By Dianne Post
As the events in Ferguson illustrated, injustice is as American as motherhood and apple pie. From our inception, the Constitution counted African-Americans as only three-fifths of a person and Native Americans were not counted at all. Neither group could vote nor could women or people who didn’t own property.
Likewise, law enforcement developed from a very flawed beginning, slave patrols sent out by plantation owners to capture escapees. After the Civil War, sheriffs and justices of the peace were not paid by the government but were provided lists of workers needed by plantations, mines and the railroad. The sheriff then arrested and the justice of the peace convicted African-Americans and “leased” them to the businesses. Pinkerton thugs hired by corporations attacked labor union strikers in factories and plants while law enforcement turned their backs.