It tickles me a bit to see Tea Partiers complain about the Ferguson protesters looting and destroying property. They, after all, named themselves after a group of protesters who dressed up as American Indians and destroyed a whole boatload of tea belonging to the East India Tea Company. Because they were mad at the government for mistreating them.
Not to mention, there are so many destructive "white" riots, looting and destruction incidents we could list, including Ole Miss when Mr. Meredith enrolled. Does everyone reading this know about Rosewood? Vital history. Or the Tulsa riot against blacks?
Let's just say that African Americans didn't come up with the practice of riots, looting or property destruction.
You stated "What's happening in Ferguson isn't pretty, but it had to happen: Police and everyday people cannot keep killing black people for minor, or no, crimes and expect our citizens of color to just keep taking it."
First, what do you mean by "It had to happen?" Second, it seems premature to tie those tragic events—as opposed to the events that have followed) in with the racial problems that persist in this country. To elude that Brown was killed for "minor, or no, crimes" is certainly premature. We don't even know what happened. All media outlets can seem to agree about is that he didn't have a weapon. There are reports of a struggle ferocious enough to leave the officer an orbital fracture.
If Mr. Brown fought with Officer Wilson and if Officer Wilson believed his life was in jeopardy, the shooting could have easily been justifiable.
You stated that "Polls this week show that only 37 percent of white Americans believe the Ferguson situation has anything to do with race. That means another 63 percent is either willfully racist or naive about how people of color live in the U.S." Respectfully, you left out a big chunk of the population. You left no room for the folks who know we don't have all the facts and won't rush to judge a situation. ...
It is just too simple to explain the inequities on the backs of the black "family" or "culture." Also, it is easy for someone like Marc Sanders to call for black folk to suffer oppression and injustice with what he would consider "restraint" and not riot. While rioting maybe dangerous and not as effective as other responses, to oppress and injure systemically is immoral. Indeed, what is happening in Ferguson is not just about Mike Brown, but about the long standing systemic denials of full citizenship being practiced by local elites. I often wonder, how would people who benefit from an oppressive and exploitative system like for the oppressed and exploited to respond?
Those answers are easy, Marc, even if the bigger ones aren't. First, an uprising like that in Ferguson had to happen, considering the insane statistics of how many black Americans police kill every year, many of them unarmed, and not to mention that civilians are doing the same thing. My point isn't that Mr. Brown did nothing wrong; we don't know all the details, yet (although the "orbital fracture" rumor is being roundly discredited by CNN and others, even if right-wingers like Ann Coulter spread it, including here in The Clarion-Ledger). Mr. Brown's shooting, and the fact that police left him lying in the street for four hours for already-abused neighbors to look at, provided the spark that lit the fire of outcry. As I say in the column, black people are rightfully tired of being treated like animals and gunned down, even when they're unarmed. And, yes, that 63 percent of white Americans simply ignore and discount these concerns of most blacks exactly proves that those who aren't outright racist are choosing to be willfully ignorant and uncaring about the threat stalking non-whites every day.
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