Capitol Hill tragedy shows worrying trend in crumbling US society

Caleb Maupin
Caleb Maupin is a radical journalist and political analyst who lives in New York City. Originally from Ohio, he studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College. In addition to his journalism, analysis, and commentary, he has engaged in political activism. He is a youth organizer for the International Action Center and was involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement from its planning stages in August 2011. He has worked against police brutality, mass incarceration, and imperialist war. He works to promote revolutionary ideology, and to support all who fight against the global system of monopoly capitalist imperialism.
Capitol Hill tragedy shows worrying trend in crumbling US society
In the aftermath of the Capitol Hill shooting of a depressed woman, the US must look at how it treats its populace – especially African Americans. Society is crumbling and conducive to insanity, Caleb Maupin from the International Action Center told RT.

RT:Didn’t the police do the right job here? Here was a woman who was clearly acting recklessly, posing a serious threat in an area of high security.

CM: Absolutely not. This is such a tragedy and it could have been averted. A similar situation took place last June – a man named Joseph Reel – a white man, he didn’t end up dead and he’s pled guilty to a similar situation. This woman is dead. People are speculating as to why she did this but we’ll never know – we’ll never know because she’s dead; her life was taken away. A message is clearly being sent to law enforcement around the country – that when it comes to African Americans, shoot first and ask questions later. You look at Ramarley Graham, gunned down in his apartment in New York City. Here in Detroit, the case of Aiyana Jones – also ruthlessly murdered by law enforcement. There is a trend going on all across the country where the police are killing people and they’re getting away with it – they’re killing unarmed people.

RT:Those examples you’re talking about – there was an enormous public response. But what sort of reaction are we getting on this incident from the public, and indeed the media?

CM: Well, it seems that the big business media in this country – FOX, MSNBC – seems to be justifying what happened, which is what they always do, just like they justify the wars. They’re justifying this by saying that the people in the White House were threatened. But what goes on in the White House every day? In the White House every day they decide who they’re going to kill with drones. Congress is threatening people all across the country right now with their government shutdown. Veterans, families that depend on social services are basically being threatened right now. So the fact that a car went some place it wasn’t supposed to go – now someone is dead. This really shows the government and who it serves.

Police run after shots fired were reported near 2nd Street NW and Constitution Avenue on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 3, 2013. (AFP Photo / Jewel Samad)

RT:With a city on edge – Washington’s on edge after the tragic incident of 12 dying in the naval shipyard a couple of weeks ago – the police had to react in some way didn’t they? So, how do you keep the population safe? How do you offer fair means of security? What’s your alternative suggestion?

CM: It seems like every couple of weeks in this society, there’s another brutal, ugly shooting, and if we can learn anything from it, it’s that this society we live in is highly conducive to insanity - The extreme economic crisis, people don’t know about their jobs, people don’t know if their home is going to be foreclosed…insecurity. There’s this violent culture – this is a society that is highly conducive to insanity. Until we address the underlying social problems that cause incidents like this, things like this are just going to keep happening. It’s very frustrating, and a woman’s life has been taken away in front of her child. This is such an awful situation – really a tragedy. It shows what the reality of capitalism is, as it marches towards fascism and war in this economic crisis we’re living under right now. The only answer is for people to come together and stand against the Wall Street banks.

RT:You’re talking about social problems there, and about this society that’s created these social problems – in particular, what are those aspects that have negatively affected society – what are the highlights of those concerns for you?

CM: US society is clearly crumbling; it’s falling apart. Here in Detroit there are entire neighborhoods where there are just empty houses. All the homes have been foreclosed. The rate of unemployment, especially among the youth, is very high. There are millions of people in prison. This is not a healthy society that we live in in the US. This is a crumbling society – it’s very frightening, and it’s very highly conducive to insecurity and violence as we see every day. Like I said, in the Capitol, what goes on – it’s the center of the wars – how many people have died because of wars that have been plotted? The Syrian rebels – some of the greatest terrorists in the world are receiving funding from the US government right now – murder is going on all over the world, yet someone was killed for driving in the wrong place. This is really disgusting and we should stand and oppose it. The US – this is a frustrating time that we’re living in and people need to stand against the policies of their government as society is crumbling all around them.