Craving the checkerboard.
Riots have shaken these United States of America to its very core over the past week. A much needed jolt to a nation being confronted with its very bad record on race, most especially when it comes to policing and the judicial system.
In a thought provoking piece, writer Matt Taibi traces today’s horrors back to the antebellum south and draws a line through the heavy-handed “broken window” policies of today which have prisons stuffed to the gills with mostly black and brown men even while crime rates have plummeted.
…the history of policing in our country, especially as it pertains to minority neighborhoods, has always rested upon dubious justifications. The early American police forces evolved out of slave patrols in the South, and “progressed” to enforce the Black Codes from the Civil War period and beyond, on to Jim Crow through the late sixties if not longer.
In an explicit way, American policing has almost always been concerned on some level with enforcing racial separatism. Because Jim Crow police were upholding a way of life, the actual laws they were given to enforce were deliberately vague, designed to be easily used as pretexts for controlling the movements of black people. They were charged with punishing “idleness” or “impudence,” and encouraged to enforce a range of vagrancy laws, including such offenses as “rambling without a job” and “leading an idle, profligate, or immoral course of life.”
An idle, profligate and immoral course of life is, of course, very familiar to surfers everywhere and many have taken to the streets in support of wholesale change.
Sometimes, though, in the middle of demanding justice etc. a protestor, especially a surfing protestor, is confronted with extremely desirable trinkets of the surfing life. Two days ago, we witnessed the looting of various mid-length surfboards from a Channel Islands shop in Santa Monica.
Today, we have an unquenchable lust for Vans. The shoe has been synonymous with the surfing life since Jeff Spicoli and there were protestors, again in Santa Monica, smashing windows, overturning boxes, in order to own a pair of slip-on classics.
Per a Buzzfeed reporter on the scene, a woman stood outside the store begging people to stop because “it will help get Trump re-elected.”
“We don’t want Trump re-elected…” she begged “…please don’t do this.”
Alas, her words went unheeded but do you think pilfered Vans will truly lead to the re-election of Donald J. Trump?
Much to ponder.