My thoughts on the Ferguson situation.

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”~ Martin Luther King: A great man who would be saddened by what he would be seeing if he were still with us.
“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

For the past few months, I have been following the news in Ferguson Missouri, with great interest. For those who aren’t up to speed, here is what happened. A white cop murdered an innocent black child in cold blood, back in August and the black citizens of the city have been peacefully (albeit, angrily) protesting ever since. In a miscarriage of justice, it was just announced a few days ago that the killer cop will not be facing charges and so, the protests have escalated. At least, that’s what the mainstream media has been telling us.

Now, let me just make this quite clear. I don’t know all the facts. Nor am I going to even try and pretend that I do. I wasn’t there to witness what happened, so I can only analyse the situation based on the evidence that I have seen. So here is my interpretation of the events, based on what I have read.

Michael Brown was not the “Gentle Giant” he has been portrayed as. I’ve no doubt that he may have been to his friends and family, but I don’t believe he was in general.

This image has been commonly used in stories about Michael Brown.
As has this one. Was there ever a more innocent looking victim? Propaganda, designed to tug at the heartstrings, I assure you.

Minutes before he was killed, Brown and his friend had robbed a box of cigars from a convenience store. The 6’4″, 292 pound Brown, also pushed the clerk around on his way out. Hardly the act of a gentle giant.

The innocent gentle giant, moments before his death.
The innocent gentle giant, moments before his death.

As bad as this, it’s hardly a capital crime, and I don’t believe he deserved to be shot for it.

However…

Minutes later, Officer Darren Wilson, encountered Brown and his friend walking in the middle of the road and asked him to move on to the footpath. Now this is where the stories start to diverge. Generally, it is accepted that there was some kind of a struggle between Brown and Officer Wilson. What happened next is where the confusion begins. According to some eyewitnesses, Brown fled and was shot in the back. Others say he raised his arms in surrender and was shot. According to Darren Wilson, Brown tried to take his gun from him and was shot in the hand while doing so. This caused Brown to get more aggressive and so, Wilson shot him again and again until the threat was neutralised, when Brown was dead. The autopsy corroborates Wilson’s testimony.

However, none of this matters. All that matters is this. A white cop shot a young black man. The reasoning behind it is irrelevant. Now, I’m not going to deny that there is a problem with racism in America. The fact that at least every 28 hours, a black person is killed by law enforcement in America is statistical insanity and suggests that something is seriously wrong. However, I just don’t think this particular case is the one to make a martyr out of. I’m sure there are plenty of other black people who were killed by white law enforcement who are more deserving of this sympathy than Brown. But nevertheless, Brown’s death has been the straw that broke the camel’s back and unleashed months of peaceful protests.

Peaceful protester throwing tear gas.
Peaceful protesters whose trousers are clearly a few sizes too big for them.
Fire fighters stop by building which has been peacefully protested.
Fire fighters stop by building which has been peacefully protested.
Peaceful protesters. protest racist liquor store.
Peaceful protesters. protest racist liquor store.
Peaceful protesters stocking up on supplies which I’m sure they paid for.

Imagine if Martin Luther King was around to see this. Now there was a man who knew how to protest both peacefully and successfully but more importantly, about things worth protesting about.

Oh and let me just finish by saying this. All I care about is what’s right. If evidence comes out to suggest that Michael Brown was indeed an innocent victim of an overzealous, trigger-happy, racist cop, I will change my tune and support the protesters. However as it stands, the evidence that I have seen suggests that Darren Wilson only acted in self defence and so, I’m on his side for now. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens as time goes on.

Destroying your own city and stealing from your own community (many of whom are minorities themselves). Yeah, you sure showed Whitey.
Destroying your own city and stealing from your own community (many of whom are minorities themselves). Yeah, you sure showed Whitey.
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