I am a (pale) white male living in middle America. I recently have spoken to two black male (African-American) friends on the Ferguson shooting and unrest. (PS, they are not offended by the term black, nor I white or many other descriptive terms) One friend is outraged insisting race has to be a factor in the shooting and acquittal. He has been the target of profiling and I believe him to be correct in many of his experiences, he was guilty only of being black. But I too have been “profiled”, many times as a teenager & young man. I think nearly everyone in America has felt themselves subject to unfair treatment at the hands of multiple “civil servants”. Life ain’t fair.
Our other friend is also a cop. He was reluctant to offer an opinion on Ferguson. I pressed him, what would he do as a police officer facing a 300 lb., 6’8″ Michael Brown. “Man, I don’t know”. “It would be tough.” But if someone grabs and punches a cop like that, he will not be walking away? “No, they’re gonna take him down”. Right, whatever force required…. Necessary force.
What bothers me most is the media generated frenzy over this and Travon Martin. I’m not happy or wishing anyone death, but in both cases the evidence shows them to be the aggressors, not the victims. I asked the first friend if he had heard of John Crawford. No, he had not, but after my pestering, now he does. A 12 yr old was shot in Cleveland for holding a BB gun. How can that be, the media cries! Another innocent child shot for no reason except being black!
Sorry, but I can’t agree on this one. A shame? Yes, a tragic shame. But the police were called saying he was waving & pointing a gun at passer’s by. The “gun” also had the orange safety tip removed, which may or may not have had an effect. They were responding to a deadly threat. I wish we were not in a world where police are so keyed up to threats but there have been mass shootings by 12 yr old’s and younger. Had the child done everything perfectly, I would like to think it would have been one of those memorable life experiences for all. But he didn’t. I don’t blame him for not understanding a life or death command to “drop it” or “show me your hands”. I don’t blame the parents for him being out on a park bench with a BB gun that looked like a real gun. I don’t blame the cops. Blame won’t help here…
I asked my friend his thoughts on the Garner Grand Jury verdict. He was surprised the protests were so peaceful. He said he hoped the “black community would unite and continue to protest this crime.” I asked him if he was prejudice? WHAT? Why would you ask me that? Because even though I agree with you on the NY jury decision, you excluded me from your protests. I don’t agree they did it because he was black & the point there is you or I could never prove it anyway. You can prove they violated their “no choke hold” procedure. You can prove excessive force. You can prove involuntary manslaughter. But if you make it about race, you lose me.
I think we should be having a conversation about police use of excessive force. I don’t see the media, the president or any of those with the ability to have these conversations truthfully seeking to have them. The one’s they champion are the wrong examples. John Crawford was, IMO, “gunned down”. As with the 12 yr old, police were advised someone had a gun and was threatening others. The caller has now admitted he lied.(1) He made two calls claiming Crawford was loading an assault rifle, pointing it and children, etc… Here I am tempted to blame and use some name calling, but I’ll leave that to others. But even with those calls, as I see it, the police did not follow procedure. The shot an innocent man in the back without properly evaluating the situation or allowing him a chance to surrender. And again I say, race was/is not a factor.
But excessive force? That is what I see with Garner. I think police should be judged and held accountable when they exceed their authority. Are they public servants or our masters? Sometimes that happens.(2)
Springsteen wrote “American Skin (41 Shots)” to protest the police shooting death of Amadou Diallo. Yes, a black man. The defense is he reached for his wallet/ID. Right or wrong, police perceive any attempt to reach into pants/pockets, etc, as a likely threat. They react as if you are reaching for a gun.(3) If there is an honest desire to have a “conversation”, I say we have to leave out the race card. Since the media won’t, maybe we should ask, who is paying for or supporting these protests?(4) It appears to be an assortment of Marxists, Socialists, Islamic, immigrants rights, black rights, progressives, etc.. Or Obama’s true supporters. Are there any “Blue Dog” Democrats left in congress? Seems they have all been driven out by the extreme left-wing. This extreme left-wing is driving the mob’s and inciting racial tensions, civil & police relations and simply inciting violence. Violence feeds on violence. Hit a cop & he hits back. Then others get involved.
One way to control a conversation is to frame it in a way that favors you position. Abortion? The left will start it with a serial rapists, HIV positive, who has impregnated multiple teens. Defend that “righities”. In the same way, police violence is framed as racism. In the cases of Martin & Brown, it appears they were the aggressors. They initiated violence. Pity the black persons on those juries who could not convict a white man for self-defense. They face relentless peer pressure for not being racist. Had the media used Crawford for their argument, the majority of Americans would have joined in the outrage. The leftists pushing this do not want that! Instead they use instances where the majority will not be swayed be accusations of racism where simple, self-defense is obvious. They are not being merely disingenuous, they are deliberately starting with a false premiss to then use it to propagandize the event. If you don’t agree and support their position, you are a racist. They want to lose this battle!
If these left-wing agitators are Obama’s supporters, what is it they (and Obama) want? Violence just for the blood? No… To see a bunch of cops killed or injured? NO, because President Obama is pretty much the top cop. Department of Justice, Homeland Security, FBI all answer to him. So why would Obama want this tension? Why would he court riot’s? Well the left is always wanting bigger government. Communism with a small “c”. Many of our inner cities are distressed. Detroit is bankrupt and has cut off the water to thousands for non-payment. The UN has even investigated for human rights violations. Tens of thousands of Americans living in poverty are being told the rich or the whites or the police are responsible. “The Republicans don’t care about you poor people, they want you to starve.”
So what is the goal is creating unrest? I think just to grow the government. Senator Obama campaigned and called for a civilian national defense force equal to our military. Everybody at the event cheered. Every conservative/Republican/libertarian/ thinking person shouted WTF!!! (WTF=where’s the fire)(Volkswagen owners say where’s the Farfegnugen) The L.A. riots were long past. We had two wars going, but those were outside threats. None of those cheering Obama supporters asked, why? What is the need for this super civilian defense force? And I think Obama may be creating the need for that force. What a play! Blame the police for violence so he can hire even more police to “suppress” the violence….. And the people who his police force will battle were the ones who elected him. And who says voters are stupid?