As this story is being written, Ferguson is burning. Bloggers and journalists are busy giving their opinions about the grand jury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Discussions and debates are happening in homes across America and being prepared for office discussions the day after.
Prior to watching the coverage of the rioting in Ferguson and other demonstrations across the country, I had no intention of adding to the discussion. There would be plenty and this little blogger wouldn’t have a chance with all the noise, but something happened. It turned out worse than expected and one thing prevailed that I didn’t expect. Cooler heads usually prevail when there is this much build-up. We learned years ago after the Rodney King riots that police, national guard, the various levels of government, and the leaders of the community would have to be prepared for the worst. With all of these warnings, it still got bad.
It could have been worse, but it was bad enough. Stupidity prevailed and will continue to prevail. On the night of the grand jury decision, we learned seven very clear things about the state of affairs in modern America.
Facts Cannot Stop Stupidity
The almost completely undisputed facts that Michael Brown robbed a store and assaulted a police officer do not seem to be part of the discussion for the protesters or rioters. The fact that his blood was found inside of the police car that held the officer that he attacked has been pushed to the wayside. We are somehow supposed to believe that after trying to take a gun from a police officer (presumably to do harm to the officer) and then running away after being shot that Michael Brown suddenly had a complete change of heart. A minute and a half after assaulting the officer, Brown allegedly became docile, put his hands up, and decided to no longer act aggressively.
I don’t need to use common sense to know that the story that protesters are clinging onto didn’t happen that way. We have the grand jury of his peers telling us that after reviewing the evidence, they did not feel the officer should be indicted. That fact alone should hold the most weight, but it didn’t. We were given a compelling series of points during the press conference that made it seem very clear that Michael Brown attacked the officer, tried to take his gun, ran away, and then turned and aggressively approached the officer.
Nobody knows all of the available facts other than the grand jury and the prosecutors. All of the rest of us are only able to draw our own conclusions based upon what is told to us and the decision of the grand jury. Those two things clearly point to severe wrongdoing on Brown’s part. All of those facts are irrelevant to the blind who wanted an indictment regardless of the facts.
Stupidity Spreads Rapidly
Oakland, New York, Los Angeles – reports are coming in from across the country that people are demonstrating against the decision. The sheer size of the protests that started immediately after the decision was announced means that most who are out there are doing so without knowing the facts that are currently available. It would be silly to demonstrate given the facts, but that didn’t stop them.
These people aren’t interested in the truth. Most aren’t even interested in justice. They’re interested in a cause that pits race on race, that pits order against anarchy. Most of these same people would not last very long without the police that they’re protesting.
The President Doesn’t Know How to Act without an Agenda
This was an opportunity for the President to put aside his ego and his place in history in order to restate the facts that we now have available and declare that the decision seems to be a righteous one. Instead, his tone was sharp. He did very little to convey the facts, nor did he seem to support the decision.
As hard as it is for most people to believe, the President benefits from the protests. The riots are a distraction from much of the negative press that has surrounded him for months. I won’t go so far as to say that he wanted things to go this way, but he certainly isn’t acting like a President that wants justice to prevail over controversy.
He should have been there. Even if he didn’t go in person, the administration should have had a presence of some sort in Ferguson to help those who are being harmed by the riots. Instead, he is letting Ferguson burn.
Every Police Action is Considered an Overreaction
Those who know me are aware that I’m not a supporter of the police state trajectory that we seem to be on. The militarization of law enforcement is a terrible thing, especially considering the people who are calling the shots. However, there are certain times when it’s acceptable to be in riot gear. Those certain times are during riots themselves.
Somehow, the media has turned the need for riot control actions into a bad thing. It’s amazing to watch reporters tear into the police in Ferguson for the way that they’re reacting, then condemn them further a few seconds later for not being there to protect private property as rioters burn buildings and loot businesses. Which is it?
Looting Supersedes Ideology
The atmosphere was described as “festive” when the first few stores were broken into and looted. A large portion of the protesters were clearly not there because they wanted to support the family of Michael Brown or condemn the decision of the grand jury. They were there to get something for themselves. They were there to take advantage of the mayhem.
Just before we watched a Fox video camera destroyed on live television, we saw smiling, giddy “protestors” running out of the liquor store (the one Michael Brown had robbed the day that he was killed) with bottles of Bacardi in their arms. They weren’t there for the protests. They were only there for the looting.
The Media Wants to be Part of the Story
As we shifted back and forth between Fox News and CNN, one thing was clear about the reporters on the streets. They weren’t just there to report the story. They wanted to be part of the story. There’s no such thing as a journalist at a scene who can keep completely detached from the events surrounding them, but it was disgustingly clear that the majority of them were doing what they could to be a subject rather than a reporter.
This isn’t isolated to Ferguson. We have seen too many reporters get rewarded for this type of bad journalism in recent years. Ferguson was just a clear example of this happening in modern American journalism.
Many Want War in America
The community of Ferguson has clearly expressed that most of them do not want to be the center of the nation’s attention. That hasn’t stopped others from using Ferguson as a hotspot and rallying point for their own agendas.
It would be easy to call them out by name. They haven’t been shy about their participation and there is plenty of news about their shenanigans already, but what hasn’t been discussed is the motivation. While most Americans do not want to believe it, there are parties within our borders who want Ferguson to explode. There are those who were “supporting” Michael Brown’s family while secretly hoping that the decision would go down as it did so they could agitate the situation and force their agenda onto the pedestal. They go their wish.
Just as many have stood up to protest the decision, there needs to be others who fight equally hard on the side of law and order. It can’t be the police. It won’t be the government. It must be the sane and intelligent people of America who make a fervent call for peace in the face of stupidity.