Friday, August 22, 2014
When I look at Ferguson, Missouri—I see a city that is stuck in the past. I see a city where no one wants to take responsibility for the tension between those who are white and those who are black.
The shooting of Michael Brown has been elevated to the status of the "national news" in the eyes of many. And thanks to the riots and constant news coverage—the death of one 18-year-old has brought the tension between white and black to a boiling point.
Let the family grieve. They lost their son. Give them space.
You want justice?
Then get off the streets and allow law enforcement to their jobs.
You don't like cops?
Well, that is unfortunate—because they risk their lives every single day to protect people like you and you will respect them. Don't argue with them. Be respectful of the power their position gives them—because right now, you are the ones threatening the community—right now you are the problem and they have every right to treat you accordingly. Got a problem with that? I hear Siberia is a wonderful place to visit this time of year.
The officer who stopped Brown, didn't intend to kill him. He just wanted Michael and his friend to get out of the middle of the street. Sidewalks are for walking and streets are for driving—how this concept is so difficult to understand, I don't know. Had Michael and his friend taken the sidewalk, it is likely that this altercation between teen and cop wouldn't have taken place. Michael's decision to walk in the middle of the street instead of on the provided sidewalks ended up costing him his life—and it is heart breaking.
Then there is the problem with the media—"Black Teen Shot by Cop" blasted across the headlines in the hours following the shooting. Tension between white and black began to rise—people started taking sides before Michael Brown's body was cold on the street. Had it been a white teen, the color of his/her skin wouldn't have been mentioned. There would be no riots, no expansive news coverage, no TV interviews—just the friends and family grieving their loss.
And it is wrong, so very very wrong. Arresting Wilson will not bring about justice. Turning this into another civil rights case—will not bring justice. Justice is blind—to be given without fear or favor, regardless of identity, color, power, or weakness. Justice doesn't allow emotion to sway her verdict.
There are those who often use the color of their skin as an excuse for their situation in life. The only person who thinks you aren't good enough is you. The people who have been rioting in the streets don't care about what justice entails—all they care about is that the officer was white. Ferguson, Missouri—the people rioting in your streets are no better than the bigots they claim to detest.
You want change? Then take the challenge and be that change. Learn a little something about respect. Teach your children to respect those in authority, regardless of their color. You want people's respect? Then be the first to give it. They don't have to deserve it, but you will give it to them. It's called taking the higher road. And it just might save your life one day.
America is made up of skin tones. It doesn't matter if you are white, black, blue, purple, yellow, or orange—the only people who see the divide between white and black are those who refuse to let go of their hate.