The city of Anaheim in Southern California has seen its share of police brutality and political unrest in the past. On February 21st, a 13-year-old boy was the latest victim of police entitlement and violence. It seems no matter what your age, if you are person of color, you are seen as a threat.
The off-duty police officer dragged the child, Christian Dorscht, across his front yard after Christian had come to the aid of a female friend whom the cop had referred to as a “c*nt” after the girl had supposedly stepped on his yard. Some of Christian’s friends from school had gathered by now, watching the altercation. The cop pulled out a gun and fired into the crowd of schoolchildren.
A group of kids with backpacks. What a threat, right?
Though extreme in its own right, this situation indicates a larger problem under the recently-arisen Trump regime: the emboldening of police under a leader who values cop lives above the lives of those they seek to subvert and control.
We have lived under a police state for longer than most would care to admit, and many do not care to open their eyes to the reality of it at all. Police have long been agents of the state, boots on the ground for the rich to maintain control and restrict any possible outcry or resistance by those ground under the heel of their oppressors. Police are upholders of inequality and wielders of the guns of the State.
President Donald Trump is nothing if not an advocate for the continuing of oppression; since his very first days in office, he has enacted many an executive order and task legalizing and increasing discrimination towards Muslims, the LGBT community, begun dismantling reproductive rights, moved against Native Americans with the quick and brutal destruction of the Standing Rock protests, and begun deporting undocumented immigrants en masse.
Can things get much worse? Oh yes. Yes they can.
With Trump’s ascendance to power, the fascist, right-wing population has become inspired. No longer do they feel they are to be held accountable for the loud-mouthing of their bigoted, violent, murderous views. Hand in hand with this rise in right-wing energy is the rise of the police state, and the growth of their power.
Trump’s deceptively named “law and order” policies are, in truth, just another layer added to the pile of orders that legalize and enforce more oppression.
One of the policies is to establish a “Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety”, which focuses primarily on “illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime”. Findings are reported annually to Trump himself. A hard-line approach towards immigration was the platform that Trump built his presidency on, and the primary reason white supremacists all over the country were drawn to him. In the racist State we exist under, those that suffer the brunt of drug laws and crime laws in general are poor people of color. American prisons are populated with many people of color who have been victimized under these laws and incarcerated in a calculated approach to continue modern slavery.
Next, a concerted and vocal effort is being made through Trump’s “law and order” tasks to protect police and remove them even further from any sense of accountability, allowing them to further carry out their oppressive agenda. This task moves to ensure that police are protected enough from “anti-police crime” as well as creating greater penalties towards those who might commit crimes towards police. The truth of this measure is this: cops are under no great danger from civilians. In fact, the safety of the police occupation is higher than it has been in years. These motions are not being made to protect police from some imminent threat, but rather, to allow them more leeway in removing, silencing, and persecuting those that might stand up against police brutality and the injustice at the hands of cops enacted daily on the working class and the disenfranchised.
Already, police around the country are reveling in the new power granted to them by their white supremacist leader. The NRA have declared themselves the leaders in the opposition to the “anti-Trump movement”, and these two groups are very closely connected, along with right-wingers all over the country.
What we are seeing is just the beginning of a new rise to power for the police state of the United States of America. As with the rise of fascism in the past, each measure taken by Trump and right-wingers to “protect” and empower police will be a bit more than the last one, moving us from the pot into the fire with care and precision in hopes that we will not fight back.
We cannot allow this to happen.
New laws enacted across the country are making it more and more difficult for protesters and bystanders to record the actions of police officers and hold them accountable. It can be almost unthinkably dangerous to step in the way of a cop while they are in the process of enacting their brutality on those they think they can get away with hurting. Despite these obvious dangers, those of us who can absolutely must be willing to put ourselves on the line to stop it. In the macro sense, our voices must be heard to be in loud, constant opposition to the measures being taken by Trump and his regime.
Fight back. Never stop fighting. They don’t want you to realize your power, the depth of potential your resistance holds, the fear they have that we may one day unite and rise against them. And we will; we absolutely will.