Here is the next in my running list:
2.) So much for body cameras.
It is being tweeted everywhere, and there is truth to it. If the videotaped killing of an unarmed man by a policeman using an illegal chokehold while the victim cries out repeatedly that he can't breathe, in a case subsequently ruled by the coroner as a homicide, can't get an indictment then an on-camera ISIS beheading in Washington, D.C. couldn't get an indictment. President Obama, feeling the heat from enraged voters who the Democrats hope won't boycott the 2016 election, might now be turning over furniture in search of a more satisfying declaration than his recent call for police body cameras. I suspect it wasn't an accident in timing that the administration announced yesterday the critical findings of its Cleveland Police brutality investigation.
Make no mistake: cameras can and do make a life-and-death difference. Had there been video of the Michael Brown altercation, it might have framed the issue in Ferguson, and the reaction to it, in ways we will never know. Having a video of the Rodney King police beating made the Cro-Magnon racism of the Simi Valley and its jury's not-guilty verdict infamous around the world. The Eric Garner video has done the same for Staten Island, where white bigotry and Blue Line police loyalty have been notorious for decades. Like the sometimes-belittled white-privilege-confessional of #CrimingWhileWhite, anything that bears public witness to injustice is a good thing. Cameras are good at that.
But racist bulwarks, like the grand jury pool in Staten Island and the long pattern of overwhelmingly-white Dixie-ish arrogance in Ferguson law enforcement, are very bad at responding appropriately to even irrefutable evidence.
Video won't fix that. Power will. That is why it took streets filled with outraged citizens to put militarized policing of black people into the mainstream of American news and politics. It is up to us to keep it there.