Black America’s favorite past time is back on full display in Ferguson, MO, as looting and rioting breaks out after the fatal shooting death of an unarmed 18-year old by Ferguson law enforcement.
I swear, writing for media makes it too easy to forget a life was taken from this earth. The opening line states the facts so clearly, yet the tears in my eyes tell me to erase and enter into profanity. I am so tired of feeling another mother’s pain. But while I sit here, thinking what Michael Brown would have done with his life, the story goes on.
Black people took to the streets to protest the death of Michael Brown. They broke car windows, looted stores, stole ATM machines, and set a gas station on fire–all in the name of justice for Michael Brown. Al Sharpton was quickly notified and is on his way to Missouri to get paid. Thirty-two people were arrested.
Would it be too obvious to state that very little about the Sunday night in Ferguson, MO, had anything to do with Michael Brown? There was a vigil held at the shooting site, where people prayed and placed love on Michael Brown’s parents. About 100 people stayed in front of the Ferguson police station, completely blocking traffic. These people are patriots, using their 1st Amendment right to protest.
“This demonstration has to happen,” said State Senator Maria Chappelle (D), “to release all the negative energy people are feeling on the inside. And we are doing it peacefully.” The peaceful protesters must be separated from the rioters and looters. Anyone who says the public shouldn’t have the right to peacefully assemble and address their grievances with government should check that pocket Constitution carefully before commenting.
On the other hand, the rioters and looters are the lowest form of disease in America. If their anger was genuine, the police station, police cars, and the Mayor’s office would have been the targets of their ire. Wal-Mart, QuikTrip, the cell phone store, and Up N Up Fashion had nothing to do with Michael Brown’s death. It was just their opportunity to get something for nothing, and they took it.
“The businesses didn’t kill that man. That’s not going to solve anything. That’s only going to make it worse,” said J.R. Grace, a concerned citizen who was unable to make it to the peaceful vigil because of the violence.
Looters smashed the car windows of their neighbors; people who are probably still paying a car note. They delivered a devastating blow to their local economy, with loss of income from business, extra pay for riot officers and extra police presence, and clean up of the destruction. Worse than that, they took true outrage, peacefully demonstrated, and turned it into a three-ring circus. The death of Michael Brown is no longer the story.
Police officer violence is no longer the story. Police have not released all the details, but when the Ferguson police chief says of the shots that hit Michael Brown, “more than just a couple but I don’t think it was many more than that,” the shooting officer should be under scrutiny. While the entire media is covering the riots and violence, the officer’s name is still being held for his protection.
Today, the story will not be about Michael Brown. Sane people should understand the death of Michael Brown deserves a full investigation, but instead the insane will pull Michael Brown’s death into an indictment of America as a whole. Black America will excuse the inexcusable behavior witnessed in Ferguson, MO, and if a new age of black voices aren’t heard, the likes of Al Sharpton will ensure the next riot is only one bad cop away.