The Sad Thing Is, This Isn’t That Far Off.

Last week, financial reports for the second quarter of 2015  have been released to the general public. Prison pioneers, the Corrections Corporation of America  report that profits totaled $675 million, a whopping 30.5% increase from profits from the 2014 quarters. Financial strategists at the corporation attribute their growh to the increase in their black demographic over the past year.

“Back in 2013, we rolled out a new program called Racism,” said Corrections Corp. CEO, Ron Haverford. “It is actually a corporate mindset where individual branches race against each other to put innocent people in prison, hence the word, racism. It does not have anything to do with stereotyping or prejudice despite the fact that we incarcerate 75% more black inmates than white ones. That’s just a coincidence.”

Following the unspoken alliance with the police department in 2013, profits for the prison system has been steadily increasing. Select police force members across the nation have been ramping up their stoppages, seizures, and arrests of black citizens, culminating in the successful deal that many has come to know as Ferguson. The event has inspired many others to double their efforts in racism.

Local police chief Gary Swanson said, “The reason we are doing so well is because we finally shifted our focus to serve our black customers better. We go to great lengths to ensure their incarceration. We spend more of our efforts catching black customers than catching white customers who commit the same crimes. Sometimes, we make up crimes that they did not commit so that we can incarcerate them anyways.”

The initiative has been met with opposition. As one native said, “That’s actually illegal.”

The rise in arrests have ultimately been met with enthusiasm from the police force. Earlier last year, officer Daniel Pantaleo placed Eric Garner in an illegal chokehold, causing a fatal asthmatic reaction. Garner later died on scene. Pantaleo was later rewarded by having all his charges dropped.

The Corrections Corp. have been looking further into the future as well. As their 7-year plan release date approaches, a representative offered a few clues to their direction. He explained that the corporation is currently drafting up plans to expand across the country and solidify their position among the A-list of chain franchises.

“There’s an emphasis on the word chain,” said spokesman Tom Gergich. “It brings our great country together just like how it binds our prisoners’ wrists together.”

More Video Camera, More Brutality

Horse Thieves. Who needs 'em.

Horse Thieves. Who needs ’em.

What, this again?

 

readme already covered the solution: a full video crew for every officer. Then we wouldn’t have to rely on some random dude with a phone camera. And the stolen-horse chase scenes would be way more exciting.

 

You’d think that they’d realize that there are enough people with cameras out there that you can’t just get away with this sort of stuff anymore. Rodney King may have been an anomaly, back in the early 90s, but these days nearly everyone has a camera.

 

“Yeah, back in the good ol’ days we’d just drag ‘em out back behind the shed and shoot ‘em,” old-timer Ima Ray Cyst said, to readme’s horror. “The officer safety videos, that is. Now we can film anywhere we want, using our new gadgets.”

 

“But we sure used to be able to strike fear into minority communities without fear of repercussions. Remember back when that dude in Alabama had a tank? Well, we have those now, too, thanks to the military sending us all their old stuff, but we have to be a little more careful about our PR when we use them.”

 

“Yeah, now we have to make sure to only shoot them folk who have actually done something wrong. Like the dude who was late on his child support. Because if you fuck up, you deserve to die the next time you’re stopped by a police officer. The two things are totally relevant. At least, that’s what enough people believe that it’s still socially acceptable.”

 

readme informed Cyst that the officer who shot and killed the fleeing man, and then apparently planted his taser by the body and claimed that they were fighting over it, had actually been arrested for murder. “Arresting a cop, one of their own? Now what sort of shitty department would do that. They must not care about the people they’ve sworn to protect.”

 

When readme brought up that more and more perpetrators of police brutality were being charged, Cyst was aghast. “Some sheriff in California said that he was ‘disturbed and troubled’ when he saw video of his deputies beating some horsethief? First of all, deputies and police officers are different, so this isn’t even technically police brutality. Secondly, the only disturbing thing here is that they didn’t lynch the guy. Horse thieves are the lowest of lowbrows, the scum of the earth. Back in the Wild West, he woulda been drawn and quartered and left for the coyotes. Isn’t a beating progressive, when you compare it to that?”

readme Experiences True Terror at Haunted House Aimed at Millennial Demographic

The Haunted House / Das Geisterhaus

To celebrate Halloween, readme decided to go through a new haunted house it found, known as the “Haunted House for the 21st Century.” The outside looked nice enough, until a motion-activated light suddenly turned on, illuminating a foreclosure sign. Feeling a growing sense of dread, readme bravely entered.

 

The first room had a handful of people sitting around watching one of the numerous spinoffs of Paranormal Activity. The fact that people still watch those things was scary enough, but then one by one, the movie-watchers began coughing. readme backed away, but not before hearing one of them gasp, “I’ve got ebola…”

 

The next room had a couch fort built in one corner, where a group of men and women in khaki and camo clutched guns to their chests. “Don’t come any closer!” they shouted shrilly. “We don’t want to get the ebola! Or the gay! Or the science!” Sidling along the wall, readme made it to the other door with only a warning shot.

 

Heart pounding, readme was reassured when it saw that the next room wasn’t too scary. Just two old men in suits, staring at each other over a chessboard. It wasn’t until readme noticed the unmoving grandfather clock behind them, with the hands point to just before midnight, which was marked “DOOMSDAY.” The pendulum was marked with the atomic symbol, and each of the chess players had a nametag: one was labeled Uncle Sam, and the other, simply Comrade. readme jumped when its watch beeped the hour, and it moved on with a nuclear sense of dread.

 

At the next juncture, there was a choice of two doors. To the left was the path for non-whites, and to the right was for whites. readme, being a black-and-white newspaper, was unsure which to choose, until it caught a glimpse of a police officer with a gun waiting in the dark beyond the left path. readme quickly scuttled towards the whites door, not wanting to know what was beyond the other threshold.

 

After a truly uneventful hallway, readme came into a room full of sand. Figures wearing black robes and waving knives were shouting something about “Death to America,” but what really raised readme’s pulse was the robotic snake that crawled up the side of the sand pile readme was standing on.

 

Finally, the end of the haunted house approached. However, before exiting, there was an alcove containing stacks of hundred-dollar bills, piles of precious gemstones, and a squalling baby that appeared to be someone’s firstborn. The sign dangling above proclaimed that this treasure trove was the amount you owed, beginning six months after you graduated from the haunted institution.

U.S. Race Relations Stuck in Time Loop

In an event totally unrelated to the shootings that kicked off the Ferguson protests, an 18-year-old named Vonderrit Myers, Jr. was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer on the eighth of October. In what will be a shock only to those who have either been living under a rock or who have only been recently resurrected to start the zombie apocalypse, Myers just happened to be black.

According to the officer’s report, he had been working a second job at a private security gig (still in his police uniform) when Myers caught sight of him and fled. When the officer gave chase, Myers hid in some bushes, pulled a gun out of his hoodie, and shot at the officer three times, at which point the officer retaliated with lethal force.

Subsequent investigations of the scene found no trace of either the hoodie Myers was supposedly wearing or the bushes he was said to have hid behind. But, hey, that doesn’t prove anything. Myers’s friends had plenty of time in the one day after the report came out to hide the hoodie and undertake a goddamn landscaping project to make it look like the cop was lying.

Then there’s the fact that the officer’s story literally changed the day people started pointed out the lack of bushes, and that this officer shot Myers a total of seventeen times, which even in a case of genuine self-defense seems somewhat excessive.

The citizens of St. Louis seemed to agree. Protesters gathered in the neighborhood after the incident shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot”—but, of course, there are absolutely no similarities between this incident and Ferguson. Also entirely dissimilar is the way the police claimed the St. Louis protest had turned violent despite protesters denying any such thing, or the extremely militant behavior exhibited by the police when faced with this initially peaceful protest.

But it’s not like this is a sign of some systemic problem with the system or something. There’s just no way racially-motivated police brutality still exists in our post-race United States of America (we elected Obama, after all). There’s got to be some sort of scientific explanation or something. Thankfully, readme was able to speak with a math major, who told it that Myers’s shooting was a perfect example of what she called ‘The Rodney King Phenomenon.”

“As a cop approaches a civilian they think looks suspicious,” she explained, “the level of force that is considered ‘appropriate’ approaches infinity. As such, we get results where three alleged bullets is temporarily equal to seventeen, and no bullets is equal to six.” readme asked her what determined whether or not a civilian was considered ‘suspicious’, she replied, “Racism. Like, duh.”

Police Body Cameras Fail to Capture Certain Issues

Policepersons across the United States will soon be required to wear body cameras while responding to incidents. Groups everywhere, from the A.C.L.U. to the Justice Department, are excited about the new procedures, as they will increase accountability and ensure clear evidence of incident response. Unfortunately, agreeing on how amazing something is is boring, so readme went out to find the unspoken downsides. It turns out that the downsides are unspoken for a reason; very few people speak them. But readme found some nonetheless!

“I’ve been watching shaky, personal recordings of citizens yelling about their rights to cops for years,” said one neckbearded respondent. “I just can’t handle high-quality, voluntary, publicly available recordings made by cops. It doesn’t make sense.” And newly hired data processor Colin Sick has been stressed since he began work. “It’s hours upon hours of cars passing. Sometimes I see the numbers in my sleep, neverending: 60, 61, 60, 60, 56, 60, 62…” Mr. Sick then went into a trance. readme took the chance to remove cash from his wallet and then run away.

There are potential upsides, however. Google has been working with Pittsburgh police to try to add Glass support to the “above-ear” camera models. Engineer Al Jabra explained: “Imagine you’re in a high-speed chase. With a mere ‘Okay, Glass,’ you would be able to find nearby gas stations or restaurants the suspect might want to stop at. Alternatively, you could tell stop-and-frisk victims interesting facts about their surroundings.”

One policewoman was incredibly enthusiastic about the change. “I’ve decided to go for full immersion,” said Patty O’Wagon. “I’m taking film classes at a local college and have decided to make my experience my final project, titled ‘8760 Hours.’ It’ll be available online, uncensored; I felt that detraction from real life through editing would risk the audience’s comprehension.” The film has been pre-emptively entered into the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.

But no matter how beneficial these cameras may be, one downside will never be removed: their lens caps. “The $@%# things won’t come off!” said Chief Paine Suffring. “We’ve tried duct tape, elbow grease, knee grease, and those rubber circle things you get at supermarkets.” Hopefully manufacturers will address this potentially devastating issue before the body cameras are used by policepersons across the United States. Oh, that’s already happening? Oops.

White Guy Gives Opinion on Ferguson, Police

Because he's probably not biased or anything.

Because he’s probably not biased or anything.

It is hard to ignore the increasing number of black people being assaulted, injured, and even killed by white police officers. Between internet awareness campaigns, an increase of violence being caught on cell phones, and highly public cases such as the Ferguson protests, it’s almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t heard of what’s going on. Almost.

 

“Now that you mention it,” said the wealthy white male who waylaid readme on the way to the AB offices, claiming he absolutely had to talk with it about this issue, “I have been seeing them in the news recently, all the marching and looting and things. Just terrible. I’m not entirely sure what it’s all about, though.”

 

After being informed about the death of Michael Brown (an 18-year-old black male, unarmed, who got into a confrontation with a white police officer and was shot six times) in Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of Eric Garner (a 43-year-old black male, who was suspected of selling illegal cigarettes and died after being put into a chokehold by a white police officer, despite being heard to say “I can’t breathe”), in New York, our source mentioned that they could have guessed it was something like that.

 

“I thought maybe they were reruns of the Trayvon Martin business,” said the anonymous white man, “There are just too many black folk getting themselves killed these days. You’d think people would have gotten used to it by now.”

 

“I mean, hell,” he added, “black people mug white people all the time, and no one gets riled up over that.” Except that people do, actually? It’s just not on the same scale because a random mugging doesn’t represent a systemic bias on the part of the people responsible for our very safety? When readme pointed this out, the man replied, “No, I saw it on Fox News and everything. They don’t give a shit. Fox & Friends wouldn’t get something like that wrong.” Also, good to know our police officers, whose job description is to protect and serve, are only supposed to be held to the same standards as muggers.

 

But our interviewee asserted that he didn’t see the police behavior as an issue. “I don’t see why there have been so many problems,” he said. “I mean, I’ve only been stopped once by the police, and then I just stood up out of the car and lifted my shirt to show them my concealed carry. It turned out I knew the guy, and we had donuts together after he reminded me to fix my taillight. Why can’t black people just do that?”

 

Upon hearing that the source had a concealed carry, readme suddenly realized that maybe he wasn’t just happy to see it, and that now would be a good time to make a discreet retreat.