The Strange Realm ‘Twixt Law and Justice

Detail of frame from 'Racist E-Z Cash', animation by Mark Fiore, 13 March 2015, via Daily Kos.

While it is generally considered unwise to sound as if I am joking about such grave matters―

Now that the Department of Justice report on Ferguson has been released, the veil has been lifted on a corrupt system that bled that town’s African-American citizens of their income, rights and freedom. Ferguson’s Municipal Court had become a criminal enterprise bent on increasing revenue by bleeding citizens dry.

The racist jokes and comments forwarded by city officials are the tip of the iceberg in this DOJ report. Though that sort of racism is abhorrent, extorting money under threat of additional fees, fines and jail time is what really boggles my mind. Funny how problems arise when you’ve got a judge who is also a prosecutor and defense attorney, all at the same time. (Not to mention the assorted co-conspirators who seem to be straight out of Idiot Racist Central Casting.)

Sure, Ferguson is a mess, but what is particularly tragic is that a system of debtors’ prisons festers nationwide. And while not every city or town robs citizens at the barrel of a (police) gun, racial disparities in the criminal justice system provide fertile ground for the abuses seen in Ferguson.

Mark Fiore’s post for Daily Kos is especially helpful, because we all know a few people who just cannot be bothered to comprehend those paragraphs, and in this case the editorial animator has been cool enough to provide a cartoon to explain it. And it even moves and talks. Just watch and listen.

So pass it along. Every little bit helps. Because this really is an example of the vast difference that can arise ‘twixt law and justice.

____________________

Fiore, Mark. “Racist EZ-Cash”. Daily Kos. 13 March 2015.

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