Miami New Times.Today, Luke addresses the clash between residents and cops in Ferguson, Missouri.
The protests and riots in Ferguson, Missouri, are providing proof that the U.S. government sanctions racial injustice in this country while denouncing it abroad. The federal government spends trillions of dollars so we can be the world's peacekeepers. We start wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of freedom. We help rebel groups oust dictators and oppressors like Muammar Gaddafi and the Taliban. We send drones and warplanes to bomb Islamic rebels in Iraq and Syria who are killing Christians. And we place sanctions on Iran for putting protesters in jail.
Yet here in America, the federal government gives police departments the tools to squash freedom of speech by arming them with surplus military weapons and equipment. Local cops get these fancy war toys to prevent citizens, primarily African-Americans, from mobilizing and standing up against human rights abuses. At the same time, the government allows illegal guns to flow into inner cities so that black people can kill one another off.
The brutal slaying of teenager Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson was the tipping point. The tension was building in a community where a predominantly white police department constantly harassed and intimidated a majority of its citizens, who happen to be African-American. Brown's execution-style murder was the last straw for Ferguson's black residents.
I've seen it happen here in Miami since my days as a park DJ in Liberty City. In the late '70s, I was part of a block party at African Square Park that devolved into a riot because of a corrupt white officer named Butler. He was a notorious racist who stole money from drug dealers. He would also take their marijuana joints and smoke in front of them. We were minding our business when he walked into the park, yelling, "Y'all niggas need to get the fuck out of here!" He poured gasoline on a small fire, turning it into a raging inferno of pent-up anger and frustration.
When the smoke settled, the City of Miami sent in Rev. Willie Sims, Miami's version of Al Sharpton, to infiltrate our group. Guys like Sims and Sharpton are government stooges who feed black people bullshit. He pretended to be on our side, but he was really working to keep us quiet. We still get no justice and no one goes to jail for oppressing black people. In the '80s, the resentment of being treated as second-class citizens continued to build up. It exploded during the riots in 1980 and 1989 after white cops killed unarmed black men.
Today the injustice continues with the senseless killings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. People are protesting because they are sick and tired of the racial injustice. The only good thing coming out of the situation in Ferguson is that a large number of white protesters have joined African-Americans. In addition, the arrest of prominent white journalists from the Huffington Post and the Washington Post is making people realize that our country is in trouble.
The federal government feeds off keeping us divided through class warfare. A recently released study by Princeton University says America's political system has slowly mutated from a democracy into an oligarchy controlled by the richest and most powerful people. The elites bankroll politicians who use racism and bigotry to divide the nation.
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The only way to end it is by taking our voices to the streets.
Tune into Luke on the Andy Slater Show every Tuesday from 2 to 5 p.m. on Miami's Sports Animal, 940 AM.