Dear amerika (by Tommie Carter)

Kenosha police protecting businesses during the uprising.

Imposed PDF of this article available for printing here.

It is easy for a person to cry out for revenge until they, themselves, have to promenade in the shoes of the one being murdered. I give everyone fair warning, further reading of this article will result in perceptual disturbance….

The “war on crime” really translates to a war on black and brown people as well as poor people in general. Such a profound contradiction you find in this type of society: the act of waging a “war on crime” when you create, through your chosen means of production, the conditions that create and harbor crime. And when you force these conditions on sections of people through government policy and through consequential machinations of the capitalist system, you’re essentially criminalizing whole sections of people, in this case Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans.

Snapshots of Milwaukee’s southside and northside neighborhoods.

 Blacks and Latinos are criminalized as they are segregated into purposely maintained ghettos and barrios, which lack many opportunities at a decent living. In their desperation, people are forced to get into crime, like robbing and selling drugs, drugs that the state has purposely made illegal and which the government has been exposed, time and time again, to have a hand, directly and indirectly into putting onto the streets.

It is this segregation, and the deplorable conditions, along with the nature dictated by capitalism that one must adopt to succeed in such a society, that played a major role in certain sections of black and brown people developing into the ruthless, cut-throat, money obsessed individuals you find today. This gives the repressive forces of the state an excuse to unleash all manner of violence and terrorism against the Black and Latino oppressed people.

There can be no ending of racial oppression without ending capitalism, as also, there’s no reforming the police. The police, as they have manifested in a capitalist society, are to protect and serve the interests of the state, which serves the interest of capital and the capitalist class. The police are tasked with enforcing the law, the law under capitalism having mainly to do with keeping in order—keeping in check—the people who either step out or are forced out of the formal way of doing things. They also hide or sweep up the physically visual contradictions of capitalism. Speaking here of the people that develop from poverty. This the police do ruthlessly.

The police’s hyper aggressive approach to Black and Brown people has essentially criminalized them. Yes, through racism, but also through economic policy. The limitations of the capitalist system in amerika force Black, Brown and poor people to be regarded as “loose ends to cut” as they get wrongfully blamed for certain economic calamities in society. The blame actually lies in the workings of the capitalist system itself.

But truly, when it comes down to it, the police’s violent ruthless approach to Black and Brown people is about also enforcing and establishing the dominance of white supremacy and the capitalist state. Keeping in check, through violence, terror and manipulation oppressed people, who, if they were to ever to gain a scientific political consciousness and were to unite and lead under scientific leadership could spell the beginning of the end for the capitalist/imperialist system. Knowing this, it is no wonder that there exists in amerika, a so-called “war on crime,” and the new “operation legend” which are terms that mask the genocidal intentions of the state against Black and Brown people. A slow genocide carried out by the police through its unrestrained murder of black and brown people and also their mass (“enslavement”) incarceration, prevents a lot of black and brown people from reproducing, which is also a form of genocide.

So how can one expect to reform the police under this system? The police are also a dynamic feature of the capitalistic system as they are among the instruments of its enforcement and defense.

Let’s keep this shit 1000%! The truth is, the role of the police is not to serve and protect the people, but to enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are really about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.

Congressional liberals making superficial gestures.

The “justice in policing act” is to maintain the oppressive order that the police serve, in these three ways:

  1. by trying to show that “the system works,” that its representatives are “doing something,” and that its oppressive institution can be meaningfully reformed.
  2. by working to redirect the energy of those whose craving for justice has run them smack up against the irredeemably unjust nature of the dominant system. It aims to funnel people off of the streets and into pressuring congress to enact at best small “adjustments” to the reign of police terror.
  3. by taking some small steps to rein in the most extreme and outrageous crimes of the cops…. In order to preserve their facade of “serving and protecting” the people, and to minimize incidents that could set off future mass risings.

These fake ass corrupted politicians promise a lot of things that touch a chord with people: ending choke holds and “no knock” warrants; eliminating “qualified immunity” for cops and racial profiling; demilitarizing the police. But what is the reality?

Choke holds:

The choke hold murders of George Floyd, and so many others, reveal that pigs have zero regard for the lives and dignity of their victims, and they should be banned. But banning them won’t change the nature and role of the police, they have plenty of other tools at their disposal to brutalize, degrade and kill: tasers, mace, dogs, clubs, guns.

No knock warrants:

At least 60,000 times a year, heavily armed cops bust into people’s homes, often hurling flash grenades or tear gas, killing dozens every year. What an outrage… What a revelation of the real role of the police! But contrary to claims, the justice in policing act will not eliminate this mass terror and may not even reduce it significantly. First of all, the justice in policing act bans only “no knock” warrants but still allows “quick knock” warrants. All the cops have to do is knock and shout “police” before breaking down your door, and that is okay under the justice in policing act. The justice in policing act also does not ban no knocks in all cases, only for drug raids. So pigs will just need to reword their warrants to include suspicion of a weapon on the premises, and no knock is available.

Ending militarization of police:

The justice in policing act is supposed to stop the department of defense from distributing surplus military weaponry to state and local police forces, but as human rights watch noted, it allows “armored vehicles to continue to be transferred if the secretary of defense considers it necessary.” And in any case, the department of defense has already distributed about $7.5 billion in weapons of war to 10,000 police departments, which we have seen used again and again against protestors in big cities and small towns across the united states.

Qualified immunity:

Qualified immunity for police is an outrageous doctrine established by the united states supreme court that makes it very difficult to sue cops for violating people’s civil rights even in the most outrageous cases. If the current version of justice in policing act passes the senate, it will include language that could get around this reactionary doctrine.

That would be a good thing, but is unlikely to have much impact on the level of police brutality. Even now, many civil lawsuits filed by victims of police brutality of families of those murdered by cops do get past qualified immunity. One analysis of 31 cities found they paid out three billion dollars for police brutality lawsuits over a ten year period, an average of ten million dollars per city per year. Cities clearly view these legal payouts as just an extension of their “normal” policing costs and the price they willingly pay to “protect the system” and “enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression.”

Federal supervision:

Certain elements of the justice in policing act aim to increase federal supervision of police, to promote training and policies that discourage racial profiling and reckless use of deadly force, and to allow the federal government to investigate “problematic” departments. This is basically a broadcasting of things the federal government has already done, like the “patterns and practices” investigations that Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, initiated in Louisville, KY. These investigations can lead to “consent decrees” whereby the federal government sets and tries to enforce certain standards and policies, usually in cities where extreme police brutality has led to mass protest.

Mental illness:

The prison system (DOC) and it’s subdivisions have refused to comply with existing policies regarding the treatment of mentally ill prisoners, and with the requirement of the eighth amendment regarding medical treatment for prisoners who have been committed to its custody. Currently, the DOC turns a blind eye to the needs of the mentally ill at all the prisons in amerika; and to the deplorable conditions of enslavement that are inhumane to all prisoners. No civilized society treats its mentally ill citizens with such deliberate indifference to their plight.

All prisons in amerika were built to house prisoners whom the DOC believes present the greatest threats to staff or to prisoners.

Suicide watch cages.

We have to keep this shit all the way 100% because the DOC’s deliberate indifference to the proper diagnosis and treatment of prisoners with serious mental illness has resulted in horrible consequences. Many prisoners in prisons or the county jails interminably wail, scream, and bang on the walls of their cells. Some mutilate their bodies with razors, shards of glass, sharpened rocks, writing utensils, and whatever other objects they can obtain. A number swallow nail clippers, magnets, screws, rocks, and other dangerous objects. Others carry on delusional conversations with voices they hear in their heads; oblivious to reality and to the danger that such behavior might pose to themselves and anyone who interacts with them. Still others spread feces and other human waste and body fluids throughout their cells, throw it at staff and otherwise create health hazards in the county jails and prisons. Suicide attempts are common; many have been successful. A 2020 report from Forum For Understanding Prisons just scratches the surface of these atrocities in Wisconsin prisons.

Racine county jailers.

The “Racine county jail officials” intentionally murdered two prisoners, Malcolm James and Ronquale Ditello-Scott in their custody. These mentally ill men were beseeching the guard’s for help and their pleas were ignored!

We know that the extreme isolation and the lack of adequate mental health treatment only serve to increase the risk of assaults to the staff assigned those duties.

Although some prisoners will never be released from prison, many prisoners will be released into the community when their sentences expire in the next few years. After years of confinement in isolation without proper treatment for serious mental illness, these men will have a very difficult time reentering society safely and successfully.

We seek to end years of state sanctioned torture to cause mental illness to all prisoners and to remedy the deficient mental health system by requiring the DOC and its subdivisions to honor its own policies and the constitutional rights of all prisoners by providing mental health diagnostic and treatment services.

Respectfully yours,

Tommie L. Carter

Write to Tommie:

Tommie L. Carter
Green Bay CI
P.O. Box 19033
Green Bay, WI 54307-9033

If you’re not experienced with writing to prisoners, here are some tips.

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