Am I really the minority in the black community? Can I really be the only one who has these opinions?
As I sit back and browse the channels of numerous cable networks covering the Ferguson, Missouri looting & riots, I can’t help but be disgusted, annoyed, ashamed and angry at my black community. What in the hell are we doing? What are we gaining from rioting & looting other than showing the “others” that we are the perceived animals they think we are and that we should be feared and locked up?
Has History Taught Us Nothing?
Have we learned nothing from the DC riots of 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? After DC, the “race riots” moved across the U.S. affecting 110 largely black populated cities, including Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit, OUR NEIGHBORHOODS in OUR CITIES.
What about the Los Angeles riots of 1992 following the acquittal of the LAPD officers on trail for the police brutality beating of Rodney King, which was caught on tape? I don’t think that anyone in their right mind would say that we, as a black community, gained anything in this incident either.
And now, here we go again with case of Officer Darren Wilson, who the grand jury chose not to indict for the shooting death of 18 year old Michael Brown. I am quite sure rioting is not what the founding fathers of the civil rights movement had in mind when they said take to the streets and let our voices be heard. I’m sure they are turning over in their graves knowing that their non-violent led demonstrations and protests toward racial inequalities have somehow morphed into rallying for civil disobedience, rioting and looting. I am even more disgusted at the footage of the looters who don’t seem to be upset in the least about the perceived issues surrounding the case. I see smiles, laughing & horse playing as they take advantage of these crimes of opportunity while robbing their fellow neighbors blind and trashing their own communities.
Media, Celebrities, Civil Rights Leaders and their Agendas
Perhaps I am more pissed at our black community for allowing themselves to be spoon fed by certain echelons of the media, celebrities, and these so called national civil rights and community leaders with their own agendas. New flash Ferguson, when the lights dial down on your city, these people after going to pack up the media trucks, their entourages, check out of their penthouse hotel suites and book a first class flight out of your city leaving you to clean up the damage by yourself.
What Would You Have Done
I know I’m going to upset many in my community by this but I really want you to put yourself in Officer Darren Wilson’s shoes during those few minutes of the incident and honestly tell me that you wouldn’t have made that exact same decision. I find it hard to correlate Michael Brown the “innocent young black man” with Michael Brown the 6’4”, 292 lbs thug that just robbed a convenience store then savagely shoving the store’s employee when he tried to stop Brown from leaving. Whether or not the officer knew about the robbery when he approached Brown, regardless of when and why the video was released or the motive behind it, it clearly shows that is was Brown and, to me at least, shows the character of Brown. Fast forward minutes later to the incident between Brown and Wilson; if you believe Wilson’s account of the incident that all started when the officer asked Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson, to get out of the street and walk on the sidewalk. Wilson and Brown had a heated exchange of words because Brown refused to follow the officer’s instructions to get out of the street and walk on the sidewalk. This verbal exchange then turned physical when the officer tried to get out of his car. Reports state that Brown pushed Wilson back in his police cruiser and began punching the officer in the face. Brown then attempted to reach for Officer Wilson’s gun which went off at least once in the car. Brown and Johnson then fled in opposite directions but Wilson chose to pursue Brown who was the alleged aggressor. As some point Brown stopped running, turned around and started walking toward to the officer. There are conflicting reports whether Brown’s hands were raised in an aggressive stance, reaching for something in his pockets/waist band or up in a surrendering motion.
Now this is where I ask my people to look at this from the officer’s perspective. This 6’4”, nearly 300 lbs man, who just attacked you, is now charging toward you (according to eye witness reports…however some feel that it may have been more of a stumble from being shot) and you have a split second to make a decision. Brown is not getting on the ground like ordered but is continuing to charge toward you, what do you do? I don’t mean to sound insensitive but if I were in the same situation, standing 5’10” & weighing 150 lbs, after already being attacked that situation would have ended the exact same way, without hesitation. If most were honest with themselves, they would all agree.
I understand that the issue is not that Brown was a thug that robbed a store moments before the incident, failed to obey an officer, assaulted the officer, may have almost knocked the officer unconscious, fled the scene with the officer in pursuit or that he continued to walk toward the officer after being ordered to lie down on the ground but that Brown was unarmed when he was shot. Does anyone else see a problem with this rationale?
What Was the Reason for the Grand Jury
People, we have to allow for the process. Is it flawed? Absolutely! Does it always work? Absolutely not! However, it’s the best we have and it’s all we got. It seemed to me that most of us in the black community only looked at the grand jury proceedings as standard course of action to get Wilson indicted. When in fact, the grand jury mission was never to indict Wilson. This mission of any grand jury is to decide whether there was evidence enough to charge with a crime -- in this case, either first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. They also could have added a charge of armed criminal action. If at least nine of the 12 grand jurors had voted that there was enough to proceed with charges, Wilson would have stood trial. After looking at all of the evidence, which the public may or may not be privy to, that was not the case and for some to riot and loot because they didn’t get the expected outcome is just pathetic.
What I don’t understand is why the governor brought in the national guard days before the grand jury announcement (what I always said was an indication of no indictment) but ordered then to stand down while our neighborhoods where being pillaged by hoodlums. If ever a time to put a strong presence on the streets of Ferguson, last night was that time.
#BLACKLIVESMATTER Social Media Campaign
Oh so NOW black lives matter to you bothers and sisters, really? Who are we, as black people, looking for validation from to know that our lives matter? I’ve been seeing celebrities & personal friends alike using this hashtag. My social media platforms are blowing up with the #BlackLivesMatter by people I can only view as comical and slightly ironic that they chose to hop on this bandwagon. Weren’t you the same person sharing videos of back on black crime, LOL’ing at violence against our back women and cheering on lyrics that break our black community down to its core? Were you not the same person reposting I/G photos of half naked black women doing anything to get likes on social media because they think using their head and education is not enough? Did you think Black Lives Mattered then? I thought it ironic when all of a sudden you wanted to boycott TMZ for their post of DC’s “Mayor for Life” Marion Barry’s death, yet when they covered the deaths of other public figures that was just a distasteful if not more, you laughed, shared, and retweeted. Newsflash… how about we not wait for the majority of society to tell us that our lives matter? How about we live a life that shows one another everyday that #BlackLivesMatter. You can get on the social media bandwagon all you like if it makes you fill validated. As for me, I would much rather truly make change with my actions. Sadly, as with all of the other social media campaigns, this also is just another fad that will fall by the waste side and offer no real impact on our community.
Howard Nelson Cromwell