Over the past six days, the nation has begun to notice an awful series of events in Ferguson, Mo.: The police killing of an unarmed 18-year-old, followed by mass protests in African-American neighborhoods, followed by what looks suspiciously like a military action.
From England, former WW reporter Corey Pein has also been watching. What he sees reminds him of Red Dawn.
You may remember Pein from his reporting on U.S. Defense Department drones in Portland, or his story on the long-neglected eastern neighborhoods of this city.
These days, he's writing from Great Britain for politics and culture magazine The Baffler. In an essay posted today, Pein says the images of tanks rolling past McDonald's franchises recalls the most paranoid fantasies of libertarians and militiamen—commie invasions, a New World Order. But the small-government crowd isn't decrying the use of state force.
"Libertarians are happy to talk about police militarization," Pein writes, "but they’d prefer not to talk about institutional racism, because racism is a problem for which they have no answers, and when the subject comes up, their shoes tend to get messy."
He raises another question: Where's the gun-rights lobby? Pein says the answer is obvious.
Another thing I remember about the gun nuts back home: Race war was never far from their minds, and probably more discernible to them than the ludicrous prospect of a United Nations invasion. It’s clear now: those Second Civil War fantasies were all a projection.
It’s not the federal government but the local police department that has come to pacify the populace and nullify certain inconvenient Constitutional guarantees. It’s not internationalist coastal elites, but authority-worshipping middle Americans who are marching down the streets with rifles in hand. Friends, neighbors, patriots. “Good people,” [National Rifle Association president Wayne] LaPierre calls them, along with Rand Paul. When you see them coming, these good people bearing arms, don’t shoot—run.