A different Black opinion on #Ferguson
I do not subscribe the popular collective mind-set in Black culture. I do not believe everything revolves around race. Sure, dismiss my opinions as invalid because I am a first-generation American, but the fact of the matter, is: I was born in the US. I have a right to my opinion just like any other Black American.
There are a lot of conflicting reports regarding the shooting of Michael Brown. I have heard and read that Brown was a suspect in a robbery of a convenience store. It’s possible that he was not the actual suspect but a Black man (because all Black people look alike) who kinda fit the description of the suspect. There are witnesses who say that at the time Brown was shot, he was unarmed and had his hands up in the air in surrender. I have also heard reports that he was resisting arrest and charging police at the time he was shot. Another account says that Brown was shot in the back.
People, of all races and colors, just want the truth about what actually occurred. I do not think it is fair to conclude that the Brown shooting revolves solely around race simply because the police officer, Darren Wilson, is white and the victim was Black. Sometimes, unfortunate shootings like this happen regardless of race or color. We don’t live in a perfect world. This wouldn’t be an issue if Wilson were Black and Brown was also Black.
The second autopsy of Brown’s body revealed that he was shot six times, twice in the head. If it is true that he was charging at police, then the police had a right to defend themselves using force. But if Brown did have his hands up in the air in surrender and was shot six times anyway, then Officer Wilson has a lot of ‘splaining to do.
Officer Wilson is currently on paid administrative leave. The media have no clues on his whereabouts. Rumors are that Wilson has skipped town and is laying low somewhere out of state (probably a smart idea for him). His professional history does not include any complaints, but in fact, notes that he was commended for outstanding service. How does an officer with no history of violence or trouble suddenly find himself at the center of a racially charged shooting?
Then, there are the protesters. Protesters who claim to be peaceful but antagonize the police with incendiary signs and remarks. Black Americans have called the Ferguson protests a “throwback” to 50 years ago when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. marched peacefully with other Black citizens to gain equal rights. The protests in Dr. King’s day were more peaceful than the protests of today. When the New Black Panther party is a part of the protests, peaceful assembly is in doubt.
I don’t deny that most of the citizens of Ferguson are trying to seek equal and fair justice. Everyone wants answers about the Brown incident.
But police are not innocent, either. They have overreacted by donning military gear, using tear gas, and engaging in use of excessive force. Reporters at a McDonald’s were arrested. Camera crews have had tear gas launched at them then had their gear disassembled and confiscated. Freedom of the press is being subdued in Ferguson.
The Ferguson Police Department has botched this whole thing up. It, also, has been the source of conflicting reports, backtracking, and a series of missteps. I don’t say that because the Ferguson PD gave interviews to right-wing media. I say that because it obvious that the Ferguson PD have no idea what the hell they’re doing to control an emotional crowd.
Looting and destruction of property has been taking place in Ferguson. I don’t care WHAT the situation is, but there is no reason or cause for looting and property destruction. This is not helping the case of protesters and will not lull police into feeling that safety and order exists in Ferguson. There may be a few protesters taking advantage of the situation by looting and destroying property, but I understand that’s not the majority of protesters. However, protesters who insist that their acts are peaceful should do what they can to discourage this kind of misbehavior.
Then, Ferguson imposes a city-wide curfew. (Ugh. Bad idea.) Of course if you tell people they can’t do something, they’re going to do it to piss you off. It’s just human nature. So people have not been obeying the curfew and continue to protest at night. What gets me are not the protesters with innocent signs or slogans (“Hell no, we won’t go!”), it is the “protesters” who throw Molotov cocktails, rocks, and glass bottles at people.
We have protesters antagonizing police antagonizing protesters antagonizing police antagonizing…
It’s a big circle, and I have been calling for the National Guard to step in since things began to get out of hand. When reporters start getting arrested for no good reason in a McDonald’s, that’s a good reason to send the Feds in.
I don’t see the Brown shooting/Ferguson situation as a racial issue; I see it as a human rights issue. What started out as a call for justice and answers has spiraled into a bigger situation that challenges freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to peacefully assemble. I hope the National Guard can restore order and a sense of peace in Ferguson so that the air can finally clear and America can get some answers behind what is still a mysterious shooting.