We are upon the fifth day of civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri after the tragic shooting of Michael Brown an unarmed teen. The police presence in this small suburban community resembles soldiers on enemy territory embarking war against its majority black citizens who are enacting their 1st amendment right to peaceably assemble. Protestors are in aims view of high powered weapons; they are being smoked out with tear gas, and hit with rubber bullets in order to disperse. They are being glared down by anxious cops and there snarling German shepherds. There are images that mirror the struggle of the civil rights movement in the 60’s. Its ironic law enforcement can have zero tolerance toward blacks compared to the plethora of tolerance they appear to have for whites. Remember the Bundy Ranch where a militia group stood their ground with loaded high power weapons aimed at law enforcement.
Now imagine that same scene with Ferguson, Missouri Protestor and let’s wonder if there black skins would have prevented them from being a fatality. I saw on National news yesterday whites in neighboring communities of Ferguson buying up guns and bullets left and right. I guess they too were preparing themselves to take the law into their own hands if needed.
Ever since the murder of Trayvon Martin and the unjust verdict given to Zimmerman I feel the flood gates have opened on killing black men especially now that there is law that can be used to protect a murder who claims they felt scared. There has always been police brutality but it just appears to be an increase in black men and women being gunned down by police and white people with concealed carries.
Now this is the part where conservative whites interject with their deflection of “what about black on black crime…” “Why are you so bent out of shape when a white person kills a black man and you guys kill each other every day?” What I say to that is that these are two separate issues. People are always alarmed and outraged when anyone dies a senseless death. However, when someone unarmed is killed by a cop or a concealed carry owner they are often given the benefit of the doubt that there was a reasonable reason for killing an unarmed individual. It’s often followed with excuses that sound like, “I thought he was reaching for a weapon…” “I was in fear for my life…” therefore they shot first and asked questions later. In most cases, without some sort of outcry these individuals don’t even make it to court because the killing has conveniently been deemed justified; whereas a killing of a black person under the assumption that it was done by another black person will automatically go through a judicial due process if the individual is caught. There is no delay on due process in those matters. People become outrage when their love ones don’t receive justice and that’s the difference!
I don’t know if some police officers itchy fingers are due to some self-fulfilling dream to be the hero that kills who he deems to be the bad guy. I don’t know if it’s a lack of diversity that prevents certain officers from using rational thinking when it comes to citizens who are not of the same race or just outright disdain for black people. All I know is that black men are being taken out without recourse and if we don’t act now than it can easily be my son, your husband/boyfriend, brother, or father in the crosshairs of an anxious officer or gun owner. Some of the more recent victims of this are the following:
John Crawford III, black man 22 years of age, was shot and killed by Beavercreek police in a Walmart while holding a toy gun he was purchasing in the store. He was in the video section of the store when he was approached by cops and warned to drop the gun. He attempted to explain that the gun was a toy when gun shots flared killing the father of two.
Ezell Ford, black man 24 years of age, was shot and killed after an investigative stop by LAPD officer. Similar to the Mike Brown killing police are alleging that Mr. Ford was combative and tried to reach for the officer’s gun while family is saying he was complying and was still shot in the back
I appreciate the tenacity and conviction of the protestors in Ferguson, Missouri their actions take courage and I hope they maintain the unity and continue to speak out until answers are given and changes are made. While the marching continues, strategies must be in the works. I hope that while the protestors are out in great numbers someone is registering people to vote. This is the beginning of creating a permanent solution to an ongoing issue. The real game changer is placing us in a position to create and change laws and that is through our votes. Everyone who is not in Ferguson, MO can still help by using social media to keep the story alive. We are in an election year, therefore, we need to take advantage of raising the issue of police brutality to a national conversation demanding support from national, state, and local elected officials. We must demand collectively that elected officials support and enact legislation that will reduce officer discretion, and mandate more oversight. This is the real work that requires unity and endurance. The anger we have now must be followed with effective actions.
Do you think it is open season on black men or just a lot of black men who placed themselves in compromising situations?
Is law enforcement just doing their job or being reckless?
What are your thoughts?