Surplus MRAPs: Coming soon to a police force near you? (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Senior Master Sgt. George Thompson)
S. and B. Lett
Every day in America it seems there is a report of police brutality or a shooting of an unarmed civilian, often a shooting death. The typical response from a generally white public is ho-hum. Why is this?
One reason is that white people of certain socio-economic classes have no experience of, or exposure to, police aggressiveness and abuse. For these people, the police are rescuers and protectors, upholders of a system that favors them. Oh, the police may be a nuisance at times (those pesky speeding tickets or an occasional order barked out that raises hackles but causes no real harm), but overall they are seen as a needed and trusted bulwark to law and order.*
Another reason is that law enforcement and criminal justice officials successfully argue…