How Many Deaths Will It Take ‘Til We Know That Too Many People Have Died

There have been many theories on exactly what Bob Dylan meant when he wrote his best selling song Blowin’ in the Wind. Inspired music always has many meanings. It is historical; it is now; it is prophetic. Take this stanza:

How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

While the most likely meaning of these lyrics related to the civil rights movement, it is equally true about the increasing death toll in the “War on Drugs”. How long will we keep our heads in the sand while innocent people are murdered in their homes by those who – theoretically at least – are supposed to be “protecting” us? Please read on so that you may at least understand.

Dennis McBride, a casualty in this drug war himself, has accumulated true life horror stories of people who would be flippantly dismissed as “collateral damage“.  I sincerely hope that every person reading this will take the time to read at least a few of the tragic tales told at The Drug fLaws: Murder.

Here is just one quote from Dennis’ enormous files:

“The list of drug war victims goes on and on. I am talking about kids, old ladies, completely innocent people, shot and killed not by gangs, not by robbers or drug dealers, not by schoolyard shooters or kids playing with guns, but by those sworn to protect our lives.”~ Sheriff Bill Masters

We as a society have allowed these travesties to become increasingly common. Many encourage such behavior because they have been convinced that there are only two kinds of people: the good and the bad. As soon as someone else does anything society has decided to label as “bad” many believe they deserve whatever they get.

There are myriad problems with this. Let’s start with the most obvious, though. Many of the people being murdered by law enforcement are NOT the “bad” people. They were totally and completely innocent!

If you think this is rare visit this page of Drug War Victims. Among them are an 8 year old girl, a Baptist Missionary and her 7 month old daughter, an 84 yo bedridden women sick with pneumonia, and countless individuals who were shot in their homes when police raided the wrong address!

Not enough yet? Do a search for the phrase “murdered by law enforcement” (with the quotes around it). A search tonight on Google returns 402 results that contain that specific phrase in them. While some of those murdered may not be innocent many were. And even those that were guilty might have done something minor. Death should not be their sentence.

Amnesty International says Police Brutality in the U.S. is “Systematic and Widespread”. In their 1998 report Rights for All they said:

“There is a widespread and persistent problem of police brutality across the USA. Thousands of individual complaints about police abuse are reported each year and local authorities pay out millions of dollars to victims in damages after lawsuits. Police officers have beaten and shot unresisting suspects; they have misused batons, chemical sprays and electro-shock weapons; they have injured or killed people by placing them in dangerous restraint holds.”

Ten years later and this abuse is more widespread and escalating. Searching YouTube for +”police” +”excessive force” turns up 238 videos. People’s doors are being broken down by armed, masked adrenaline-fed authorities who abuse and arrest innocent people who are often not charged. If you think YOUR door can’t be next you didn’t read the stories at The Drug fLaws: Murder.

This has been happening for years – actually decades. Even though we’ve seen it all on television our entire lives we have done nothing to stop it so it is getting worse and worse. If you think these incidents embarrass the authorities you’re not paying attention. They brag about what is happening on television shows all the time. Watch the news, or any Cops show, or many movies and you’ll see examples like these:

  • A woman tazed even though she pulled over promptly and complied with every order. Her “crime”? Her drivers’ license had expired. She had NO criminal history – NONE! And they put this on television so they obviously want us to know about it.
  • Cooperative citizens being handled roughly or even violently
  • Cars being stopped and searched without cause

Sometimes the comments on articles and blogs make the best reading. Consider this quote deep in the comments on the tazing incident during John Kerry’s speech at the University of Florida: “The most striking thing was that the police officers responded to our righteous indignation by asserting that they “are not operating under the constitution” anymore, rather “under Homeland Security.”

The point of this post is that we simply must realize that although we never really had freedom, the average American has a lot less liberty now than any but slaves have ever had in the history of the United States of America. We have always only had the Illusion of Freedom and even that is slipping away.

As Chief Joseph said, “this country, this government, was born and founded on violence.” The main difference today is that white “middle class” America is now being treated by Law Enforcement the same way that minorities have always been treated – guilty until proven innocent.

ADDITIONAL READING on CIVIL RIGHTS:

ADDITIONAL READING on The War On Drugs:

FAMOUS INCIDENTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT VIOLENCE:

FAMOUS LAW BREAKERS – They were arrested so they MUST be “bad“, right? They wanted the liberty we supposedly have in the United States. Many were killed for asking.

  • Mahatma Gandhi – Nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize, Gandhi was repeatedly jailed. More on Gandhi.
  • Nelson Mandella – America is asleep to our own trials. Read the first paragraph and if you don’t see America in it you are in denial of the truth. That is EXACTLY how it was in the American south and although it is no longer “legal” some of it persists to this day.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King – The United States government has mandated MLK Boulevards and MLK Holiday for this man who had the courage to live – and die – for the liberty he had to protest to obtain.
  • Joan Baez – Folk singer repeatedly arrested for taking part in peaceful protests

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES about BOB DYLAN:

NOTE: If you see ads or Video Ads in this blog I did NOT put them there. Apparently WordPress.com monetizes free blogs’ content and keeps the money? I do NOT have any control over what ads appear.

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