Now that Roe V. Wade has been officially struck down, we need to have a true discussion about the constitution. The truth, as much as many don’t want to admit it, is that the six conservative Supreme Court justices are faithfully following the intent of the so-called founding fathers. As a lawyer, coming to this reality has crushed my spirit. Still, it’s better to acknowledge and work to overcome the truth than it is to continue hoping for a fantasy America that was designed to never exist.
The verdict for this episode is: we must strike at capitalism first.
Hello, and welcome to Jonathan’s Verdicts. I’m Jonathan Simeone
The title of this episode is: capitalism needs brutal policing.
The verdict for this episode is:
wee must strike at capitalism first.
As always, I don’t edit these podcast episodes, and I don’t have a script.
They are just a chance for me to talk about whatever is on my mind.
We will soon, or already do have more police on the streets than we did the day George Floyd was murdered.
The months of nationwide protests did not result in the defunding of police.
They did not result in abolishing police.
They did not even result in any meaningful police reform. Sadly, they accomplished nothing.
And now we are at a point where in response to the protesting
and in response to escalated violence
many communities have more police on the streets than they did the day Mr Floyd was murdered.
And the sad part of this is it was all very predictable.
And the reason is very simple:
the biggest driver of crime,
as anyone who thinks about this stuff
honestly and intelligently knows, is desperation and lack of opportunity.
People are desperate.
People are hungry.
People are being evicted. Record numbers of people are relying on food banks for meals.
Sure, there will always be crime legitimate, horrific crime.
But the truth is that most crime would be eliminated if every person had a decent place to live, a decent income, felt like they truly had opportunity to advance in life, and that their children had fair, equitable opportunity to advance in life.
But capitalism is diametrically opposed to equity and equality. Capitalism cannot survive without people to exploit. Capitalism cannot survive without cultural division. So capitalism needs brutal policing.
Because the truth is capitalism can only deter and punish.
It cannot provide.
And so, when some communities did remove a fraction of money from the police,
without a real effort to invest in community,
without an effort to provide the American people the basic necessities of life,
there was always going to be an increase in crime.
The capitalist class was always going to use that increase in crime to scare people, to foment division,
and to further indoctrinate racism.
And yes, to hire more police
You see, we can’t defund police, we can’t abolish the current form of policing without actually investing in communities and providing opportunities. Capitalism will not allow for those things. This country will never do those things.
Capitalism needs brutal policing.
As a result, America now has more police and nothing has been done to rein in the racism and the brutality that are hallmarks of policing.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan’s Verdicts. I very much appreciate your support.
Erwin Chemerinsky’s Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights is an important and upsetting read. Chemerinsky, a constitutional lawyer and professor, walks us through decades of shockingly bad sometimes overtly racist rulings made by the Supreme Court that have served to help create our current police state.
Yesterday, I read about the contaminated drinking water injuring and killing the people of Benton Harbor, Michigan. So many of the factors plaguing Benton Harbor are familiar to us.
Robert Peterson’s Only the Ball was White is a must read for anyone interested in baseball and the negro leagues.
Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is the best book I have read about American history. While it’s not perfect, I love the way Zinn acknowledges his own biases and attempts to explain a much accurate version of American history than is almost ever shared.
The verdict for this episode is: unity will not result in change.
In this episode, I discuss how Biden’s focus on unity is promoting the status quo, refusing to change, and upholding systemic oppression.
More than a decade ago, a good friend recommended The Quiet Game by Greg Iles. She informed me I would enjoy the history and characters in the story.
A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for a new fiction series to begin as a break from politics. I saw The Quiet Game on a list and was reminded of my friend’s long-forgotten recommendation. Realizing The Quiet Game had become the Penn Cage series, I gave it a shot.
Less than two weeks later, I’m in the middle of the fourth book in the series.
Greg Grandin’s Fordlandia is reported to describe the rise and fall of Henry Ford’s Brazilian rubber plantation. In reality, Fordlandia is another striking example of the destruction and exploitation brought by capitalism.
On January 6, 1941, FDR gave his Four Freedoms speech. While the speech would ultimately serve as the basis for the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations, the speech’s historical context tells pieces of the story regularly not discussed.