Shakedown in Yankeeland

ANALYSIS

American shakedown: Police won’t charge you, but they’ll grab your money

U.S. police are operating a co-ordinated scheme to seize as much of the public’s cash as they can

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: Sep 11, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 11, 2014 5:00 AM ET

I know I shouldn’t be gobsmacked, but I am

I grew up in the States, and, yes, back in the day  this is the sort of thing one expected from the Southern States, where everybody (to those of us on the West Coast) was a hillbilly slacker, the cops were corrupt and they were the worst sort of racists, to boot…of course, like all stereotypes, some of those things were true…the ’60’s  proved that to anyone who watched the news on TV…

Movies like “Easy Rider” helped to shore up that image,  and the Civil Rights movement played out a  terrible injustice that was being perpetrated by Southerners against African Americans…

But this?  American cops turned into   highwaymen, and not just in the South? Yes, it is hard for me to believe that things have disintegrated to this point, but then, from everything I’ve seen or read, I should not even be remotely bemused…

There was a great article  in the Guardian, an interview with Sam Sheperd, the actor, director and writer, who said that he thought that America was inevitably fading away, corrupt from within, with an irredeemable  cultural  slide into oblivion…I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and I sadly have to agree..

The last time I visited the States was in 2002, got stopped and searched several times in the airports on the way down the coast to visit my parents..and I am a white, redhaired female..I would be the only one pulled out of a passenger lineup that included people of South Asian or Arabic background, etc…this kept happening, and I was bewildered, although, this close to 911, in an airport bristling with  soldiers in camo with big semiautomatics slung over their soldiers, looking everywhere at once, I felt like I was caught up in a 3rd World revolution.  But I put it down to my being a ‘foreigner’ though it had never happened before, in all the years I had flown back and forth..

On the trip back, same experience, and I decided then and there to never go back until Bush was out of office, if then…still haven’t returned..and now this.

My mother is still alive,  she is almost 90, and I would like to see her before one of us goes, but  unless I fly, which I can hardly afford,  doubt if it will happen.. I think I have at least an inkling now of what it must be like to be from a country that is unsafe to return to, although you might want to, for a visit…

No, shouldn’t be surprised, but, sadly, I am…

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One Response to Shakedown in Yankeeland

  1. Sarah Stillman wrote a really eye-opening piece about this in The New Yorker a year ago. One couple was threatened by the local DA with losing custody of their children even though they hadn’t committed even so much as a traffic offence.
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/08/12/taken

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