Sometimes a single story has a way of standing in for everything you need to know. In the case of the up-arming, up-armoring and militarization of police forces across the country, there is such a story. Not the police, mind you, but the campus cops at Ohio State University now possess an MRAP; that is, a $500,000, 18-ton, mine-resistant, ambush-protected armored vehicle of a sort used in the war in Afghanistan and, as Hunter Stuart of the Huffington Post reported, built to withstand “ballistic arms fire, mine fields, IEDs and nuclear, biological and chemical environments.” Sounds like just the thing for bouts of binge drinking and post-football-game shenanigans.
African-Americans and white people struggled together during the civil rights era. We need that once again.
By Peter Edelman
Last week we celebrated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the greatest and most important advance in civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The week before we marked the horrible murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in Mississippi, as part of a remembrance of the 1964 Freedom Summer.
We have to remember all of it. So many American children growing up today – even college and graduate students – know nothing of it. They have probably heard of Dr. King, but that’s about it.