By Edward Achorn
One of the reasons American history is critically important is that it teaches us how rare and precious civil liberties are.
Many Americans want to dispense with them. They want voices they disagree with to be silenced or constrained. They want government to exercise extra-constitutional powers for months on end to keep us all “safe.” They don’t care when one party uses the powerful apparatus of our nation’s intelligence agencies to spy on the campaign of another party.
But the horrible sight of a white police officer’s knee on the neck of a black man who was restrained and offering no resistance should remind us all of the importance of civil liberties.
It is hard to imagine a more potent symbol of the state’s unjust use of power against the individual.Continue reading →