The police here, as much as in the US, strut and strike as a pumped-up, psyched-up occupying force, cuffing and humiliating, electrocuting and bullying and terrorising neighbourhoods where “nice” people don’t live and the “nice” people see them as their personal security service and they do this to enforce the boundaries, the differences, the variable opportunities, the access and freedoms that our system grants to the families of those who are already in charge, or those who service them.
Our democracy, institutions of power and privilege, our systems of access are not policed in the same way, here or in the US. Nice people, nicely spoken, nicely dressed, liberal, highly educated people sit in quiet studies and say 3 powerful words: Black Lives Matter. Well, they did this week.
And they say: It’s just that … I’m sorry but … very high calibre … unfortunately this time … a difficult decision … the right fit … you must understand … 3 powerful words.
They blight lives, exclude and act as gate keepers to defend their own supremacy.
Admissions tutors, arts administrators, hiring committees, social workers, teachers, bankers and civil servants.
To paraphrase Roy Batty: I’ve seen (and heard) things you people wouldn’t believe.
Cool shoes, smart casual, herbal teas … they do the same job. They don’t see themselves that way but they are the thug police.
They are defending Rhodes’ statue at Oriel College in Oxford … It’s been four years but now: Rhodes Must Fall.
And it must be the start of a new conversation and not the end.