Police Vs African Americans – Divide & Conquer Policy

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When I hear friends and family members arguing and taking sides between cops and African Americans who live in poverty-stricken cities, it sickens me to the core. One thing that I have learned very clearly: cops and inner-city African Americans have much more in common with each other than they have in common with the people who created the conditions in which they both toil. We are all suffering under the same corrupt system. Let’s not let divide and conquer policies and propaganda destroy us.

The rioting in Baltimore in response to the death of Freddie Gray, an African American man who died while in police custody, is the latest incident in a series of tragic events that are deeply dividing Americans along racial lines. Sadly, this is all playing out in a very predictable way. As I wrote last year prior to the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri: “Based on existing evidence and key indicators, it is logical to think that increasing desperation within large segments of the population will soon lead to chaos and riots. Factor in the militarized police force, which will escalate violence and oppression, and this highly probable scenario will tear our nation apart. We are at a critical crossroad.”

In the grand scheme of things, this is not about any particular instance of police brutality or whether a tragic death happened through proper police procedure or not, there are much deeper societal dynamics at play. What is playing out on the streets is a byproduct of an economic and political system that has been rigged against hardworking Americans and poor people who have been thrown overboard.

Ultimately, this is about institutionalized corruption and the death of representative government.

When I hear friends and family members arguing and taking sides between cops and African Americans who live in poverty-stricken cities, it sickens me to the core. I know how these divide and conquer propaganda games play out. We all lose. We are propagandized to fear each other and fight amongst ourselves, while the most powerful 0.01% of the population exploits us all and destroys our future.

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We are trapped in a vicious cycle: the harder the economic times get, the more stress, frustration, anger and fear grow. Hate and fear are on sale 24/7; just turn on your TV or radio, read online news or your newspaper and feel the rage and anxiety build within.

Here’s what you won’t hear on the news: we have an unprecedented abundance of wealth in this country. We have at least $100 trillion in wealth. That’s enough to make every family in this country millionaires.

However, more than half of that wealth is consolidated in the hands of the wealthiest families. Due to corruption, wealth has become consolidated to the point where the richest 400 Americans now have as much wealth as 200 million Americans. A society with inequality this severe is highly unstable and will eventually destroy itself, and the richest 0.01% knows that, which brings me to some very important points that I pray everyone can at least consider…

Just as I want my African American and activist friends to understand that most cops are good people working hard under difficult conditions, I also want my middle-class and wealthy white friends to know that institutional racism is still a very serious problem. In addition to blatant systemic racism, institutionalized classism is destroying our society.

The 0.01% mega-wealthy people who own and run this country know that inequality, economic insecurity and poverty are steadily breaking down society. Due to technological advancements, they have consolidated wealth and resources to the point where there are now only enough full-time jobs for half the working-age population, and half of those jobs pay under $35k per year. At the same time, the cost of living continues to skyrocket. Economic and political policy has now mathematically eliminated 75% of the population from living a life without severe debt and crippling poverty. As a direct result, poor people living in exploited poverty-stricken inner-cities throughout America are the first to experience the devastating effects of the death of representative government.

Instead of addressing an obvious and predictable issue through rational policy, guided by the compassion and fairness that made this country a global leader, both the Democratic and Republican parties have chosen a feudalistic path driven by shortsighted greed. That is one of the reasons why we are seeing the militarization of local police forces, especially in cities with high poverty rates. Laws that criminalize poverty are quickly spreading throughout the country. Billions of tax dollars have been diverted from public housing programs and have been redirected into building prisons.

The United States currently has the largest prison population in the world. On a per capita basis, the US is now much worse than the darkest days of the Soviet gulags. Over 70% of the prison population is “non-violent offenders with no history of violence.” In fact, physical slavery still exists. Prison “labor” is now a booming multi-billion dollar annual business. According to statistics from the US Bureau of Criminal Statistics, there are more “African-American men under state and federal criminal justice supervision” than there were slaves in 1850. In fact, there are twice as many now as there were in 1850.

The growth rate for private for-profit prisons has been shocking, “between 1990 and 2010 the number of privately operated prisons in the US increased 1600%.” The shortsightedness of this system and the vicious cycle of crime and punishment it creates within society have been clearly demonstrated. For instance, “All 17 states that cut their imprisonment rates over the past decade also experienced a decline in crime rates.”

After intense investigations into political and economic issues, one thing that I have learned very clearly: cops and inner city African Americans have much more in common with each other than they have in common with the people who created the conditions in which they both toil. To varying degrees of intensity, we are all suffering under the same corrupt system. So let’s show love, compassion and respect for each other. Let’s not let divide and conquer policies and propaganda destroy us.

MLK-other-america-riots-david-degrawThink before you emotionally and mindlessly react. Do some research and talk to people you disagree with; rationally listen to what they say. Once you do that, you will realize that you actually have much more in common with each other than you originally thought. Then, you will realize that there are much deeper forces at play. Here’s the main point and a harsh truth that we urgently need to understand: The people who control the Republican and Democratic parties don’t give a fuck about us! When I say that, I can’t be harsh and bold enough. Until you acknowledge that both political parties are working against hardworking Americans, and personally do something about it, the freedom, peace and happiness that you want for your family will be fleeting.

The good news is that we can change things and evolve society for the benefit of all. We are very fortunate to live in an unprecedentedly wealthy and technologically advanced society. We can completely eliminate poverty and economic insecurity. In fact, it costs society more to have poverty than it would cost to eliminate it. By that, I mean the increased costs in health care, crime, prisons, armed conflict, government bureaucracy, administrative costs, etc.. In other words, it costs society more to deal with the consequences and negative effects of poverty, than it would cost to eliminate poverty. This is another example or the shortsightedness and insanity of the present system.

If the economic and political system wasn’t overrun with corruption, based on the standards set when our nation was at its height in power, from the 1950s – 1970s, we can now all work half the amount of hours than we currently do, and make almost twice as much as we currently make working full-time. Given the exponential growth in production and overall wealth, you should now be making more than three times as much as you currently make. Our conditioned political apathy has destroyed that reality.

We are unnecessarily rat racing toward ruin… economically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. We are driven into severe debt by medical bills, by the cost of education, by the cost of housing, by the cost of the necessities of life. We are forced to pay taxes into an incredibly corrupt tax system. Instead of our tax dollars being used to enhance our communities and benefit overall society, our tax money is used for war, bailouts and many other destructive programs that further enslave us.

The bottom line: in a technologically advanced society with at least $100 trillion in wealth, it is a crime against humanity to have these conditions.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We have been trapped inside a propaganda-induced delusion. We are mentally and economically enslaved. To paraphrase Malcolm X, we’ve been bamboozled and led astray, while the 0.01% runs amok. Snap out of it people! Before it’s too late, let’s evolve society and ensure that our future and our children’s future is a healthy and peaceful one. Love and compassion will set us free. That may sound like spiritual hippie talk, but deep down, below the flood of fear-based divide and conquer propaganda, you know it is true.

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This post includes adapted excerpts from my new book, FREEDOM IN A TIME OF MENTAL SLAVERY. Read an extended excerpt here.

10 Comments

  1. Strong, David; thank you!

    I teach Advanced Placement Macroeconomics. I fully endorse David DeGraw’s numbers and analysis as among the most accurate available anywhere, and in stark contrast to the “Emperor’s New Clothes” lies of US “leaders” in government, corporate media, and the economic “data” they allege.

    If helpful to your learning, please explore the economics history and context I present to my students for real-world critical thinking skills for US Government and Economics classes: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/teaching-critical-thinking-high-school-students-1-6.html

  2. David, How is it possible that your work doesn’t get a bazillion shares? You played a key role in starting a fucking global uprising and changed political / economic discourse more than anyone alive. You even friends with celebs and influential people! Has truth become so far removed from society that people don’t even know it when they hear it? Are social media sites suppressing your content? Are you promoting it? Why doesn’t every Occupy outlet post your work? Leaderless movements are cool, but silencing powerful work like this to avoid the appearance of leadership is BULLSHIT. Seriously, WTF man! Your work is vital, we need to spread the word!!!!!!!

  3. Fear Leads to the darkside and by creating artificial scarcity the masses are easily controlled. The only way to stop this cycle is to give. Giving creates abundance and abundance is the way of light. We are creators what we create either improves society or hinders it’s ability to grow. To create abundance in each other’s life is a skill few possess because it has not been taught. If you are here then keep following this path and when the gift of light is ready it will be given unto you. From my personal stand point change is coming, ask your self if you are truly ready.

    • Timekeeper,

      I would like to address your point specifically with the following:
      First a quote:

      “I am absolutely convinced that no amount of wealth in the world can help humanity move forward–even in the hands of the most devoted worker. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus, or Ghandi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie?”
      ~Albert Einstein

      I now know beyond any doubt whatsoever that, as Balzac wrote, “Behind every great fortune, there is CRIME.”

      These cretinous trillionaire and billionaire “ people” [criminals] should be tarred, feathered, paraded around in dunce caps and handcuffs, and then summarily and unceremoniously EXECUTED in a public square.

      Indeed it is these wealthy CRETINS and their cohorts who are the true dregs of society; They offer nothing at all of value; Rather they suck away at society and everyone that crosses their vile, reprehensible paths, right along with their counterparts in our government, the corporate whores. Idiotic arrogance, abhorrent racism, unforgivable stupidity, base covetousness, inexplicable greed is all they possess. Let them go about their brainless, despicable behavior, deluding themselves in the face of all odds, all the while destroying every one in their paths and indeed destroying the entire world itself.

      The likes of these cretins, the wealthy whoremasters and their counterparts, the corporate whores, know nothing at all. In FACT, they are reptilian; Their small amygdala-minds are thoroughly undeveloped, totally unenlightened. So laugh directly AT them… Then smack ‘em hard in the mouth and tax ‘em at 1,000%.

      BUT WAIT!! The wealthy Cretins are actually hilarious and amusing to watch carefully…And before you know it:

      Why, they are simply Grotesque!! Hideous little Idiot-caricatures…Some kind of brainless, rapacious, spineless and puffy little dunces, pushing wildly and flailing uncontrollably to get to the front of the slop-trough so that they too can roll around in their own FILTH and SPOILS. Let them have it.

      So…Why is it that I laugh?
      Because the Cretins are so fucking Stupid that it is INSANE!!

      So!! Let ‘em have ALL their filthy lucre;
      Watch em roll around in it for a while…

      Until they can all wipe their asses with it…
      And keep laughing heartily, right in their blank faces, right into their blind eyes.
      Amuse yourselves at their expense.

      So, my advice for y’all is this and call it a rule of thumb:

      As the ship goes down, Rise above it all, always and forever. Let the besotted fools bicker, rant and rave and let them have their pathetic little power plays and spoilt-idiot games, all while we enjoy our own rides, always far above THAT and THEM.

      Transcend; Not just sometimes, but ALWAYS.

      NEVER give UP and NEVER give IN.

      Now, feel totally free to speak your truth whenever you feel like doing so; Any where, any time.

      So, before our fleeting lives finally end, let us bask in the absurd. And let us share everything, every bit of any wealth before we die; Let’s share it with those whom we know need it.

      YES!!! SHARE!!! SHARE whatever good fortune is bestowed upon you, whether small or large, SHARE it ALL with others.

      Best Regards,

      CM

  4. I first heard of David DeGraw on RT shows Keiser Report and Lee Camp’s Redacted Tonight. Truly inspiring writing and thinking, thank you David!
    As a young Scotsman, I was politically awakened by my mother Patty & her dad, my Papa Johnnie. In those far-away times, politics in the UK was simple: the only good Tory (Conservative) was a dead Tory, so vote Labour, the worker’s party.
    Decades later, the Labour & Tory parties have become like the Republican/Democrats in the US. Corruptly identical.
    In the 20th century, the concept of “the cream of society” model suggested that the best rose to the top; visualise a pint of milk, cream floating on top but nutrient circulated through the whole bottle. Modern times are more like a pond experiencing “the Spring bloom” of algae floating green and well-fed on top while blocking the rest of the pond’s access to sunlight, nutrition and life-support. Trickle-down economics in nature, “green in slime and ooze”.
    The parasitic dregs of the pondal “society” now float on top, the scum.
    Stir up the pond, David!
    John

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