Lew Blank tells some hard truths. Milwaukee and Madison feature heavily.
In the mid-1960s, Karl E. and Alma F. Taeuber wrote a ground-breaking classic on racial segregation, a defect of American society that will not dissipate.
Not much has changed since 1965.
Intimately related to segregation are the generations of politicians (of the Republican and Democratic parties) who have taken this deplorable reality, hyper-segregated swaths of our fellows, and created the police-prosecutor-prison state.
Cops are not the reflective, lessons-learned, continuous-quality-improvement type. Prosecutors are worse.
As innocents get caught up in this dynamic, few notice.
Amusing when we read news reports of police acting like occupying armies amid reports of shock.
Worse when innocents are thrown in prison, and police and prosecutors refuse corrective action, disregarding the cause of justice and truth. Former Madison Police chief David Couper is one, passing himself off as a reformist today. Couper would have made a good German in the 1930s,
Police are an occupying army—a corrupt, anti-social, and dangerous element.
"We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear - only a common desire to retreat from each other - only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force," said RFK on April 5, 1968.
A common effort?
Absent a radical new project on the role of the police and an evaluation of the structures of our society, the work of the Taeubers, RFK, King and millions of Americans will be lost in history.