Saturday, August 30, 2014

August in Ferguson

Ferguson, Mo. Before August 9th, I am pretty sure no one but those in the area of Ferguson or those who were former residents of the place had ever heard of it. Now, unless you live under a rock with no news coverage whatsoever, you know Ferguson. Ferguson is now on the map both literally and figuratively.....for all the wrong reasons. 

In case you truly are coming out from under that rock, here's a little recap. On Aug. 9, 2014 a young man in Ferguson, named Michael Brown, was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson, after Wilson was responding to a robbery call. It was established that Brown was unarmed and that he put up a fight with Wilson, attempting to take his gun. Brown was killed. Tragic! Was Brown part of the robbery? Why did Brown go for Wilson's gun? There are a million and one questions, but regardless of the answers....Brown died. 

We live in a world where the good police officers are tainted by the ones who use excessive force and march to the beat of their own god complex egos. To them, it is not about protecting and is about making the public their bitch. Strong language? Yes, but more and more we see the bad cops making the headlines while the good cops suffer because of the notoriety. Was Wilson a vigilantly hell bent on getting Brown, the suspect, at all cost, or was Wilson a cop doing his job and protecting his own life against a suspect who was willing to take his gun and kill him just to get a way? Tried in the court of public opinion, the world seems to be split pretty evenly as the investigation continues into the case. Now some 21 days later, I find myself angry over this and question just what is happening to our world and what is happening to the people who inhabit it?

The days that followed Browns shooting were unbelievable as the media followed the town of Ferguson and watched as it's citizens literally destroyed the town of about 21,000 people. Ferguson is a suburb of St. Louis and according to both the internet and to a couple of people I know from that area, it is a high crime area and it is heavily populated by African Americans. So Browns death, made for the perfect storm for the race card to be shouted from the tops of the roofs and for the media to join in and stir the pot. 

Following the incident, Ferguson was turned on its head by riots, looting and the major destruction of property. There were death threats made against Wilson (who incidentally was white)and the police force in general and the media stood back stirring and asking inciting questions trying to keep the passion and anger of those rioting at a high burn.....all in the name of avenging Brown's (who incidentally was black) death. 

As the riots continued, the town had to be put on curfew as the violence escalated. Businesses were destroyed as their destroyers proudly went on camera threatening the business owners, if they didn't rebuild......for the community. What? This was not an act of civil disobedience. It was an act of anger gone wild with no worry of consequences and no empathy to those who were innocent and caught in the crossfire. It was one race hating another and acting violently on that hate. I couldn't help but wonder how the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would view this. Was this his dream? I don't think so and if he were here today, I think he would have been a voice of reason trying to calm and unite both races and our country instead of what his so-called predecessors are doing by being the voice of instigation fueling anger, division of races, violence and ultimately a division of our country. Once again....the race card is played. 

It is a tragedy that Brown died, however when the investigation is over, will we find that Brown precipitated his own death by going for Wilson's gun? Whatever the findings, someone died and that never makes for a good day. However, if the victim had been a white man, would there have been such outrage? What if the officer had been a black man? Do you think that there would have been rioting and looting and do you think the Rev. Billy Graham would have been on sight to fuel the fire of an angry mob? I think we all know the answer to that. 

No....I am not racist, but I think in this day and age.....trying not to be viewed as racist has backfired. It has caused a division in this country that has not been seen since the 1960's and even then, with Malcom X, King and all of those on the forefront of the Civil Rights movement, cooler heads prevailed. No one wanted what is going on today. 

So we know we have a problem, how do we fix it? While I have several personal opinions on the subject, it appears that the most violent of storms happen involving the police or with police on the scene. Perhaps there needs to be a push for police cams to be general issue to all cops across the country. In the places that have already implemented them, crime is down and cops (especially the god complex ones) seem to be towing the line better. It has also cut down on citizen complaints against officers and ultimately, it makes the streets a whole lot safer for everyone. 

Now I am going to leave this blog with my opinion. Maybe instead of fighting each other, we need to remember that regardless of our skin color, we are Americans. With all that is going on in the world that is indirectly and could at the drop of a hat....directly be affecting our country, perhaps we should unite as a people and find a common ground...the common ground that our forefathers both black and white have fought hard for and some.....paid a hefty price for. A country that is divided is already weak and a weak country is an easy target for our enemies. Just a thought. 


Anonymous said...

Great blog with great insight.

Anonymous said...

No, if it were a white man shot there would not be rioting or looting. Everyone knows that. Ferguson is a really rough area with a lot of people on welfare and too many people with too much time on their hands. They aren't pushing a time clock and they don't have to worry about earning a paycheck to support their families. The government pays for everything so they have no understanding of the hard work the business owners put in everyday. The destruction they caused means nothing to them. Those of us who do have to go to work everyday don't have time to riot, loot or cause problems in the streets. You are right, it is about race, but more than that it is about people, it doesn't matter the color of your skin, these people feel they are entitled. Brown was in the wrong but it looks like everyone has overlooked this fact. Oh and before you start calling me and my comment racist, you should probably know, I'm black, I live in St. Louis, I'm educated, I have a family and I have a job. Right is right and wrong is wrong and the people of Ferguson need to quit all this nonsense.