11/25/2014 by syrbal-labrys
we hardly knew ye, we’ll never know you. Yes, Michael Brown is dead. The world is left with a video of you being a bully to a very small shopkeeper, and that is all too many people will ever know of you. And no, no charges will be brought against the police officer who killed him. I knew, well before the news finally gave the statement. I knew because the jury came back early in the day — but the town of Ferguson waited until night to announce the results. It felt to me, not a lawyer — but suspicious, I am — that the case was tried before that grand jury where nobody had lawyers to aid them. Witnesses had lied. Michael Brown apparently was not away from the car, with hands up. Fine, so far as that goes…if other witnesses didn’t lie about that.
But why, why, why is it always a black youth dying and a white cop doing the shooting? Why, on a grand jury that needed only nine of twelve to decide anything, were nine jury members white and only three black?
I think it is more than political correctness to ask those questions.
I also think it is stupid violent behavior for people of Ferguson to be trashing the community just to take out their anger for years of racism. This just makes the sorts of people who already believe white cops are always right to shoot black men think it more.
There are real questions about police force and race that need to be asked in this country. Why, for instance, when the police have so many non-lethal methods to use; do the police have only bullets? And as for those non-lethal methods — like tasers and bean bag rounds? Why are those used to the point of lethality so frequently — apparently often on people who simply pissed them off? But those questions are not asked by looting stores and rioting in random fashion.
And finally? America needs to confront the fucking fixation on guns. Even toy ones, since a 12 year old died this week holding one and the police officer who shot him, seeing a child STILL did not consider non-lethal force instead. I, for one, am sick of the constant patter about the violent nature of so many American past-times: movies and video games, for instance. I am going to respond very poorly indeed to the next person that tells me those have no effect.
The reason I believe they DO have a negative gun-love-evoking effect is that if all people see as “problem solving” in every cop drama, movie, and game is that someone is shot, they will eventually believe that power and effectiveness comes ONLY from the mouth of a gun. Especially if you are a twelve year old boy. Is this the best we can do, America? Are there no games other than ones with shoot-’em-up action? Are there no movies that show things resolved by someone other than Rambo or bad copies thereof?
Must we go on dumbing ourselves down to where nothing works besides gangster-movie shoot outs? Must the police training entail scaring rookies to bits about the very people they should be serving? Because make no mistake — those trainees are being scared. I know one who quit after being told her very uniform made her a target — to never even wear it to and from the job. If you start off with the police afraid of their populace, how can you expect them to relate without lethal force?
Because the same actions time after time get the same deadly results. Repeating the same things and expecting different results — well, that way leads to madness and more funerals. And more Fergusons, in spite of
all the King’s horses and all the King’s men the FBI and the National Guard on site. How many places can we send the FBI and the Nat’l Guard whenever a cop shoots a black boy? Can we not admit skin color is a marker for destruction in most American neighborhoods? Only admission will lead to new solutions, America. Otherwise, funerals, memorials, and rioting ARE the new American rites of passage for a generation of hopelessness.