We have two pretty different versions of the events that played out on the day Micheal Brown was killed. One is a college student trying to surrender, and the other is a 6’4” 300 pound black male pummeling a white cop and trying to take his gun. I have no idea which version of these events is true. What I do know is that neither of the two presented scenario’s involve racism, unless of course you are a racist.
CNN’s L.Z. Ganderson, couldn’t wait 24 hours to throw down the race card in his article titled “How many unarmed people have to die?” Marc Lamont Hill is another racist so blinded by the color of his skin, that he is actually criticizing the president for avoiding calling this a race issue until the investigation is complete in his article titled “Obama, Cant you see black anger in Ferguson?”. This is one of the few times this year when the presidents remarks have impressed me. Of course, if you’re a racist, then this case is not about department policy, police procedures, the investigation or the facts. If your a racist the equation is simple: black victim + white shooter = racism!
We are seeing continued riots and protests in Fergunson, Mo which show no signs of slowing down. Maybe that police officer (Darren Wilson) is a racist. Perhaps he is even a member of the Ku Klux Clan. Darren Wilson’s opinions on race are at this point completely irrelevant. The only questions that matter right now are why did he shoot the kid, and did that shooting meet the departments use of force guidelines or not?
In response to the charges of racism, the police department released a video and the associated police report that show Michael Brown robbing a convenience store. The intent of these releases is to disparage Michael Brown. Even if Michael Brown was a thief… So what? Does department policy allow police officers to gun down unarmed thieves? Michael Brown’s prior criminal behavior is as irrelevant to this situation as Darren Wilson’s opinion of blacks in his community.
Today we finally get a glimpse of the Officers side of the story which claims Michael Brown was walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic. When confronted, he allegedly attacked the officer in his car, attempted to steal the officers gun, which was discharged in the course of retaining it, and after a short foot pursuit, brown allegedly turned and charged the officer. Darren Wilson could be the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Clan and if his story is true, he still couldn’t be charged for shooting Brown.
As racists like Sharpton, Ganderson and Hill fan the flames of racial discord, the opportunists use it as an excuse to steal and destroy property. Property that will be paid to repair and replace by insurance companies funded by our premiums. Now we have the National Guard (on taxpayer dollars) sent in to restore order, which is probably not going to lead to peace and quiet on the streets of Ferguson any time soon. Eventually, there will be a resolution in the form of an investigation report on the shooting that will determine whether or not Darren Wilson will be charged. If his version of events is true and he is not charged, it will set off another round of protests because the racists have already convicted Darren Wilson in the eyes of the community. The fact is, racism is expensive and I for one, am tired of paying for it.
This irrational focus on race and racism is far from unique to this incident. I wrote a comment a few months back that the government had acted irresponsibly during the Bundy ranch standoff. The general tone of the paragraph was – In the Cliven Bundy Vs. the Bureau of Land Management dispute, Bundy was the lesser of two fools. I received an email more or less stating the government’s actions were irrelevant, and that pointing out the shortcoming’s of the government was claiming that Cliven Bundy is some type of hero. In the writers mind, support for Cliven Bundy was inappropriate under any circumstances – and the reason – because Cliven Bundy is an admitted racist.
Did Cliven Bundy’s ignorant opinions on race somehow absolve the Government of its grossly incompetent political, operational and tactical failure that resulted in the Bundy Ranch Standoff? Does his racism somehow justify the slaughter of his livestock at the hands of federal agents? Is racism somehow the highest crime in the land, and all else in its face is irrelevant? A murder is a murder regardless of how the perpetrator felt about it.
The focus on race or hate or emotion is a distraction from the issues at hand. I am not saying that intent and emotion should not factor into the sentencing phase, but first we need to find out what happened. Calling the victim a thief, or a thug is just as ignorant as calling the officer involved a racist at this point. They may have been both, or neither, and until we know what happened, perhaps we could abide by the cardinal principle of our legal system – innocent until proven guilty.
I could spend an hour talking about volume of black on black shootings that are the cause of 93% of the black homicides in this country. I could go on for days about the association between a lack of economic opportunity and violent crime and discuss the association between education and opportunity – but we don’t really need to. 85% of whites are murdered by whites. The rape / race statistics are even closer with 91% of white offenders and 90% of black offenders raping in their own race group. The fact is that intra-racial violence, even if it could be stopped would not significantly move the needle. Statically, worrying about solving intra-racial violence as a means of reducing crime is nearly as ignorant as expecting an assault weapon ban to impact the murder rate in this country (less then 4% of homicides are committed with rifles of any sort).
From a practical and social perspective, it is far past time to eliminate race from the national discussion – it is nothing more then a distraction.
#michaelbrown, #ferguson, #darrenwilson