An Indian diplomat, Dr. Devyani Khobragede, charged with filing false employment records for her housekeeper, is arrested, hauled into a U.S. Marshal’s office, strip-searched and subsequently released.
In India, the event raises quite a ruckus, and Indian nationalists express outrage, amid calls for diplomatic retaliation against the Americans.
In reminds us of the imprisonment and perp walk of French politician (and former International Monetary Fund bigwig) Dominique Strauss-Kahn, after he was named a suspect in a rape of a Senegalese hotel maid some years ago.
Both cases rest upon what has been normal, standard operating procedure in American police practices, the humiliation of the accused.
In modern-day America, the ground forces of police practice is largely aimed at Black and Brown people; those who have long been the subject of public humiliation. So much so, that such treatment has become normalized, just the way things are done here-in ‘the land of the free’.
When foreigners experience the treatment that Americans go through every day, they are shocked.
The question is why aren’t we?
The reason seems simple. America’s repressive, punitive, and humiliating system is supported by media, and the political classes, for such treatment is usually reserved for those already deprived of full social status; Blacks, the poor and immigrants.
For them, every day is humiliation, especially as the rich and the super-rich accrue more and more power, and more and more impunity is granted to the State.
Several months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that strip searches were proper-even for something as minor as a traffic stop.
When a System becomes so drunk with power, it can only expand outward, touching more and more people.
Why should any of us be surprised?