Relatedly, the upsurge of outrage at the police killings of unarmed black men (and at police brutality in general) reveals another crack in the foundation of normalcy. Police brutality is nothing new; what is new is that it is becoming harder to hide -- literally, due to ubiquitous video cameras and social media, and figuratively, because of the disintegration of the racial, political, and class narratives that cloaked it.
It is tempting to blame the situation on racist cops, callous judges, or opportunistic politicians. Certainly such people exist, but blaming them is a trap, a deflection of anger onto a convenient but superficial target. The article gives us a glimpse instead of a monstrous machinery of injustice: an industrialized, inhuman, nearly paralyzed legal system and courtroom culture, embedded in an equally paralyzed political system, itself beholden to deep cultural myths about human nature, criminality, and punishment. At bottom, I believe, we are seeing the crisis and imminent collapse of the ideology of Control, which in its failing days goes to new and absurd extremes in response to its own failures.
Fortunately, it isn't necessary to understand the deep causes of the horrid injustice that is becoming increasingly plain to see. The understanding will come with time. What is necessary now is to awaken the "no". That will power reforms (one good one the article mentions is to eliminate the cash bail system entirely) that will ultimately prove insufficient as our tolerance for injustice wears thinner and thinner. Our industrial system of punishment and mass incarceration is fundamentally incompatible with the dignity of each human being. Our consciousness is evolving to the point where that is no longer tolerable.
While it may seem as though indignity -- not to mention horrid injustice -- is reaching all-time highs, we might also see their heightened visibility as the beginning of a major shift. Someday, maybe sooner than we have any reason to think, we will live in a world where no one is dehumanized and everyone is treated as a full being. Is anything less tolerable to you?