by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” President Harry S. Truman
Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality. Lockdowns.
This is not the language of freedom. This is not even the language of law and order.
This is the language of force.
This is how the government at all levels—federal, state and local—now responds to those who speak out against government corruption, misconduct and abuse.
These overreaching, heavy-handed lessons in how to rule by force have become standard operating procedure for a government that communicates with its citizenry primarily through the language of brutality, intimidation and fear.
We didn’t know it then, but what happened five years ago in Charlottesville, Va., was a foretaste of what was to come.