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I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but earth is still going round the sun, and neither the dictators nor the bureaucrats, deeply as they disapprove of the process, are able to prevent it.
As these discussions have unfolded, I have repeatedly seen that – although the concerns we are focused on today may be particularly acute in Ferguson – they are not confined to any one city, state, or geographic region. They implicate questions about fairness and trust that are national in scope. And they point not to insurmountable divides between people of different perspectives, but to the shared values – and the common desire for peace, for security, and for public safety – that binds together police as well as protestors.
The Empire was traditionally run by a bureaucracy and a gentry, after 1880 reinforced by a political-police organization. This political policing was a Russian invention; Russia was the first country to have two police systems, one to protect the state from its citizens, and the other to protect the citizens from each other. Subsequently, this dual structure became a fundamental feature of totalitarian states.
He was the child of immigrants. When he was in the sixth grade, his father was killed in an industrial accident in New York. Because he was the oldest, he had to drop out of school so that he could go to work to support his mom and younger siblings. He could never afford to return to school, but when he was old enough, he joined the Yonkers, New York, Police Department.
Sometimes I hear people saying nothing has changed, but for someone to grow up the way I grew up in the cotton fields of Alabama to now be serving in the United States Congress makes we want to tell them come and walk in my shoes. Come walk in the shoes of those who were attacked by police dogs, fire hoses and nightsticks, arrested, and taken to jail.
We regarded opium as a godsend. It did not develop into an illicit trade, though. There was no legal prohibition, no police running around trying to suppress drugs, driving up the price artificially, and no marketing system. There were no distant markets to send it to because shipping anything was slow at best and often unreliable, and travel was something you just didn't do anymore. Anybody could grow their own poppies or buy raw opium paste from one of the growers. Farmers made more money growing raspberries or asparagus. They grew poppies as a public service. A few people took to smoking opium, but those with an extremely apathetic attitude toward survival tended not to last long in the new disposition of things.
I hasten to add that I had already concluded that the 'bad apple' theory was a comforting self-delusion. Police forces throughout Australia only started to come to grips with systemic corruption when they came to the same realisation. Cultural problems are just that; they are systemic and ingrained, not the work of a few rogues.
We are changing the law and I am personally working on it to bring 16-year-olds into the purview. According to the police, 50 per cent of the crimes are committed by 16-year-olds who know the Juvenile Justice Act. But now for premeditated murder, rape, if we bring them into the purview of the adult world, then it will scare them.