I feel very sorry for those people in Ferguson, Missouri. They are reeling right now from another round of violence, civil unrest, riots, looting, burning and so on. It reminds me of the whole Rodney King thing in Los Angeles some years back. Where does the violence come from? How does it happen? Is it being stoked by the media? Is it justified?
I think we better at least try to answer those questions.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed out, there must be protests when there is no justice, so the question really must be is whether or not there was justice? Turn that question around and pose it in the terms of this incident and you must get to the question of whether or not a Police Officer is justified in shooting an unarmed man? The Grand Jury asked this question, over and over. They spent 70 hours, interviewing dozens of witnesses, some of whom, obviously, gave false or conflicting, or even dubious testimony, since their stories disagreed with the physical evidence.
They were presented with the physical evidence, which again, totally disproves the initial claims by the “So-called” witnesses that Michael Brown was shot in the back. But again, can a Police Officer be justified in shooting an unarmed man? The Grand Jury answered a definite “Yes” in that case, as they reviewed all the evidence and found the officer, Darren Wilson, not culpable in any sort of way. In other words, he didn’t do anything so wrong under the law that he could be charged with a crime.
What about the central question of where this violence in these protests comes from? Why are there so many angry people? What is it they are angry about? Is the anger justified? To the first part, I say that the anger comes mostly from people who have a tendency towards violence to begin with. Many have been arrested in Ferguson recently, in response to the shooting death of Michael Brown, who are not residents of Ferguson. What are they doing in Ferguson? Why did they come? They came to engage in violent protest is really the only answer. As in London, in the riots of 2011, they came, not to protest any particular issue, as much as they came for personal gain. Looting is very lucrative business.
Is the anger justified? Anger at whom I think is the question. Why should I be angry if somebody gets shot who was violently assaulting a Police Officer who was only trying to do his duty? The simple answer is that I shouldn’t. If I choose to make it about race, because the officer was white and the young man who got killed was black, am I making it into a race-motivated issue when probably it was not? As I wrote previously, 93% of African Americans voted for the current President because of the color of his skin. That to me is racism. To make something about “Race” when it clearly was not is also racism unfortunately.
What it boils down to, is again, somebody is telling these poor people in Ferguson that this young man was killed – because he was black – and not because the Police Officer was in fear for his life. Do you see how they (the media, the race-baiters) have turned it around and made it seem like something it is not? People just need to understand this. The young man wasn’t accosted on the street because he was black, he lived in a 90% black neighborhood for goodness’ sakes! The officer didn’t accost him because he was doing anything “Legal”, but because he was walking down the middle of a street brazenly strutting around like he owned the joint. Now, don’t get me wrong, most of us have likely done something like that before. But, when a Police Officer, a man charged with upholding the law tells you that you should get off the street and use the sidewalk, you should not respond by violently assaulting the police officer!
At that point, I think the Grand Jury found enough evidence to say that the officer acted reasonably to protect himself from a visible (existing) threat to his life. The only conclusion I can draw, therefore, is that the violence in response is totally unjustified, and is being stoked by both the media and the race-baiters who in essence are spreading racism in our country. Racism of a kind that is aimed at people simply because they are white in this case. The Police Officer was not found to have done anything wrong, in a jury with 9 white people and 3 black people. They listened, they reviewed, they reached an agreement that he did nothing wrong.
The violence is so sad, so misguided, so misinformed, and in the end, so culpable, since it is being stoked by people who have nothing to do with that community. In the end also, I think we should remember, that a young man is dead, and a mother has lost a son. We should all grieve for her and the family, but engaging in violence is not the answer. As in all things, when life doesn’t make sense, Jesus Christ and His death and sacrifice for us is the only answer I can give. We, as human beings, will get it wrong so often, and when we do, people die.