This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. by BAR executive editor Glen Ford “The Black Panther Party was right all along: in Black America, the police are an occupation army.” In the wake of events in Ferguson, Missouri, the Obama administration has been exposed as the biggest supplier – more like “pusher” – of military equipment to local and state police departments in the nation’s history. The president’s operatives have displayed remarkable creativity in finding ways to shovel record quantities of weapons, vehicles and gear into the hands of cops, who seem increasingly anxious to prove their killing skills. More than a year before Michael Brown was extrajudicially executed on the street at high noon, the Huffington Post’s Radley Balko described how Obama has left no rock unturned nor federal agency untapped in his quest to transform every police department into a military unit, ready in an instant to do battle with – whom? We know whom: Black people, mainly young and male, America’s public enemy number one ever since the white settler nation began running out of natives to kill. No sooner had official apartheid ended, in the Sixties, than white society demanded the imposition of what Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow – a mass Black Incarceration State capable of waging constant, preemptive counterinsurgency warfare against an entire people. The Black Panther Party was right all along: in Black America, the police are an occupation army. Obama, like his predecessors, has simply been taking care of the troops. The same goes for the Congressional Black Caucus, the vast majority of whose members voted against an amendment that would have halted Pentagon military transfers to U.S. police departments, back in the early summer. Had the Black people of Ferguson not stood up – and stayed standing – demanding justice for Michael Brown, the June 19 vote on Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson’s amendment might have remained largely unnoted. Instead, in the glare of popular outrage, four-fifths of the Caucus has been revealed as vile hypocrites and traitors who put battlefield weapons and human rights-suppressing equipment in the hands of local cops. These Treasonous 32 – 27 “Nay” votes and 5 abstentions, out of 40 – can never be forgiven, and should be denounced and shamed at every opportunity, starting with this month’s CBC Legislative Conference and celebrate-good-times-for-the-few party, in Washington. “Four-fifths of the Caucus has been revealed as vile hypocrites and traitors who put battlefield weapons and human rights-suppressing equipment in the hands of local cops.” Congressman Grayson, the white liberal, spoke with compelling insight and honesty, but failed to sway the 32 CBC miscreants. “These weapons are not being used to defeat terrorism on our streets,” he said. “Where is the terrorism on our streets? Instead, these weapons are being used to arrest barbers and to terrorize the general population. In fact, one may venture to say that the weapons are often used by a majority to terrorize a minority.” Grayson understands perfectly which group is targeted. The 27 Black “Nay” voters and five abstainers also know the truth, but rejected their duty to their constituents. Since only eight Black congresspersons voted with Grayson, it is more helpful to list their names and the five abstainers than the 27 that voted to continue militarizing the police. Ayes (8) John Conyers (MI) Donna Edwards (MD) Keith Ellison (MN) Hank Johnson (GA) Barbara Lee (CA) John Lewis (GA) Robert Scott (VA) Maxine Waters (CA) Not Voting (5) Marcia Fudge (OH) Charles Rangel (NY) Cedric Richmond (LA) Bobby Rush (IL) Bennie Thompson (MS) The five abstainers, along with the 27 “Nay” votes, represent a clear and present danger to the lives and freedoms of Black Americans. They are conscious collaborators with the Mass Black Incarceration State that dehumanizes, frames, imprisons, humiliates, tortures, maims and kills Black people for a living. One of them represents Ferguson, Missouri. Rep. William Lacy Clay has been drifting steadily to the right ever since he inherited his father’s congressional seat in St. Louis. Embarrassed at the grassroots revolt among his Black constituents, Clay pretended the June 19 vote never happened, and that he had opposed militarization of police, all along. Clay and Emanuel Cleaver, of Kansas City, another CBC supporter of police militarization, staged a meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “regarding our urgent concerns about the militarization of local law enforcement agencies through the distribution of surplus Department of Defense equipment via the 1033 Program” – the very program they had endorsed less than two months before. Clay refused to answer whether the Pentagon’s arms and equipment transfer program should be “flat ended,” but applauded President Obama for ordering a “review” of the practice. Clay feigned innocence: “I was so alarmed when I went to Ferguson and walked with the demonstrators and I saw this heavily armed police force, tactical units, pointing sniper rifles at my constituents who were there exercising their constitutional right.” As if none of this was his doing. Cleaver, one of Clay’s many Black congressional partners in prevarication, acted as if he had no idea what the 1033 program was actually up to. “Having military style weaponry moving down the main street of a middle-American town is as un-American as a coup d’état rather than an election.” Read more: http://www.blackagendareport.com/node/14414 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.