Drones Above California? Stop and Frisk Across the Country? What the Shake Up at DHS Could Mean for the Nation
July 12, 2013
Will the nation’s largest public university system be militarized? And will stop and frisk be nationalized? The disturbing possibilities.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has announced that she’s headed to California, where she’ll be the president of the University of California school system. Twitter is already aflame with jabs mocking the move, as users wonder, for example, how DHS will further militarize a school system already known for pepper spraying peaceful protesters at a sit-in. Might she carry on her support for immigration reform to erect a militarized border around UC campuses? How about launching a tank-and-gun fueled drug war against stoned UC students? She might as well, given that she publically stated the US-backed war on cartels in Mexico that left 70,000 dead in six years is “not a failure,” but rather, “a continuing effort to keep our peoples from becoming addicted to dangerous drugs.” Or, most terrifyingly, perhaps she’ll scatter some drones above schools in the state, where she saidthey “could be utilized to give us situational awareness in a large public safety [matter] or disaster.”
Ultimately, how Napolitano will use her DHS skills to run the UC schools is something we’ll just have to wait to see. But the more pressing question may very well be who will take over after she departs.
Some disturbing speculating has spotlighted two potential candidates: NYPD Commisioner Ray Kelly and law enforcement veteran/”Broken Windows” theorist Bill Bratton. As Mike Riggs pointed out on Twitter, the idea of giving the man in charge of stop-and-frisk power over the TSA does not sound particularly pleasant. Ray Kelly has vocally — and, of course, routinely — defended and enforced the NYPD’s skyrocketing stop-and-frisk tactic, which has come under fire as extreme racial profiling, not to mention harassment of young, Black and Latino men in New York. The class-action lawsuit arguing that the policy is unconstitutional will likely be decided later this summer.