Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The #Ferguson Decision- My Thoughts

Earlier today I posted one of my opinions about the Ferguson decision last night on my facebook page for my blog. To say that it was not well received would be an understatement. I ended up being so flummoxed, and out of time to properly explain my thoughts without a litany of swear words, and ranting, so I shut the page down for a couple hours. This was just my way of pausing the whole thing so I could think for a minute, and gain my emotional control. I needed to have a moment to write, and I have not had that time until now, so I am. I put my page back up, but have not been on it, so I can imagine it is quite possible that things have gotten worse, and I have lost 10 more members.

I thought about just deleting the thread that caused the issue to begin with. I thought about trying to clarify what I am trying to say on that thread. One of the reasons I am so mad is not at the people that disagree. I know the critics are there. I am more upset at the people that agree, but have opted to remain silent withholding comment, and even likes so as not to enter the conflict. I see them saying similar things on their private (read safe) pages, but will not engage in a wider arena due to being too afraid to get attacked.

I have opted not to go the safe route, so it's time for me to put on my big girl undies, and deal. This post is where I am going to offer my opinions about the Ferguson decision. You are welcome to address these points, and bring up any of your own (provided you're being respectful, and remaining on topic) in the comments section. I will not be returning to the thread that caused the issue, and commenting further there. I feel what I was trying to say has been twisted around, and that was a few hours ago. I can't imagine how out of hand it's gotten since.

First of all, I want to clear one thing up that seems to be so misunderstood. I am not angry that a cop 'got away with murder'. I am angry
that an unarmed man was shot dead, and there will be no chance for evidence to be presented in an impartial court for both sides to be heard.  I suspect this is the main source for anger in many.

An indictment is NOT a declaration of guilt, or innocence. It is just a formal accusation that a crime is suspected to have occurred that precedes a trial in a court of law where one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The reason I am mad is not anything other than given the fact that Mike Brown was not armed when he was fatally shot, and given that fact alone both sides deserved to be presented. Instead of what happened, which was a closed nontransparent decision by a few people.

I have heard so many other off topic rants about how Mike Brown could have, should have, known to follow instructions by an officer. His parents should have taught him to be better. It seems odd to me that when a white man is killed (whether armed or not) people ask what his motive was. Maybe, he was mentally ill, or maybe his mother didn't hug him enough. If you're a black man you're just a thug. It is assumed you weren't following orders, and the only recourse was a fatal one. That is that. No trial, or further investigation needed.

I have also seen people say it wasn't about race, because there are black people who kill other black people all the time. This is not even the same thing. White people kill white people all the time, too. What makes this situation different is that a cop shot an unarmed man. It was not a random crime on the street. The one accused of murder is a sworn member of our police force who is supposed to be there to protect, and serve. He was trained to be in situations where his life could be in danger. He is supposed to act with the least harmful force necessary.

I also see a lot of people saying something along the lines "If you don't agree that Wilson is innocent, and doing his best then next time you're in trouble don't call the police." Or suggesting that if I don't support Wilson I am somehow anti-cops. Nope. I respect the hardworking officers out there, of which there are many. I am full of nothing but gratitude for their hard work, and dedication. Most cops are inherently good people wanting to serve their community, and doing so everyday. I am not offering any presumption of ill will, or guilt to any officer at this time besides Darren Wilson. This is not about the police as a collective whole, so please don't turn it into an all or nothing debate.

And, finally the I will address the comments that I think made the bulk of people dislike my page at once.

It is my opinion that there were so many other ways for the police to have acted in Ferguson Monday night that would have made things different. I do not condone looting, violence, or burning down buildings in protest. However, the way the police approached the whole situation did seem to be a little antagonistic. They approached the protestors from the get go in full riot gear with tear gas, and rubber bullets telling them they were unlawfully assembled. The police dept tweeted that they were using smoke, and not tear gas, which was a lie. It was definitely tear gas. It really seemed antagonistic the way they approached the protestors, then when the violent people began looting it seemed there was no way to control it. I heard via Twitter that the police purposely did not defend predominately black owned business districts. I cannot quote that as a fact, because I don't know if it is true, but it would not surprise me.

I was watching CNN report as I was watching live feeds via Twitter. The stories were not matching up. I know at one point a group of people were carrying a woman who was said to be having a heart attack past the news cameras as they yelled for help. They were carrying her to the police. The police gassed the people. Outright threw teargas at the people yelling "Help! Medic!" while carrying a woman in distress. I saw them all disperse likely leaving the woman on the ground. A few minutes later I heard the CNN anchor speak about the police opening their lines to help aide the woman. That is NOT what happened. Not on their camera, and not from any other eyewitness account, but yet I saw the media do this several times last night over other various situations. They put a spin on things that was inaccurate.I don't trust what has been reported, and I don't trust that things were handled by the police well given that they lied about the teargas, which was not a smart thing to even lie about.

So do I condone the violence that happened last night? No. I do not. I understand how it came to that through anger, and a total mishandling of the situation. That is the point I was trying to make.

10 comments:

  1. Very well stated. Thank you for stepping back to gather your thoughts, and thank you for stepping back into the discussion. Because race issues aren't something for black folks to figure out on their own, it is an issue for all of us. We are all responsible, and we each make choices, large and small, every day, that can affect that imbalance.

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  2. I have seen so many posts in my newsfeed today that I'm not sure if yours was one of them but I agree with everything you have written here. I'm a white woman living in one of the 'whitest' states (Vermont) and I've seen enough inconsistent reporting to think the whole thing smells.

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  3. I am surprised you got so much flak for saying things that to me just seem obvious. I didn't see your thread, but if I had I would have spoken up, if I wasn't too overwhelmed by the sheer volume of replies! I agree with everything you said here. To me it seems obvious. I am sad that this has caused so much conflict among people.

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    1. I think there was only one person arguing with me, but several unliking my page. I don't know if I just didn't present my thoughts well, or if that many people just didn't agree. I am thinking mostly the latter. Plus, it seem to be that when one negative comment is posted (especially if it's the first one) it is like it influences what others think. It's weird. I don't understand why that happens, but have seen it enough to where I know it happens.

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  4. Great post! Thank you for clarifying your position. I saw your post last night, but I had not idea you were taking so much flack for it.

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  5. I am Black. I spent a portion of my childhood in the tri-state area and know Ferguson, St. Louis, and Missouri. It is very difficult to explain to people something they do not experience. Racism and the injustices inherent in the way people live because of it give rise to horrific events that those who aren't impacted don't wish to accept. Sometimes no matter how excellent the writing and how clearly stated, as this was, people are so polarized that they will refuse to acknowledge something horrible is happening right before their eyes. Thank you for trying, and standing by your statements.

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    1. I also live in the tri-state area, and know what the people around here are like. Some are downright hateful, while others are just ignorant about lives, including skin color, that differ from their own.

      I am happy to stand by what I said. It's what I know, and what I saw, and I am not about to take it down, and hide because some people don't like it. Thanks for your comment!

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