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If the Airport is a Police State, What is the Ghetto?

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It is right to howl at the indignities inflicted on airline passengers – but hypocritical, if the howls come from folks who applaud or remain silent while police in big cities across the country subject hundreds of thousands of Black and Latino males to arbitrary stop and frisks. “As a Black male who is often perceived as Latino or Middle-Eastern, I expect to get stopped and questioned, pulled from the crowd and patted down.”

If the Airport is a Police State, What is the Ghetto?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The police state has long been in effect in Black America – so long, it is experienced as routine.”

Critics of the Obama administration’s escalating intrusions on the dignity and violations of the privacy of air travelers are certainly correct in raising holy hell with the voyeurs and bullies that run the homeland’s security apparatus. The president’s men are a nasty little bunch, who seem to respond to every hint of danger by shouting “strip!” and fondling everyone within reach. But I must admit that I’m not personally overly upset at the government’s deployment of machinery that electronically renders one naked, or the prospect of more frequent and intrusive pat-downs.

As a Black male who is often perceived as Latino or Middle-Eastern, I expect to get stopped and questioned, pulled from the crowd and patted down. My teenage and young adult years coincided with the frequent hijacking of flights to Cuba. I fit the profile. That coincided with the war on drugs that never ended, a war that treated me like an enemy combatant, and still does. A pair of narcotics detectives used to stop me without fail, among thousands of other train passengers, each week, same time, same day, as I passed through Union Station commuting from New York to Washington.

La Migra,” the immigration authorities, have challenged me in DC, all dressed up for an expensive business lunch at nigh noon on K Street, demanding to know if I was a citizen. I’ve been pulled off a bus full of other journalists on the tarmac at the airport in Vienna, Austria, by machinegun-toting police, for no other reason than my physical type. My hometown neighborhood is a designated drug zone – like every Black neighborhood in Jersey City, New Jersey – where anyone can be stopped and questioned about their reasons for being in the area; where one is presumed guilty until the police decide you might not be.

If Philly were New York-sized, the cops would be stopping and frisking 1.2 million people on the streets each year.”

I spend much of my time in New York City, where about 600,000 pedestrians, the vast majority of them Black or Latino and male, will be accosted by cops, by the end of this year. There is an eight-block area in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where 50,000 stops were made over two years, many if not most involving the same Black, male neighborhood residents over and over again.

But it gets worse. In Philadelphia, a city one-sixth the size of New York, at least 200,000 mostly Black, male pedestrians are stopped each year. That means, if Philly were New York-sized, the cops would be stopping and frisking 1.2 million people on the streets each year, twice as many as in the Big Apple. This is stop-and-frisk gone wild, used as a weapon of racial bullying and control, and as an intake valve for Black mass incarceration, sending huge proportions of Black makes into institutions where they don't render you naked electronically, but up close and personal, at any and all times the prison authorities see fit, and where visiting family members are subject to have their bodily orifices explored.

So, Yes – federal search policies at airports are a sign of a growing police state. But the police state has long been in effect in Black America – so long, it is experienced as routine. I fear that some of those who recoil at heightened airport security also believe that the people in the Bed-Stuys of America get what they deserve.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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This effects all of us

I don't believe its an act of hypocrisy for white people to raise hell in defense of themselves while failing to speak up on police brutality issues in the Black community. It may be selfishness, but its not hypocrisy. It's only natural for people to DO-4-SELF! We don't seem to understand this. It also doesn't help to label ALL white people racist.

Look at this muh-fuckin fool:

New Black Panther

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4zbwWMqTS4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kKgYeqgo8Y

I pose that idiots like this want to see Black people get annihilated. I'm all for Black nationalism when its a Black nation, and this is no Black nation. So we will have to align ourselves with whites where we can and should. I don't want to destroy the western world because there's no other better place to live. If people were honest with themselves they would say the same thing. I want to improve the system.

I always knew that once the cabal took the American dream away from White people and started implementing Agenda 21 genocide, poverty, austerity and totalitarianism, all hell would break loose. Instead of whining about the white man, we should be bucking the system that wishes to divide us, and unite on this issue. "The Man" wants us divided on this. If we're not divided, well then how will Chertoff and Al D'amato make billions off of violating our 4th amendment rights and moving their radiation machines to bus and train stations (as well as other venues where large numbers of people congregate, including malls, movie theaters, or any sizeable workplace) ???

Chertoff and Company - The Cover Up (Body Scanners)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Itt86FRBuQ

AL D'AMATO INVOLVED IN PROFITEERING IN NAKED BODY SCANNER RACKET

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u82w8ABlmJk

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/01/airport-scanner-scam

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/130439-body-scanner-manufacturers...

The TSA Must Improve

The new national security policy implemented by the TSA is too strict and it's a direct violation of one's privacy. The TSA has to find a better way to make us feel safe without being so intrusive. football date

Yeah, it's done to me all the time.

But there's one bright side, one of the biggest proponents of profiling, and the strongly related issue of confiscating the property of people "suspected of crimes" like the Holy Land Foundation, any black or mex looking fellow driving through Texas City or any Labor Union.

Tom DeLay, the "Texas Hammer" convicted of money laundering. That would be for whom, exactly? The Republican Party. With this, they're quite correctly identified as being a Racketeer Influenced Criminal Organization.

Theoretically they could be profiled into either starting to be less pig and more cooperative public servant, or have large portions of their assets seized, using THEIR OWN legal formula.

There's a French Word, "petard" which means "fart" literally and also a black-powder bomb called a breaching charge. The cops here use a similar device to blow the doors off a suspected crack-house, which would be, by their definition, any door in a "designated drug zone" that can't be simply pushed open or kicked in. How is that relevant? Well, there's an old saying "Hoist by his own petard" meaning the bomb would go off and kill the bomber instead.

The Republicans know the term if not the history. Might not do the whole job since the Democratic party is officially in charge. But it's a good start. Maybe.

But, right after my wife died I bought a small patch of desert land in Acala Texas. 60 miles east of El Paso and close to where La Migra stops everybody traveling on I10 and the Border Highway and shines a light in their eyes and screams "Donde Nacio?"

Just a patch of sand to pitch a tent and grieve, Indian style. They of course profiled me, because of my Indian heritage, in their Racist eyes, I "looked Mex". On more than one occasion they've pulled firearms before confronting me, and always blamed their bigotry on my appearance. Even members of my FAMILY have taken sides with the racists, as a shining example of "Well, it didn't happen to me, so it doesn't matter".

There's a saying that starts out "first they came for the Jews, but I'm not a Jew so I didn't speak up".

Actually the FIRST ones into the camps were Anarchists but I'll give the guy points for intent if not accuracy.

People will still, even with the broadening Police State, and all the lovely little abuses they rationalize away with "Oh well, they ARE trying to keep me safe so why should I complain?"

They'll still mock you if you come off with the "First they came for..." and say that it's a cliche propaganda slogan.

TSA was quoted in the Denver Post that it's the people who object to their ham-handed dictatorial powers who make things harder for everybody else.

"Why don't you just submit to our power, instead of forcing us to punish everybody and blame it on you?"

"If you've done nothing wrong, why should you fear the Police State?"

It's no consolation BUT

They do it to Obama as well. There's another bullpoopoo headline on one of the tabloid newspoopers "Obama's Muslim Lies". Between that and the birth certificate crap, it's a steady stream of Racist Profiling.

 

They're the same tabloids who exploit the notion, about Pastor Jeremiah, that no Black-led church in America is actually Christian.

Church and State together means, if there's a church state, there has to be a State Church to go with it.

They decide who is or is not American, and decide who is or is not Christian, arbitrarily and in the case of stop-and-frisk or other profiling they do it in the street where if you object you get laid on the pavement and shot in the back for "resisting". They'll even call it a suicide in the press.

If as the Republican agenda claims, America is destined to be a "Christian" state, how are those who aren't in the arbitrarily defined sect of Christianity going to fare?

Deciding which Church gets to be the State Church has been an ongoing excuse for an ongoing Christian-on-Christian murder spree for as long as any two churches have made the competing claim to be "the One True Church".

How long before you can be profiled for "looking Catholic"? I've got an optimistic answer and a really pessimistic one to match. The first is that America will wake the hell up to the poison of bigotry before it kills us all.

The other, well, you probably don't even need to know the details.

The same old same old..

@Brother "Jonah"

I purposely cut out my diatribe about Black on Black hate from my first comment above, because I thought it would take away from my overall point.

The truth is that crime in the Black community is through the roof. The truth is that the cops use this fact to terrorize the entire community as a whole. Now if you're interested in a discussion about whether or not the government deserves the entire blame for these truths, well then that would be all good. But I wouldn't be interested in glossing over these facts to push my agenda. Profiling is done all the time. There are Black people who think that all white people are racist. There are people who think that our media and banking system is ran by Jews. There are people who think that all the drug cartels working in the U.S. are Mexican ran, and that all the illegal aliens getting jobs and free medical care are Mexican. And that all the terrorist are muslim. Doesn't mean that stereotypes are necessarily true, but profiling is a natural human instinct and you can't regulate it. What you can do is get to the facts in order to solve the problem.

The truth is that the status quo (Multiculturalism, atheistic-anti-family propaganda, and excessive government dependence) is not working for Black people. It may work for the people at the top who run the system, but it don't work for us.

P.s.

I wouldn't be interested in putting my neck on the line or equating the Black struggle to others (Gay groups, Latino's, Indians etc.) unless it's mutually beneficial. I see Al Sharpton and Jesse fighting for gay groups, and illegal aliens, but where are these groups at when we're fighting for economic and social justice ???

The truth is that Blacks made the most gains in America by either depending on ourselves or aligning ourselves with whites or Jews who would help. People don't want to admit that.

The Garvey Movement is the only example of a independent Black Mass cooperation that almost worked.

Why is the US a Corporatist Xenophobic Militaristic Police State

"The interrelationship of the triplets of evil of: racism, economic exploitation (un-restrained capitalism = 'Greed is Good {= Money is god), and militarism (imperialism & the police state)... " MLK April 4th 1967

'A threat to [true] Freedom & Justice ANY-Where- is a threat to Freedom & Justice EVERY-Where... MLK

'And the Lord said- I was hungry but you refused to feed me, I was homeless & out in the street but you refused to give me shelter, I was sick but you denied me medical care, I was unjustly imprisoned because you denied me justice...  Verily I say... since you haven't looked out for the welfare of the least of [my people], then you have neglected & abused ME... And those who do so shall face condemnation...' Para-Quote from Mat- 25th Chap, verses 42 to 46

"When they came for the people down the street I didn't really pay attention. When they came for the people across the street - I noticed but I didn't want to get involved. When they came for my next door neighbors - I thought I should speak out - but I didn't. So when they came for me - there was NO-ONE LEFT to Speak-out for ME..." Para-quote on the Rise of Nazism & Their Rule of Terror. 

Glen Ford commentary poses the question- 'Why has the US become a Corp Controlled, Xenophobic Imperialistic Military Police State?' This is becoming more obvious to some whites - but it has been a reality for decades [& even centuries] for many Black, Brown & so-called 3rd World Peoples. But since the Civil Rights & Anti Vietnam War movements of the 1960 & early 1970s, most of white America [with a few notable exceptions] seem to have been preoccupied w they own affairs & haven't been paying attention to the plight of the Black & Brown Masses. With the advent of Obama [& even before] came the myth of post-racial America - as if racism [xenophobia & even class-ism] has been eradicated in the US. This conveniently put Black advocates who brought up the subject on the defensive - accused of 'Playing the Race-Card'. But the popularity of the TV & radio programs IE: the notoriously race-baiting FOX Noise -&- the advent of the so-called Tea Partiers w their overt displays of racism; disproves this Myth of Obama's so-called Post-Racial America. People [in this case mainly whites] can be notoriously short-sighted & myopic & just act like they don't see anything [or the implications there-of] unless its staring them in the face. The above statements by MLK, The Gospel Scripture, etc are warnings that - if you don't pay attention to -or- sit idly by while injustice is happening to those considered least in society [IE: poor Black & Brown folks] - it is likely to eventually come back & BITE YOU in the ASS.Take Gitmo - the fist time I heard of it was during the Haitian Boat Crisises [IE: 1980s w Popa Doc's reign of terror & Reagan / Bush Sr Gitmotizing those Haitians fleeing the terror, then in the 1990s when Mr CIA Bush Sr pulled a coup on Pres Aristide & then responding to Haitians fleeing the terror by again Gitmotizing them], but only a few really paid attention then. So now Gitmo has become the very symbol of the US' Fake WAR on TERROR &  TORTURE policy. Speaking of Torture- why has it been so easy for high officials to perpetrate it [w the Bush / Cheney-ites particularly - actually publicly boasting about it]??? Because it has been common practice in the US' Criminal Justice /Prison Industrial Complex. Recently an ex-CPD Lt Jon Burge was convicted of regularly beating & torturing confessions out of prisoners [mainly Black & Brown], some who were then eagerly prosecuted & put on death row by none-other than the Current Mayor of Chicago Rich Daley Jr- when he was Cook County States Attorney.  Much of this NOTORIOUS affair came to light after it was discovered in the late 1990s early 2000s that- out of 25 prisoners in IL scheduled to be executed- 13 of THEM WERE NOT-GUILTY!!! The situation was so outrageaous that Ex-IL Gov IL George Ryan [a conservative Republican] felt morally compelled to call a moratorium on IL's death penalty. He then went on Oprah's show w some of those exonerated & spoke about how prisoners [usually Black & Brown] were regularly rail-roaded, beaten & TORTURED into confessing to crimes they didn't do -&- how Burge's squad was notorious for this. So finally Burge gets convicted this yr- not of Torture but of perjury- some 25 - 30 yrs after the fact. Then of course there is the notorious Mark Fuhrman [of the OJ Murder Case infamy & a contributor to FOX Noise], who was caught on tape bragging about how he regularly planted evidence & beat-up & threw nigger suspects {w the hands cuffed behind their backs} down flights of stairs!!! [Note: Most whites folks were/are {understandably}outraged over the idea that OJ likely got away w killing 2 white people. However by Furhman’s own boasting he may have gotten away w killing NUMEROUS {mainly Black & Brown} PEOPLE – see:  http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/www/Info/fuhrman.html - So where was their outrage when FOX Noise had the GALL to make him FOX's special analyst on crime!!!]

The Fake War on Terror - The Homeland Security [Racket] Connection to Xenophobia & Racism. -- 9-11 has been conveniently exploited to justify: Starting Wars based on LIES, curtailing civil liberties, illegal surveillance & spying, & now Naked Body Scanners &/or Aggressive Searches at airports. Some [mainly white] people are apparently finally taking notice of this looming Police State [for them]- which has been all too real - for far too long - for far too many Black & Brown People. The Naked Body Scanners were 'conveniently' ready to be rolled-out after last year's alleged X-Mas {non}bomber incident. The chief lobbyist for these devices [which are said to be ineffective but do give off potentially harmful radiation] is none other than Bush's ex- Homeland Security Chief Mike Chertoff. The accused {non}bomber, like so many other alleged terrorists in the wake of 9-11, just happens to be Black [or some have been Brown],  Muslim & [as is often the case] African. Of course, as so often has been the case, he didn't come close to doing any real damage. Most of the other foiled alleged so-called terror plots have been instigated & hyped-up by Gov informants [IE: Entrapment]. The so-called X-Mas {non}bomber is reminiscent of the 9-11 alleged hijackers in that he [like they] shouldn't have even been allowed on a plane to the US [his own father alerted US officials about him - well ahead of time] & he apparently got on the plane w the help of a mystery man who helped him by-pass normal security procedures. Of course all of this feeds the racist / xenophobic tendencies of so many whites [IE: Plays the 'Race-Card' for Real]. But there are some who are beginning to see that things ain't quite adding up -&- are now asking the question- who's really benefiting? The problem is some of these questions should have been asked decades ago- [IE: Who's really benefiting from the so-called War on Drugs & whose communities have been devastated because of it? How can home-boy off the block fly over-sea to cut multi-$million & even multi-$billion deals w international drug lords when- most inner-city dwellers don't even have a passport??? And if the million or so non-violent Black / Brown drug offenders currently locked up in prison were really making $millions - wouldn't they have a legal dream ala: the late Johnnie Cochran, Barry Scheck, & F Lee Bailey to keep them out of prison???]. So now the 'Chickens Have Come Home to Roost'. But unless there is mass coordinated action against the looming POLICE-STATE, it may be too late in the game to turn this around. However- If this past election is any indicator, then far too many of white folks still haven't come to terms w this, because their prejudices & fears have blinded them. Far too many of them refuse to see that the [white] power elites don't really give a damn about them- OK so the power elites have cut them a bit more slack than the poor, the Black & Brown -but- those in power will never see the masses [of even white people] as their equals. Thus they are expendable. The current Econ crisis & steady assault on civil liberties & the rule of law should be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that this is true. But its far easier to vent on those more venerable than themselves than to really confront the powers that be. 

I have nothing against

I have nothing against additional procedure for security purposes as long as respect and privacy are still given for individuals. And I hope there will be racial concern about this issue. In Georgetown University journalism teacher and feminist Muslim reform activist Nomani believes that it is time for the United States to be pragmatic when it comes to homeland security, instead of being politically correct. Racial and spiritual profiling would handle airport security concerns in a more practical fashion, she argues in a recent Daily Beast op-ed. She believes the route the TSA has taken to maintain homeland security is inefficient.

Go for it

As long as I'm treated respectedly, I'm ok with anything the TSA does.  Actually, I don't care if they ask me to go naked.  I'm dropping the pants and walking through with a smile on my face.

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