What a Hell of a Shame, America
The recent events in Ferguson, MO brought to the fore the increasing concerns among Americans regarding this ever-growing militarization of our local police forces. All those media images of large men geared up for full combat and wearing masks to conceal any possible identity of their Kevlar helmeted heads, stirred some very deep feelings all over America, making us ask a very important question, “Why do our local police now look like soldiers?”
I wrote about that here yesterday, questioning the necessity for local police to carry out their duties in the community while wearing masks. As in other situations where I have questioned this militarizing trend of local law enforcement, I got some blowback from those who serve now in that long blue line sworn to protect us. I was subtlety accused of cowardice at the military website where I cross-post my opinion pieces, This Ain’t Hell, because there I post with the username Poetrooper. (Those of you who have read my rants for the past decade may be aware that I also have written a number of very lame and raw pro-military poems and I am also a former Army NCO in various paratrooper units, thus Poetrooper.)
So, for those of you in the law enforcement community who wish to accuse me of cowardice in hiding behind a pseudonym, let it be known that Poetrooper and Russ Vaughn, who has been posting here at American Thinker for a decade now, are one and the same.
Now let’s get back to your black masks.
Like a whole lot of other Americans out there, I have a huge problem with local police departments in America confronting protesting citizens with armored vehicles and armored shield-wielding phalanxes of hard-helmeted, body-armored, and worst of all, masked, troops, even if those citizens they are confronting are unquestionably criminal opportunists and looters. And make no mistake about it, if you roll up on the scene in armored vehicles and you are sporting full combat gear from Kevlar helmets and vests down to those cool desert boots, with all those other necessary military accouterments between your boots and your helmet peaks, you are no longer perceived as police, by those you are sworn to serve, you have become those self-same troops you seek to emulate, which poses the question, are you going to respond to me in a hostile manner for pointing out the obvious?
There is a growing divide between the American people and those hired to preserve their peace; I believe, like most Americans, that we want to see that untenable situation end. What happened to that partnership we once had with our local police where we the people had no fear of picking up the phone and reporting wrongdoing? Where the hell has that bond between communities and their local police departments disappeared to?
Here’s my message, my plea to local police departments: We want you back; we want that friendly wave from the squad car as it passes, and the smiling nod of recognition, a comforting, authoritative affirmation that all is well in our small world, not that cold, surly, hostile stare of suspicion that conveys the message that we are all guilty of some infraction, and just waiting to be apprehended
I kinda feel like that little kid, Brandon de Wilde, calling out for Shane as he rides away; but in the reel that runs in my mind now, when Alan Ladd turns his horse around and rides back, he’s wearing a black mask.
What a hell of a shame, America...