Here it is, a fascinating glimpse into the actual attitudes and beliefs of a segment of American society, the part that strongly disapproves of Obama, the Palin base, the Fox News core. The full email from Boston police officer Justin Barrett is after the jump. I note two things that stand out to me. The first is the crudeness of the racism. "Banana-eating jungle monkey" is the baseline description of Gates, coupled, as it always is, with "I am not a racist". He also thinks it's real cool to use "ax" instead of "ask". Then this description of policing in his riposte to a journalist:
Your defense of Gates while he is on the phone while being confronted [INDEED] with a police officer is assuming he has rights when considered a suspect. He is a suspect and always will be a suspect. His first priority of concern should be to get off the phone and comply with police, for if I was the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with OC deserving of his belligerent non-compliance.
Notice the Cheney view: that a suspect has no rights; and is always a suspect, always at the mercy of the state and government, with a duty to obey police and military power or face brutal consequences. Notice the use of pepper-spray as a response to mere verbal complaints of mistreatment.
And the more you read, the more you realize how deep the Bush-Cheney legacy runs and how the torture and 'enemy combatant' state, celebrated nightly on Fox, easily seeps into domestic law enforcement. Notice how Cheney actually wanted to use the military against "suspects" in America. And how proud he is of that move. And notice in the email how all of this is bound up with a defense of God. Notice the classic Christianist line to the journalist:
You are an infidel.
This man is also in the National Guard. Maybe Norm Geras has a better idea of what worries me about recent trends in America. Here's the full email:
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