Michael Brown and the Ferguson Protest

25 Nov

Protesters_with_signs_in_Ferguson

The streets were littered with protesters in the USA in regards to Michael Brown, an 18-year old boy who was killed by 28-year old police officer, Darren Wilson. Two young men. After the death, people, many of them African American, began rioting in the streets, robbing from stores and getting into altercations with other police officers.

That happened months ago, but now the verdict in regards to the case was due to come in 11/24. Unfortunately, Wilson was not charged with murder.

Hell broke loose on the streets of Ferguson once again. Protesters, or rioters, rather, began stealing from stores, setting fire to buildings, and vandalizing property.

Protests have been happening in other areas of the nation, such as in Washington, Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

Here’s my spin on the matter:

1) I find Wilson guilty in my own heart.

2) We don’t know the truth about this case.

3) The rioters are in the wrong right now, and disrespecting black people and anyone they claim to represent.

Now, I just want to explain my stand on this issue in a fair, but truthful way. I don’t want to ruffle feathers with such an uncomfortable topic, but I’m not shy when it comes to controversy, either.

I find Darren Wilson Guilty

darren wilson

With Trayvon Martin, I had my suspicions. You can read about that here. But with Brown, I really don’t feel he deserved to die. I really feel that the officer was in the wrong in some way. I don’t feel it was necessarily racially motivated.

I believe he judged the man based on the content of his character. There are a lot of black men in the community to just be singling out one man. This boy did steal, but he didn’t do a major crime for the capitol punishment that was issued.

I don’t know every gory detail of this case, but I do know that the boy was shot way more than once. I understand the young man was strong, but after the first shot, why go any further? After the first shot, I would’ve asked, “Are you going to surrender?” Really, he should have stayed in the vehicle and waited for back up after the boy fled the car. The cop obviously wasn’t strong enough to subdue the young man. But to shoot the boy more than five times? I can even understand two shots, but seven?

I think the cop was mad, lost control, and felt his own power. I believe he was young and thought he was going to teach the boy a lesson. I understand how crazy these children can be. I work with them. But whenever you have a position of authority, you always have to remember that everyone has their reasons for what they do.

From the story, there are two versions. Wilson’s version makes Brown out to be the aggressor, the one who provoked the fight. Brown’s friend, who was with him during the altercation, has an entirely different story. Witnesses all conflict in what they heard and saw. But one thing was adding up: There were way too many gunshots than there needed to be.

Should that boy have robbed from that store? Nope. And if he had a better moral character, this wouldn’t have happened. But it’s the cop’s job to make sure true justice is served. With Brown dead, can he really learn from his mistake now? Can others learn from his mistake? True justice would’ve been served with him alive, and certainly not shot more than five times. I believe both were wrong. But Brown has already paid for his wrong deed.

What payment is being due to Wilson, who acted out of control and trigger-happy with his gun? Not enough.

But as Yuuko from XXXHOLIC would say, “sure, you are getting away with it now, but you won’t be able to leave the house”. Something to that affect. He will be a prisoner wherever he goes.

I know police officers. I have had family members who were cops, all black cops. I understand that when someone signs up to be an officer, they are literally taking a chance with their life everyday. Really, they have sacrificed their comforts and safety to try to protect the community.

But some officers get comfortable with having that little power and carrying that gun, especially when they are young and inexperienced. Wilson strikes me as that kind of rookie cop. He probably has never experienced a one-on-one death threat before, and felt challenged by this bold boy who acted unafraid of the police. They exist out here. The criminal often feels his power as much as the cop trying to subdue him does. It takes an arrogant person to rob a store in broad daylight and not think nothing was coming to them. A thief must feel he has the power to walk in some place and take what he pleases, without fear. In this case, we expect that from a young man.

Not from a cop. The cop stole something from someone that night, too. He robbed a family of a son, brother, cousin, and he took someone else’s life. We expect an immature child thief to over-exercise his power, but we would hope our police officers would keep a cool head on their shoulders and not act irrational out of anger or revenge. It’s seriously a scary thought. On both ends, for both parties. And it makes this issue even more sticky…Of course…

We don’t Know the Truth About This Case

We have Wilson’s testimony, but obviously, he’s going to make himself out to be a victim. We have Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, who was involved in this altercation. We can’t really trust his word completely because he might side with his friend, even if the facts prove otherwise. Young people hate authority, and so you can’t trust everything they say.

Some of Wilson’s testimony seems legit. Read his testimony here. —>Darren Wilson’s testimony He claims that Michael Brown “taunted him” by calling him a “p***y” and “assaulted him”. Guess what? I believe him. Being the age Brown was, and in the kind of neighborhood, I believe it. I work with inner city African American children (and was once an African American child myself, now I am an adult), and most of them influence each other to be the same: Extremely disrespectful towards authority. There are only a few well-behaved, respectful children. Being respectful does not always mean being obedient to every rule, but showing respect even when you disagree with a rule or a law. Most of the young black children I know don’t respect ANY authority, not even if the authority is black.

No, this testimony is not easy for a grieving mother to grasp, as every mother wants to feel that their children were precious “angels”, and no one wants to lose a loved one. But come on, we all know, deep down, Michael Brown had some hand in his demise. I doubt the altercation would’ve escalated to that point had he been calm the whole time.

On the other hand, I believe the witnesses and Brown’s friend when they say Brown had his hands up in surrender. I believe that Wilson, so angry after being taunted, lost control, and began trying to prove to Brown he was not a wimp. He was angry, and wanted to show Brown up for making him look like a weak cop. That’s my understanding of the matter. I believe that the cop may have jerked his car door, accidentally hitting Brown. I believe he grabbed Brown by the neck. I believe the officer and Brown exchanged cuss words, aggravating the situation. I believe that Brown was trying to surrender, albeit with an angry tone of voice, but surrender nonetheless. I believe the cop misunderstood his actions.

Perhaps Brown stuck his hand in his waistband to scare the cop at first, we don’t know. But eventually, I believe he gave up after he realized the cop was willing to shoot him. This is when the shots should have ended.

The other Witnesses may count for something, but we don’t know who is neutral about the situation, and who just hates when white people have authority in black communities. There are black people who just hate to see a white cop (or any cop) in an altercation with a black person, and they will more than likely side with the black person (even a criminal) even though he is wrong.

Still, they are the only eyes and ears that can shed light on the case. They shouldn’t be ignored. And through everything a person says, everything may not be true, but I believe you can find some truth in everything said.

Read all the evidence presented in the case —>>> Here. It has all been released.

I understand all of this confusion can make people angry, especially the family and friends of Brown. I would want to fight someone, too. But…

The Rioters are in the Wrong Right Now, and Disrespecting Black people and Everyone They Claim to Represent

Ferguson,_Day_4,_Photo_13

I understand everyone is angry. I understand the feeling that you are powerless, and there is nothing you feel you can do. I felt that same powerlessness, which is why I started this blog. It almost feels like black people’s voices are being ignored. It may even feel like people are getting desensitized towards black people because of a handful of black characters who actually do commit crimes. All black people get stuffed together because of the actions of one, and it isn’t fair.

But is rioting going to make people see that Michael Brown was being “profiled”? Being “profiled” is being suspicious of black people, especially men, simply because they are black men. It’s stereotyping all black men to be the same, pinning them to crimes committed within the community, when they are innocent. (But Michael Brown did commit a crime by robbing a store hours before his death, so…He wasn’t profiled).

By committing a crime, are you proving to the world that black people are blamed for “no justifiable reasons”? Or are you proving that black people love to commit crimes, and now that they have a reason to do it, they are going to?

I understand some black people want to send a message. They want to show that if they can’t trust their police officers, they might as well not follow the laws of the land. In other words, they feel if even the cops can commit crimes and get away with it, they should be able to get away with it, too. The more I put this in words, the stupider it sounds.

If you’re going to send a message that promotes anti-violence and the end of legal criminal activity, wouldn’t it be more effective to make yourself look like a solid citizen? If you act wild, with violence and legal criminal activity, then people begin to understand why police are so rough on your neighborhood, and they definitely wouldn’t take your cause seriously. You would be no different from the cop! I should say the whole community appears to be crazy. But if the people had acted peacefully, it really would’ve been a stab at the police. By rioting, they negated the purpose of the protest and made it about themselves.  Who can take the protesters of Ferguson seriously now? They aren’t representing Michael Brown by rioting, and they certainly aren’t helping empower black people. They are giving power to those oppressing black people.

There have been a lot of race riots in the past, but did it solve anything? No. The most effective movements have always been non-violent protests. The world has gotten farther with non-violent boycotts than with violence and rioting. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi were examples of how these movements have benefited people. There was less bloodshed and more understanding from the ones oppressing them. The only way to end racism is to understand one another. Do black people truly want to end racism? Do they want white people to understand them? Or do they thrive on their hate and anger towards white people and any other people they feel oppressed by? If the latter is the case, black people must have a love-hate relationship with racism. They hate that they can’t get anywhere in life with oppression, but they like being the under-dog and having a scapegoat cry of “racism” that could get them out of trouble whenever they need it. In this case, they are playing the American Justice System. They hate the system when it doesn’t benefit them, but they use the freedom of speech and equal rights clauses, amendments of the land, to empower themselves whenever they need it. I guess something about the system is benefiting them. In other countries, there are no equal rights clauses to benefit the oppressed. And black people have a right to take full advantage of that system, but let’s not take it for granted. You can only cry “race” for so long before, as MLK put it, the “content of character” begins to show.

And what does the rioting tell me about the black community in Ferguson? What is the “content of their character”? Honestly, it is not a place I want to visit, and those rioters are not individuals I want to meet. And that is sad. I really wouldn’t feel safe being there. That’s sad that I feel that way about a black community. Apparently, it’s so bad, they’ve stopped airplanes from entering and exiting Ferguson. I don’t want to judge these people, as I’m sure there are some good people there that the media isn’t showing, but I can say honestly, it turns me off, if even a little bit. I would love to go there and help, but I don’t want to be robbed and looted as I’m entering a city that is about to go bankrupt in a minute, due to the looting.

Look at how disrespectful all of this is to Michael Brown and his family. Sure, the family probably felt a sense of healing to know that people felt so strongly about the loss of their son. Possibly, at first they were happy everything was burning to the ground, because that’s probably how they felt inside. But after awhile, they probably began to see black-owned businesses burning, people scared, and all the hateful backlash, and it just pained the family in the long run. Whatever love the rioters were trying to show the families proved counter-productive.

Especially because these rioters were destroying their own community, their own businesses, their own streets! Before you destroy something, think to yourself, where am I going to sleep tonight? I’ll bet the good number of people who tore everything up didn’t have homes or jobs. If they did, they would’ve thought about these consequences. And if they did have a job and home, they probably don’t have one anymore. And even if they still do hold a job after this, the community is going to be in debt, due to all the damage that has to be fixed. It’s hard enough for black people to find jobs as it is, now you destroy the jobs you do have? Why set your people back further like that? Black people have destroyed themselves by rioting. Aside from jobs, now where are people going to buy things from? You burned your gas stations. Where are local people going to get their gas from now? I would hate to have to drive out of my community just to get to a gas station! You robbed your phone stores. Now where are you going to get phone service? All the drug stores are looted. Now where can people get their cigarettes? You know how people get when they can’t get their cigs!

Cars were burning, so how are people going to get home? What are they going to do if they don’t have good insurance? People just don’t think about others.

I understand things are just things, and lives are important. But isn’t all of this threatening to the ones still living? Should there be more bloodshed of the innocent on account of one semi-innocent victim?

They even looted the Chinese restaurant! What did they ever do to black people? When we get to this point, it’s no longer about race, and it’s no longer about Michael Brown. In fact, by this point, people are beginning to question whether any of this was about race or Michael Brown in the first place. Thanks for destroying what could have been a strong reform in the Criminal Justice System. This just makes the Criminal Justice System even more aggressive in their tactics and even more tight. It makes them look right about the community, and it makes the people look like they don’t know what they’re talking about!

We have black people saying, “This is nothing compared to Michael Brown’s body on the street. The city can be rebuilt, they have insurance. But Michael can’t be brought back to life.” Well, they won’t be singing that tune when their checks are hashed with taxes to pay up. Insurance can only cover so much. And you better hope some of those businesses have everything insured, especially small shops. You know how these insurance companies can be. And without jobs, these people may end up like Michael Brown, especially with the winter in full swing. How will the employees of the burned-down businesses thrive? It’s not like it will be easy to find a job in the community.

The real question is: What do black people hope to achieve out of this? And I’m not talking about the family. They just want an indictment. I’m talking about if there had been an indictment, and for future cases. Do black people truly want a better Justice System? With a stronger Justice System, black people won’t be able to pull the same card they usually pull. How will that ever be achieved when you won’t ever trust the police, no matter what? Even if there was change, could black people trust that things have changed, even with imperfect men trying to keep law and order? And if that system was better, would they comply with the laws better? Or are they just using all of this as an excuse to commit crimes, and don’t really care if they have good law-abiding cops?

I mean, authority figures are never anyone’s friend. They are certainly not friends with the people of this community, who seemed like they lacked total respect for police, looking at how Brown acted towards policemen. They are attacking other cops on account of this one cop. They are pitting all cops in the same category. They are setting fire to police cars in their own community, the same cars that could possibly save another life with the right reform. I understand if they don’t trust any of the cops now. Did they ever trust them in this community? Is it that they want all of the cops fired and replaced? Preferably, with more black cops? My community has nothing but black policemen, but it’s no different. There is still struggle between criminals and cops. Will a reform in the Justice System truly create safety? If not, what will stop people from being murdered in their beds or robbed in the streets?

It pains me to see another black community going down in flames. I want to see better of my people, I really do. But how can I support people who don’t want to help themselves, and instead, are only out to gain something for themselves out of someone else’s pain? Is robbing a liquor store going to solve this issue? Really!

And hey, I have felt racism. I know what true racism is. Racism is something far different than what is being experienced here. Racism is when someone is innocent and is accused by authority without a reason, just because of the color of their skin. I’ve experienced this in school and on the job. This boy had a reason for why he was stopped, and he was not innocent. It didn’t have to escalate as far as it went, but he was still not innocent. Rioting brings out all of the flaws of the case. It brings out a seed in this community that was probably influencing Michael Brown everyday, which is why he thought it was okay to steal in the first place. Before you do something, consider how your actions will affect the children in the community. Think how the same seed of rioting and looting actually killed Michael Brown in the first place. Straighten up your actions so you can be a better influence on the next generation.

In conclusion, I beg the people of Ferguson to focus on seeing justice in a peaceful, but more powerful way. I pray for the families affected by this tragedy. And I hope stability is restored to the community soon.

Leave me a comment and let me know your opinion on the Michael Brown case!

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One Response to “Michael Brown and the Ferguson Protest”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Civil Equality Tests | Generation Next - 2014/11/29

    […] Though I believe the Michael Brown case had little to do with race, more on that here —>Michael Brown case issue<—, the topic of race was bound to show up sometime in this century. It has been boiling up […]

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