Guest Pastor Leon Benjamin. This podcast is designed to invite conversations around the Christian faith. Pastor Ellis rightly divides the word to reach and teach…
By Scotty Reid
People from the President of the United States to the Mayor of Baltimore to professional sports athletes to sports commentators have labeled or portrayed those who may or may not have burn down a CVS store in an impoverished neighborhood as criminals and thugs. CVS is a national pharmacy chain that like many other corporations, provide funds and equipment to police departments around the nation. When one of their properties becomes collateral damage when there is a warzone flare up, they are not exactly innocent corporate bystanders.
CVS as a national chain appears to engage in racist practices by what illegal drug policies and programs they support and the policies of their corporate partners who have lobbied successfully for laws that led to this “mass incarceration” aka modern slavery problem at the forefront of protest in poor non-white communities. CVS like many corporate entities have long financial ties to the military industrial complex and that includes the domestic army known as law enforcement which number perhaps as a million soldiers. Who can credibly argue that police in areas where there is high poverty and a high percentage of non-white people are not an occupying military force?
If we look at Baltimore from a military perspective since these communities are in fact mini-war zones spread out over the USA, CVS is not some innocent corporate bystander providing vital services to communities. They are there to exact money from the community with little to no investment in communities they maintain property. I am not suggesting or advising anyone take any particular action but lending to my six years of military experience, I am making an observation from a military viewpoint. The objective of an economic boycott is inflict economic damage an enemy, the USA engages in this behavior all the time like the sanctions it has on Iran that it is leveraging in talks about their nuclear activity. A burncott has the same objective of an economic boycott if one were to assume that members of the community attacked a corporate property with such dubious ties as CVS. Assumptions are bad because agent provactuers and law enforcement themselves are just as likely suspects in the burning down of the CVS and their corporate media partners of course will push the blame on the victims of police terrorism. When I hear people portray CVS as worthy of some kind of sympathy, I question the logic of that misplaced sentiment but I understand the mass media plants such thoughts in their minds.
When the Commander in Chief of US military forces, Mr. Barack Obama talks about law and order in Baltimore and refers to resistors of tyranny as criminal thugs, just remind yourself that the US government as a matter of practice and pattern ignores even its own rules governing modern warfare. The US military, the CIA and contractors have turned many communities into bombed out war zones eerily resembling the community where Freddie Gray was illegal arrested and killed by police. A community devastated by the global mortgage fraud and related criminality that brought the economy to its knees yet the administration has never called those involved criminals and thugs. Not only did the administration not criminally prosecute those most responsible, they rewarded them with multi-billion tax payer funded bailout.
The President of USA INC can not credibly preach law and order to young people for breaking windows or burning down a store or destroying police cars when the Obama administrations first priority in 2008 was to tell the nation that the Department of Justice would not be seeking to prosecute any of the well documented crimes of the Bush administration. Someone ask the Obama administration how many buildings NATO destroyed in Libya and more importantly, how many people did they kill.
CVS is a corporate sponsor of police all over the USA and is a corporate partner to an organization like The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids that have lobbied to push for harsh drug laws, further criminalization of the poor and zero tolerance policies in public schools that have fed the school to prison pipeline.
While pushing for the harsh treatment of Black communities plagued by drugs, in predominately white communities, CVS works with the to create and support drug programs where a majority of white people anonymously drop off tons of illegal prescription drugs with no questions asked.
It is important that we always frame things in a proper perspective. CVS through its corporate entanglements is contributing to the police oppression in non-white communities that are rebelling today.
Corporations have historically always backed American Empire and the colonization of non-white people and their lands. This is evident when we look at the current colonized people living on islands like the Kingdom of Hawaii and Puerto Rico. It is no different in the blighted impoverished drug war zones in urban areas like the west side of Baltimore where young black men and women are subjected to a police state environment that is representative of colonization.
Right now, there is no smoking gun showing that the particular CVS franchise in Baltimore ever provided funds to a corrupt police force with a history of violence against the community it says it is part of and serving. Nevertheless, there is evidence tying CVS as a corporate brand to the inhumanity of it all through its donations to police departments nationally and its partnership with organizations that advocated for the harsh drug war penalties.
However, those who currently hold elected office and appointed to positions of power to make policy decisions by those elected to office, have important questions to answer that are not being asked by the corporate news organization. Retired Maryland State Police officer and former Baltimore police officer Neal Franklin is asking the right questions. Franklin in an interview on CNN said the Mayor and the Police Chief turned down a fully funded program to divert people found in possession of drugs to get addiction treatment, healthcare services, job training and most importantly job placement.
You would think that diverting people away from the criminal justice system and into tax paying working citizens would be attractive to any government bureaucrat but not to Baltimore city officials. Absence any comment from the Baltimore Mayor and Police Chief on this question we are left to logically deduce that the city was feeding off federal grants to uphold drug war era laws designed to increase the prison slave population.
There are hardly any “innocent bystanders” in the United States of America when as a corporate entity it just can not seem to stop practicing and profiting from slavery and the masses tolerate this inhumanity upon any people.