The flames burning in Ferguson’s streets right now might not have been there before the grand jury’s decision late last night, but it’s been on fire decades.
You see, those who have been protesting in the streets for weeks on end, and who will continue to do so in Ferguson and in other cities across the nation, are seeking to not only right something they perceive as a wrong, but they also happen to be the ones that enabled such a wrong to exist in the first place. And really, when you look at it from a perspective free of bullshit emotions built upon pillars of cooked spaghetti, you see what people are trying to fix isn’t even a problem.
Sometimes they even seem to love those problems.
But perhaps I’m being unfair. Of course any kind of injustice perpetrated by law enforcement should be dealt with in kind and there is little disagreement that law enforcement has at times been responsible for injustices against the very people they are expected to protect. But in the case of Ferguson and Mike Brown, sorry– that just doesn’t appear to be the case.
The reaction to the grand jury decision in Ferguson has come with typical buzz-word reactions from the public. “I’m afraid for my kids”, “My son could be shot dead in the street and no one would even be punished for it”, “Skittles”, “Iced tea”– all jabs at the presumptive guilt of trigger happy cops or people, while ignoring that just sometimes…black “kids” are capable of making some very poor decisions.
Do I have examples of these decisions from personal experience? No, not really– I leave my apartment every morning and when I get to work, which happens to be in an incredibly diverse place as it was during my tenure in the military, I see people of every different color imaginable working together, greeting each other, and coexisting peacefully. Everyone says “good morning” to each other, they chat while they grab their morning cup of coffee, and they don’t latch on to the perpetual cycle of division that is often the outcome from unfortunate events like these. I do not witness “poor decisions” because I surround myself with people who have been raised appropriately- and certainly not all are from environments known for being conducive to such, which is a testament to what true resilience is.
So while people would like to pretend like the race wars of yesteryear continue to rage, it is important to note that they most certainly do not. They don’t exist in a white-on-black sense, and they exist even less-so in a white-cop-on-innocent-black-person/kid/baby/”good kid” sense.
The biggest threat to a young black male remains other young black males, and this has been a consistent (and inconvenient to some) truth for some time. For young black males aged 15-34, murder is the #1 cause of their deaths. Forty percent of all black males who died in that entire age group died by way of murder, compared to just under 4 percent for white males. This is an entirely relevant fact- one which has often been downplayed by left-leaning media that for some reason cannot fathom that they’ve helped to create these societal pockets; environments where 40% of the young black males dying every year fall by way of murder isn’t really a big deal. It’s “whatever”, or “doesn’t speak to the deeper narrative”. Off the top of my head, I recall that the FBI’s 2011 statistics indicated that more than 90% of those black males being murdered were killed by other black men, and thus my contention which I’ll repeat:
If you’re so scared for the life of your young, black child, perhaps you should consider not allowing him to associate with other young, black children.
This is, of course, unrealistic. Nor is it any way to solve a problem. I provided such an extreme suggestion merely to highlight how ridiculous, ignorant, and dangerous it is to accept the idea that your child is somehow more threatened in the face of law enforcement than they are virtually anywhere else. Much of the rage in Ferguson rests on the belief that Officer Wilson did in fact commit a crime. This is why people demand “justice” and cannot shut up about how good of a kid Mike Brown had to have been (really, how many actually knew him?). What most are ignoring in Ferguson is that of the evidence that’s been public for weeks has slowly revealed that Wilson was very likely doing exactly what any police officer would do when threatened by someone in their own squad car. Another inconvenient truth.
But who cares about what “justice” really entails, right?
It will be truly refreshing once people stop pretending like they face a persistent struggle with authority, when what they really face as an every day danger are the people who live to the left and right of them. Sure, it’s not comforting to look at your neighbors like potential assailants but in rough areas of tough towns, that’s more realistic than operating under the assumption that a cop is about to off you just for kicks.
So that brings me to the final point about Ferguson– how its own people, and those who “support Mike Brown” (which they don’t, really)– let this all happen.
It happened at the voting booth– either in the way Ferguson’s residents voted, or in the ways in which they chose to abstain from doing so all together. Ferguson is but one more low-income and low-educated city with sky-rocketing poverty levels that has been suffering, for well beyond half a century, from the cancer that is their own elected, progressive puppet masters . It is shocking to consider that at the time when civil rights leaders like MLK were helping usher the nation into a new tomorrow of hope with regard to the rights of human beings regardless of race, the city of Ferguson was gearing up to begin its unwavering election of progressive, liberal leadership that has been sucking it dry of just about any hope it could have had, ever since.
These discussions about race have to become political, unfortunately. This is true because despite popular belief, the terror unleashed against men and women of color throughout history was not a black and white issue, but a political one. It was not all-whites ensuring the demise of blacks, it was all-white Democrats giving it their all to condemn them to tree branches. They continued to give it their all through the filibustering of two attempts at civil rights acts, until they reluctantly gave in to the third once it became clear that staying the course was no longer a viable political option. I raise the issue of Democrats being so inter-connected with this situation in Ferguson because not only are they squarely responsible for it by the ways in which they have inhumanely led minorities and other oft-disenfranchised groups historically, but because the survival of their party as they know it relies upon its continuation through Ferguson, and into the Fergusons of tomorrow.
As I’ve stated a number of times by now, Republicans being Republicans does not absolve them of their responsibilities of representing all people equally and in accordance with the ways in which all free people should be treated. Racism exists in all corners of politics and this surely will not change until the old blood departs it. But the very reason we still have racial issues which are sure to continue dividing us for at least some time rests squarely on the shoulders of a very smart, and powerful Democratic contingent that pulled off one of the biggest schemes our nation’s political system has ever witnessed. It’s just unfortunate that so few people actually took a second to pay mind to what they were witnessing.
They convinced the population they enslaved that they weren’t responsible for it, and they have kept them convinced while enslaving them all the same, consistently, and through the present.
How do the residents of Ferguson share responsibility for this despite being victims at the same time? Perhaps taking a look at the signs in their yards and on their telephone polls come election season can provide some insight into that.