Horror fiction, horror literature and also horror fantasy is a genre of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten, scare, or startle its readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror.
– Horror fiction, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia(Link)
‘Cause the streets are my stage, and terrors my show…
Often, when many of us think of the word,”horror”, it is associated with the genre of storytelling produced with the aim of frightening us. Images of blood, suspense filled scenes, and monsters in mask or special effects and costume are conjured in mind. We very seldom, if ever, connect the everyday lives of the citizens of the United States to the concepts wrapped inside the term,”horror”. Yet, the skin chilling and the scream inducing is exactly what would be best qualified to tell the tales occurring in the county of Ferguson and city of St. Louis.
Unfortunately, in this horror production, the expectation of the local heroes to defeat the villains and monsters is a smaller and smaller calculation as each dreadful day passes. Since the terror acted out in the Canfield Green Apartments of Ferguson(a county of St. Louis, Missouri roughly three miles away from the city limits) on August 9, 2014, not only have the residents of the apartments been victims to the daily monstrosities of para-military garbed police, but so have those engaged in peaceful protest. The macabre arena of events sprawling forth from the murder of Mike Mike Brown by law enforcement agent, Darren Wilson(or so this is the name we’ve been given), whereby the visuals of a neighborhood teen left bleeding to death for four and a half hours in the middle of an audience of his friends and neighbors, sparked a movement of protest akin to the gruesome days of dog bitten, law enforcement agent head cracked on, and water hosed down Civil Rights Activism.
That afternoon the police had bought drugs from the stepfather of two children, ages eight and six. Both were in the house at the time of the raid. The stepfather wasn’t.
“They did their thing,” Taylor says. “Everybody on the floor, guns and yelling. Then they put the two kids in the bedroom, did their search, then sent me in to take care of the kids.”
Taylor made her way inside to see them. When she opened the door, the eight-year-old girl assumed a defense posture, putting herself between Taylor and her little brother. She looked at Taylor and said, half fearful, half angry, “What are you going to do to us?”
Taylor was shattered. “Here I come in with all my SWAT gear on, dressed in armor from head to toe, and this little girl looks up at me, and her only thought is to defend her little brother. I thought, How can we be the good guys when we come into the house looking like this, screaming and pointing guns at the people they love? How can we be the good guys when a little girl looks up at me and wants to fight me? And for what? What were we accomplishing with all of this? Absolutely nothing.”
Taylor was later appointed police chief of the small town of Winfield, Missouri. Winfield was too small for its own SWAT team, even in the 2000s, but Taylor says she’d have quit before she ever created one.
Rise Of The Warrior Cop: The Militarization Of America’s Police Forces, by Radley Balko
Learning the history of racial discrimination perpetrated against African Americans is a very important aspect of racial socialization. Historical narratives about this racial discrimination are transmitted as a form of collective memory about blacks’ collective experiences with race and racism or as a form of the personal experiences of African American parents, family members, or guardians. This information is transferred from generation to generation in a way that conveys the historical and contemporary group status of African Americans.
Trust In Black America: Race, Discrimination, And Politics, by Shayla C. Nunnally
From the moment Mike Mike’s bullet ridden body collapsed on that concrete road in Canfield Green Apartments, peaceful protesters have rallied together to fight against a horror of a overly zealous and well-armed, military style law enforcement presence. Night after night, day after day, these courageous children, teenagers, workers, politicians, students, husbands, wives, voters, and citizens have wage a peaceful protest against a determined and not so peaceful antagonist. The digitally recorded images and videos of the peaceful protesters reflects Whyte USAmerica’s subconscious fears of the Black Body in political space as well as the desires of this country’s forefathers to contain its Afrikan hostages in a social space common to religious caste undesirables and beasts of burden. The nightmare on the 2900 block of Canfield Drive spawned a sequel that has last and replayed itself in various forms over the seventy-two days since Mike Mike’s skull was met by Wilson’s slug at the time of this writing.
The images, videos, and actions of those on the ground weave a story of what I’m sure seems to be a persistent and ceaselessly ongoing onslaught of shocking extremities. Unfortunately, the tale of heroic civil disobedience in the face of an ever-growing, Hydra-like law enforcement agency hellbent on utilizing every military toy and tactic at their disposal has gone fairly unnoticed or written from the perspective of the antagonist. Much of USAmerican folk story, legend, and myth is a compilation of anti-heroes battling an abstract monster mainly known as anything other than democracy, terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, Black Nationalism, or Communism. However, as the plotline of Ferguson shows, most of this story has been told from the perspective of the antagonist. It would be an alleviation to my my paranoia if this simply where a hyperbolic tickling the darker recesses of our id;but this not simply film noir: it is the life of many humans actually embroiled in what most media would broadcast hourly as horrific if it occurred on any other soil outside of the United States of these Americas.
Much of the US ideal is the historical notion or tale of its revolution and subsequent independence from British rule as a colony. The Declaration of Independence holds as its foundation the idea that citizens of a state be allowed to disband and disenfranchise a government as it needs to. This disbanding and disenfranchising according the document and the historical trajectory from the signing of the document should be made an actuality by whatever measures are best. It would seem as the US government is imposing its will on the people, it wishes to disarm them. Quite possibly this is to remove from them an option from the set of measures necessary to disband and disenfranchise the US government. As I am sure it would be argued that this is a preposterous line of thinking, it does enter my mind that when White men terrorize White schools and crowded areas in mass shootings, there is an immediate call for gun control. And yet, when US Blacks are killed by law enforcement agents, who are extensions of the government, Federal or State, the blame is removed from the guns and accountability placed on the victims, their neighborhood, their parents, their educational system, their voting practices, their dress code, and/or their music tastes.
While the perpetrators of Whyte on Whyte mass shootings have their guns called into question, when US law enforcement agents abuse their citizen given powers, their guns are not called into question. It could probably work as a reminder or memory jog for those that have forgotten, but after the Sandy Hook terrorist act of Whyte on Whyte violence, President Obama’s personal visit to the predominantly Whyte school came with his agenda of gun control. His visit to the grieving of Ferguson was not a reality, and his reasons why are possibly a glaring complicity with local law enforcement agencies and their new found hardware. The removal of guns from the residents is a high priority, and yet the same practice is frowned upon apparently by governing officials. In fact, according to Radley Balko’s book quoted earlier, after the murder of Abner Louima, these law enforcement agencies actually received more weapons of citizen destruction.
I quote that book again here:
POLICE MILITARIZATION WOULD ACCELERATE IN THE 2000s. The first half of the decade brought a new and lucrative source of funding and equipment: homeland security. In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, the federal government opened a new spigot of funding in the name of fighting terror. Terrorism would also provide new excuses for police agencies across the country to build up their arsenals and for yet smaller towns to start up yet more SWAT teams. The second half of the decade also saw more mission creep for SWAT teams and more pronounced militarization even outside of drug policing. The 1990s trend of government officials using paramilitary tactics and heavy-handed force to make political statements or to make an example of certain classes of nonviolent offenders would continue, especially in response to political protests. The battle gear and aggressive policing would also start to move into more mundane crimes—SWAT teams have recently been used even for regulatory inspections.
Rise Of The Warrior Cop: The Militarization Of America’s Police Forces, by Radley Balko(Emphasis by Author)
After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience?–in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said, that a corporation has no conscience;but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just;and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.
On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau(Emphasis by Author)
In the same manner that this American Horror Story in Ferguson and St. Louis is an extension of the American Horror Story that is the Black in USAmerica Horror story, so is the present peaceful battles being waged against it an extension of the Civil Rights Movement. The militarized police and dogs are still there, however, I could venture to say the fire trucks and water hoses have been replaced with tank-like S.W.A.T. vehicles and tear gas. A lot of tear gas. Not sure if tear gas is a more humane replacement, but the objectives are there.
In the same way that the police are simply an extension of the slave patrollers, their presence in the Black community is still simply a means to protect and project the racial stratified socio-economic system. The murder of Mike Mike Brown could be any number of Blacks from Aiyana Jones to John Crawford. Darren Wilson is the archetype of every gun totting gargoyle tasked with honoring a Whyte supremacist code of conduct, protected by badge forever sworn to shed Mike Mike’s blood.
As stated in this open letter from those that use peace as silver bullet, cardboard holding, marker written message as wooden cross, and drum beat, protest cadence as holy water:
We are living an American Horror Story.
The unlawful slaughter of black bodies by the hands of power has continued day after day, year after year, century after century, life by precious life, since before the first chain was slipped around black wrists. Black youth, brimming with untapped potential, but seen as worthless and unimportant. Black activists, stalwart in pursuit of liberation, but perceived as perpetual threats to order and comfort. Black men, truly and earnestly clinging to our dignity, written off as the ravenous, insatiable black savage. Black women, always unflinchingly running toward our freedom, dismissed as bitter and angry after long denial and suffering.
Not one group of us has been spared from the bullet or the beating, too many armed only with our Blackness, left to live this American Horror Story.