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.

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*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.

Cicero Holmes

Cicero is an avid gamer and sports fan masochist of the New York Islanders and New York Knicks. You can follow his poor life choices on twitter @StubbyStan.


    If protests are not taken literally then bad things could come of it. I mean if one person throws a stone and nothing is done then that would set the tone for the rest of the protestors if ever they get froggy.

    To me honestly……I’ve served five tours overseas and have seen some “protests” myself. Over here in the states there are more feasible routes to take then to start protests and rioting. If the city/county itself calls for a state of emergency then yeah I believe that a strong military presence is and should be needed.

    Understanding that some thing might have happened out of unjust doing, or that it is ones opinion that is fine. But to protest something to the point to where adverse action needs to and or could take place is just idiocy in my mind.

    First off let’s get rid of the thousands of people killed by other “civilians” each year instead of dwelling and concentrating on something that happened to one individual/case. Doing the math it would seem to me that there are more serious issues at hand then what is happening there for this all to be taking place. Like the author of this article this is just ones opinion, so to each is their own…..

    August 20, 2014 at 6:47 am
    • Cicero Holmes

      Thanks MOFO for reading and commenting! First and foremost, thank you so very much for your service.

      So many politicians say that your service overseas was to guarantee my freedoms here. One of those freedoms is the right to assemble and engage in civil protests.

      These Americans have the right to assemble. They have to the right to verbalize their displeasure with what they believe to be unjust treatment. For the record, an official state of emergency was never called and if it were to be called, I believe that the local National Guard are the ones who gain control. This is not what we saw here.

      I’m not sure what you mean when you say “But to protest something to the point to where adverse action needs to and or could take place…”. As a US citizen, my very first right is the freedom of speech, is it not? As long as it’s not violent, I can literally say whatever I want until I go hoarse without reprisal. This is what these people were doing. There is NO justification for “adverse action” when talking about exercising your first amendment right, especially on public property.

      I’d like to clarify one thing. This piece is NOT about the events that led to the protests. This piece is only about the use of militarized police to quell the “unrest”. There is no need for armored vehicles, snipers, pointed weapons, and tear gas used to control US citizens on US soil.

      If we do not stand up against this type of overwhelming force, the events of Hom

      August 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm

        For sure…. For sure. Thank you very much for your support for my service as well, but unfortunately like you had stated that was not the cause of why we were over there……”freedom” that is. Main reason why I am no longer in the service is because of the political fiasco that is still taking place and the ugly truth as to why we were actually there. Simply amazing the things I’ve seen from the very beginning of the wars up to my stop loss of 18 months leading to my last involuntary deployment.

        Brotha man……. These unfortunate events are surely being exploited in all of the wrong ways. You are correct to say that there should not be such a seriously strong show of force. Shits not needed at all!!

        One of my biggest fears when in the service was the idea that one day I would be told to fire upon my own people…….! Sad thing is that most individuals I worked with were okay with that idea. Understanding that situations do and will dictate any and all predicaments, but crap like this is just unacceptable!

        I’m done……and apologize ahead of time if I offended anyone.

        August 21, 2014 at 6:50 am

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