Is Ferguson’s state of emergency: militarized police brutality, government racial imbalance, street arms raised unity and looting inspired curfew, an America reminiscent of 1861, a GHW Bush prediction, “if the American people ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us, or a Robin Williams cry for help?
One thing is clear, whether Colorado Open Carry, Internet mouse clicked petitions or prosecuting Governors, Americans have been awakened!
Assaulting First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble in protest, didn’t begin with policeman Darren Wilson shooting unarmed robbery suspect, Michael Brown, multiple times.
It began with
- Attorney General John Ashcroft’s administrative degree to quarantine dissent, which then standardized designated protest areas as our new First Amendment M. O.
- President GW Bush’s political events banning and arresting those peacefully wearing anti-Bush T-Shirts
- Our Pentagon buying surplus war weaponry from those who profit from our being at war, and then giving the surplus munitions to police departments all over America
- DWB – FWA – SWB – and Trayvon Martin’s crime: WWB
- Assassinating Kennedy, King and Bobby
- An Uniformed Oakland California thug pepper spraying sitting peaceful demonstrators
- People being left to die in New Orleans after Katrina
- Michael Brown’s body left in the street for hours
Indiscriminately death casts a tall shadow, so our lives are our weapons for listening, advocating, voting, learning and sharing: the systemic stigmatizing of those deemed different is as old and prescient as
- Salem and McCarthy witch hunts;
- war on women history: no voting rights, being institutionalized for enjoying sex with their husbands, having three states block ERA ratification
- Veterans dying waiting for healthcare
- the cataclysmic void in our treatment and understanding of Depression – in 2014, deserting those with Mental Health issues, to the life of a 19th century outcast
Any death diminishes us, especially if unable to extrapolate Mental Health issues, and Ferguson, to all of America. Either we are the prime-time stereotypes and redundant news media cutouts, or we are who we love and emulate; what we vote for and fight against – we are our brothers’ keeper or not my problem.
However death comes: Lauren Bacall & Charles Keating, a NYC choke-hold or Ohio shot for being black, a war weary Anne Sexton, Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams – it guts our six degrees of separation.
I worked with Charles Keating on Another World, but the closest I got to Robin Williams was his co-stars: literally bumping into Nathan Lane in NYC one night, after his brilliance in The Producers, and chatting on the set of Lincoln with Sally Field – yet losing him feels too akin to my losing those who changed my life: Francis Hughes, PhD, Father Gilbert Hartke and iconic actress, Mercedes McCambridge.
I knew the addiction Mercedes was successfully resisting, before her son, John Lawrence Fifield, killed himself after murdering his wife and two daughters.
Her understandable withdrawal and retreat taught me:
- Stigmatizing Mental Illness and our ignorance of Depression, Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s are as deadly as a militarized police state.
- Ferguson is America in miniature, from which we can learn to honestly live together as equals, or continue Supreme Court building a house divided against itself.
- Not all battles are civil wars between Christians and non, rich and poor, white and black, but increasingly, too many are.
Revelation: conservative top 1%, your armed biased law enforcement & private prisons — despite Koch-head billions and clichéd regurgitation of propped up puppets still not prosecuted for their 2008 Wall Street economic devastation on the world, people power re-elected a black looking chess player for President…
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