One commenter on my previous post about state violence makes the point that:
"America is still suffering under the Glamor of The Thug, held up as an alternative lifestyle and promoted as an easy road to big bucks. This has been going on for many years, especially here, before any of those factors of yours came in to play."
I agree. America is a society obsessed with violence. Brutality is glamorized. Case in point - New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and Police Chief Riley playing tough guys with the NOPD's weaponry.
Thugs par excellence.
Wanna see another thuggish brute making some easy bucks off the suffering of others? Here's ex-president Bush playing jet fighter back in 2003, landing aboard a nuclear powered air craft carrier of San Diego.
Here's the ex-VP thug caressing a gun.
Do we really think that the behavior of our government leaders doesn't matter? Does not their ready use of violence represent the wider culture of violence we are all a part of. To point at young black men in New Orleans as exceptionally violent or to call them "thugs" is to miss the larger point that America is a superviolent society.
The solutions have got to be political, and we've got to widen our conception of violence to include the harms that are done to working class people by the state through absence of health care, low wages, bad schools, environmental racism, etc.....