For all the pain endured during the civil rights movement, by people of all colors, the racial chaos in Ferguson, Missouri makes one wonder how disenchanted those equality pioneers must be.
In the 1960’s, barriers were knocked down by heroes who fought peacefully to live in a color-blind society. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best, stating that people should not be judged by the color of their skin.
Those ideals won the day, yet today, race relations have been hijacked, taken on a race to the bottom.
In many respects, race relations are worse now. As Ferguson shows, the racial gulf will keep widening until we look in the mirror and remember what the civil rights movement fought for in the first place.
In Ferguson, an 18-year old was shot and killed by a police officer after the two struggled in and around the officer’s car. An autopsy is being performed, and an investigation is ongoing.
That should have been the story line. Period.
Nothing about race should have been mentioned until it was determined to be warranted.
Instead, protestors called police racist. Riots and sensationalistic media reports spurred the FBI to launch a civil rights investigation, and the Justice Department is conducting a third autopsy. Calls for the officer’s head to bring justice for the deceased, Michael Brown, further enflamed tensions.
Curfews were imposed and the National Guard mobilized.
Disregarding the spin and agendas of shameless self-promoters, consider:
Brown, who is black, was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson. Does that mean Wilson, a decorated police veteran, is racist, and the shooting racially motivated? Absolutely not, especially because no racist elements have surfaced. He deserves the benefit of the doubt that what occurred had nothing to do with color and everything to do with performing his job. Brown reportedly ignored Wilson’s order to move out of the street.
- If race was involved, there should be consequences. That’s why God invented investigations. But common sense tells us that only after the investigation should anyone be protesting. Doing so now is flying blind, since few facts are known, and at least one eyewitness statement — that Brown was shot in the back — was contradicted by the medical examiner hired by the Brown family.
- Calling Brown’s killing an “execution”— as the Brown family attorney did — only ignites the powder keg.
Where are our leaders denouncing such statements?
- There are conflicting stories as to where Brown was when shot. Police state that the first shot was fired inside the car, yet we don’t by whom, as some reports have Brown shoving Wilson into the car and grabbing for his weapon. Regarding the ensuing shots, ballistics tests and autopsy results should provide the answer — as well as ultra-important toxicology tests. The medical examiner stated the head-shot could have hit when Brown was giving up, or charging the officer. We must wait for the full picture before casting judgments.
- How is burning and looting your own neighborhood ever the answer?
- There is video allegedly showing Brown, 6 feet 4 inches and 292 pounds, stealing cigars 15 minutes prior to the shooting. The Justice Department and Missouri’s Governor both criticized the video’s release, but why? Irrelevant is whether Wilson knew of that situation, we don’t know yet. What matters is that Brown had allegedly been engaged in a criminal act, pushing and threatening a store clerk. Whether or not the shooting was justified, Brown should not be made out to be a martyr or an exemplary youth.
- Ok, help me out on the criticism of the police response. There were riots, burning, looting, and Molotov cocktails and gunfire directed at police. What should they have done? Taken off their bulletproof vests and sung Kumbaya? That lunacy has become a needless distraction.
- Captain Ronald Johnson of the State Police, brought in by the Governor to take command, was absolutely out-of-line addressing protestors. Apologizing to the Brown family, he said, “I wear this uniform, and I should stand up here and say that I’m sorry.” Sorry for what? The facts aren’t known yet. And if Brown is found to be in the wrong, those words will look extremely foolish.
He also stated, “Michael’s going to make it better for our sons so they can be better black men . . . we need to thank him for the change that he is going to make.”
What? Brown is on video allegedly stealing from a store, reportedly disobeyed a police officer and fought with him.
Captain Johnson clearly had no business making those statements.
Race relations will never improve until we stop viewing everything through a racial prism. As long as race is our go-to answer for everything, Dr. King’s dream of a colorblind society will remain just that. A dream.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.
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