An American in Mumbai

Why Ferguson is crazier than a UFO conspiracy

A lesson from this charade is probably in the form of an unspoken legal precedent: a perception of guilt is worthy of summary execution by police if you're black.

 |  An American in Mumbai  |  4-minute read |   26-11-2014
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Last Sunday night we paid a visit to Pushkar Ganesh Vaidya, head of the Indian Astrobiology Research Centre in Mumbai. The Hive is currently hosting a series of talks entitled "Paranormal Encounters", and the talk we attended was "UFO: I Want To Believe". The sobering presentation covered scientific inquiries like the Drake equation and the Fermi paradox. Pushkar covered the semantics issue of improperly referring to UFOs when we really mean flying saucers. He addressed the three "kinds" of alien encounters as proposed by astronomer and ufologist Dr Josef Allen Hynek and presented documented examples of each.

To his credit, he kept his talk confined within the arena of scientific inquiry although at one point he failed to answer a question put to him in jest about why Americans report many more UFO sightings than Indians. This morning, the answer came to me, telepathically – after I realised I was missing 17 minutes of my memory and feeling a mild discomfort in my groin. With my UFO encounter credentials firmly established, here's the answer you won't find on any UFO conspiracy website.

Ferguson, Missouri.

That's right. You may not like the answer, but there it is. The city of Ferguson, Missouri began rioting soon after my first cup of coffee this Tuesday morning when the federal grand jury decided that the murder of an unarmed black man by a white cop didn't warrant a trial. I tried to follow the logic of the jury's decision and came to the conclusion that this strain of racism is a symptom of a greater disease responsible for 99 per cent of American UFO sightings. Mr Pushkar may not agree, and you may not either. Please allow me to explain my position before my alien taskmasters summon me back up for another probe replacement.

The sad realisation that there are far more reported murders by police in the United States than cattle mutilations should give us pause to reflect. Try this stat on for size: You are eight times more like to be killed by a cop in the United States than by a terrorist. The odds of being killed by an alien must be...astronomical. The mainstream media absolves us from thinking about such things; they operate like a global confession booth where all sins of the nation are forgiven by way of thoughtless distraction. State-sanctioned murder flourishes as another form of entertainment television – much like celebrity gossip or UFO sightings – to be forgotten about in a day or two in anticipation of the next great piece of un-newsworthy flapdoodle. The story out of Ferguson is one of many recent high-profile cases in a large file drawer of cases involving the unwarranted deaths of minorities at the hands of the police.

We'll never get the chance to hear a legal verdict of guilty or not guilty from a trial jury for officer Darren Wilson's shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Justice was denied his family and the black community. America has taken yet another mournful step toward the complete unraveling of all it purportedly stands for. If we can take anything away from this charade, it's probably in the form of an unspoken legal precedent: a perception of guilt is worthy of summary execution by police if you're black. Like a good-natured slap to the back of our heads, we're supposed to accept this logic as a fact of life. We're being asked to heed Obama's crackbrained appeal for calm and go back inside from the rioting and nation-wide demonstrations and forget about it – there's holiday shopping to do! This is a far more crazy proposition than any UFO conspiracy out there.

We have set the bar far too low in our quest to discover intelligent life in the universe. The chance discovery of a handful of fossilised microbes on a dead planet will do little to lift us from our station. In our laziness, we have allowed our own governments here on earth to squander galactic fortunes on weaponry to blow the hell out of one another. Somewhere along the way, we gave them a pass on their moral responsibility to better the lives of their constituents – namely, us. We have submitted to unintelligent, unenlightened buffoons who have convinced us that it's in our own collective best interests to click and follow corporate brands that have monopolised our countries' foreign and domestic policies by way of wholesale buyouts of politicians and elections. Before our very eyes, corporatism has overtly transformed nations into hollowed-out security states existing to serve ruthless power steeped in Wall Street demagoguery.

To top it off, we've got rampant racism interwoven throughout the power structures, an ever-present threat to our peaceful coexistence with our earthly neighbours of different skin colours. No wonder, I muse, so many more Americans see UFOs than Indians. It's utter desperation and escapism at the heart of it. The prospect of consulting alien intelligence almost seems advisable. Who else can we rely on to lead us out of the soup when we're too goddamned lazy and scared to do the requisite work ourselves? May as well leave it to the aliens for what it's worth. If we can find them. If they will help us. The truth may be out there...but it won't save us from another Ferguson. 


Craig Boehman Craig Boehman @craigboehman

The writer is an American activist who lives in Mumbai.

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