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Leaders in Glass Countries Shouldn’t Throw Stones - Page 3

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But that’s not all. Ferguson also reminds us that a byproduct of the overblown war on terror has been a steady militarization of local police forces, who’ve been using counterterrorist funding and surplus weapons programs to add firepower to local policing units. The problem, as we saw in Ferguson, is that this sort of equipment — and the tactics that come with it — can be counterproductive when dealing with volatile social situations. The militarization of local policing didn’t create racism or the sort of attitudes you see exhibited in a video like this one, but they didn’t help either. In other words, we’ve imported the “war on terror” into our own law enforcement institutions, and Ferguson is to some extent one of the consequences.

 

Ferguson also struck a blow to America’s image as the global standard-bearer for equality, human rights, and opportunity. The treatment of black Americans has long tarnished our national mythology of the “melting pot,” and with it the smug belief that America is the ideal model for the rest of the world. This latest episode reminds us that the country still does not live up to the ideals that it likes to preach to others. Just as the bungled response to Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 financial meltdown showed the world that the United States was not infallible, the Ferguson fiasco reminds others that Washington doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to deep social divisions either.



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