Is This America? Please Wake Me from This Nightmare
Smalltown, USA – Citizens are scared but defiant. The last few days in the place they call home has seen it change dramatically. Armored vehicles roam the avenues. Men patrol the streets with military grade weapons. Curfews, barricades, and checkpoints limit the movement of the citizens. People are being indiscriminately detained. This description used to be relegated to our fictions but now life has imitated art over in Ferguson, MO.
As I watched the footage from the latest day of protests in the Midwest, I had an eerie sense of deja vu. Where had I seen scenes like this before? Then it hit me, THQ*’s Homefront. The people of Ferguson are under siege. Each day of protests is met with a force nowhere close to the opposition it faces. Projectiles like plastic water bottles (and the occasional glass bottle) are matched by projectiles from the police – stun grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas. While the occupiers in the underrated Homefront was a unified Korean invasion force, I’m more disheartened by the fact that local domestic police forces are the ones setting up the barricades in front of places like Home Depot & McDonald’s. The most disturbing part is that the National Guard that has made it the area is less heavily armed than the local law enforcement. In fact, I have yet to see a member of the National Guard holding a weapon of any kind.
I listened as state appointed police czar, Cpt. Ron Johnson, spoke about how there was a glass bottle thrown towards the armored police presence and one provocateur who openly antagonized the police thus justifying the use of tear gas on hundreds of largely peaceful protesters. Why is such a show of force even necessary? What is justifiable about pointing a loaded assault rifle at a person holding poster board?
Please don’t take these words as an endorsement for violent unrest. Don’t even take this piece as a wholesale indictment of law enforcement. I have many friends who have voluntarily decided to ‘protect and serve’ and they, like many others, serve the public with grace and honor. I bring this to you to help you to remember how quickly and how eerily close we are coming to a reality that looks like totalitarian fiction and not the United States that we all know and love. Our forefathers used their wisdom to establish this great nation after military action. Let’s allow that wisdom continue to flourish in the face of martial law.[y=6mdug8eQ0H4 height=400]
*Note: THQ went bankrupt in 2013 and the rights to this franchise were sold to Crytek. In July, the franchise was sold again to Koch Media, parent company of Homefront, The Revolution developer Deep Silver.