Grand Jury Decisions in Deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner Expose Reality of Capitalism
BY MARTIN SAYLES and ROBIN WAKIPAJAN | DECEMBER 8, 2014
NEW YORK, N.Y., December 7 — As we go to press, mass protests continue across the country in response to grand jury decisions that have cleared the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City.
On Nov. 24, a St. Louis County grand jury returned a “no true bill” (a legal term for no charges) against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who shot and killed Brown while he stood with his hands in the air. Nine days later, on Dec. 3, a Staten Island grand jury handed down its own “no true bill” in the case of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who applied a chokehold on Garner, provoking a heart attack.
1. The question of the impact that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, has had on the political landscape is one that is, at once, obvious and shadowy. On the one hand, the latent shadow of the attacks continues to hang over the collective political conscious of the American public, regardless of class, and distorts the body politic by acting as an intellectual singularity, siphoning off more nuanced and thoughtful analysis of the current political situation and trapping it in a black hole of stock phrases, sound bites and empty patriotic slogans. The term “9/11” has itself become a universal mantra by the exploiting and oppressing classes; it is used to stop or alter the course of discussion into “appropriate” channels — “appropriate,” that is, for those ruling classes. Likewise, “inappropriate” discussions are relegated to the fringes of political discourse, where they can be easily dismissed or, when necessary, held up for scorn.