Crime and looting shift focus in Ferguson

Why was Michael Brown killed? What exactly happened that day? Why was the officer in such fear for his life that he had to use deadly force? Was Michael that imposing and threatening a figure? Did the young man have a weapon? Was there any dash-camera footage? And, if the answer is no then why not? Finally, why is it taking so long to have these questions answered and answered fully?

Last night, and today even, I see we’re no closer to having any of the above solved than we were three days ago. That’s what looting during a protest brings to the table. It allows the real and necessary component of the demonstration to be nullified.

Instead of asking the primary questions in all of this-questions that will assuage grief and provide closure to the family-we’re left with inquiring about the response of the police in the aftermath of Sunday night’s mini riot.

That the response is and continues to be heavy-handed can be argued. A claim could be made that guilt will make you respond in such a manner. However, that’s not the issue, yet.  The true issue is whether or not we as citizens should be attempting to answer such queries right now in the aftermath of the young man’s killing.  I have to feel that we should be dealing with more pressing and potentially damning facts.

I’m sure that there exists a segment of law enforcement as well as the rest of society, however small, that doesn’t necessarily want those questions answered. They don’t care. Not only do they not care but they revel when a young black man is killed. All is then right in their world as they see those same young men as nothing but thugs needing to be exterminated.

Knowing that these individuals exist should galvanize the community to be vigilant in preventing anyone straying from the course of finding and attaining justice for Michael. But it doesn’t.

Instead we have headlines such as the one yesterday: Man Shot after Pointing Gun at Ferguson, Missouri Police.

That a person would bring a gun to a peaceful protest about the unlawful killing of a young man with a gun is bad enough. That he would then point that gun at a member of the police force, the same police force whose member is accused of killing the young man you’re out there demonstrating about is absurd and defies common sense, logic and reason.

Crackhead Babies Have Grown Up

Years earlier, a family member uttered to me those words in the above line. I remember thinking then that his pronouncement was a dire one that provided little hope for the future. In fact, he predicted that it could only get worse as they continue to age and assimilate more into society.

Regrettably, here we are now in those worse of times; a period when the hold that young African-American males have on life is a tenuous one, particularly in the inner city and especially where they have occasion to interact with their local police forces.

In protesting the senseless murder of these young men, the community must get control of this wild-card constituency that routinely appropriates the message and generally makes life bad for the rest. Failure to do so only lumps us all together in that one, big bag of mixed thugs. And there’re more people than a little bit that are quite happy with that characterization.




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Filed under Justice, Life and Society, Opinion

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