively granted Arpaio a license to perform “enforcement” actions akin to ethnic cleansing. The state will protect you from the brown menace! And never mind the boot on your neck.
It’s all the more outrageous for the fact that it’s so unnecessary. The same week the Arizona House was debating this evil bill, Governor Jan Brewer signed a far more laudable measure that will do more to improve her citizens’ safety than an entire file cabinet of anti-immigration statutes: allow residents to carry a concealed weapon without a license. If Arizona residents are truly worried about violence from Mexico’s U.S.-backed drug war spilling over the borders, I can’t think of any better security measure than arming themselves. And Brewer’s spokesman said that the governor did not believe that residents needed permission from the government to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms. I’ll wholeheartedly agree with that! Now if only she was as consistent on people being free to go about their daily business without being harassed by the cops for having a suspicious skin color.