This is a post about Ferguson Missouri. But then again, not really. I wrote an article this past week where I offered 5 suggestions for the protesters in Ferguson where I tried to offer a few insightful reflections infused with humor that resulted in Darth Vader looting some Wild Turkey before I was done. I thought it worked. You see I was actually mocking only the rioters and looters. I feel affirmed in that stance as I watched the rioters in Ferguson loot an O’Reilley’s Auto Parts store because we all need new car batteries right? Much of the debate on this matter has been ultimately reduced to the complexity and depth of an internet meme. So I thought for this post, I’ll just post memes to enhance the dialogue. After all, was I the only one disappointed that I didn’t see Michael Jackson eating popcorn in the crowds of Ferguson last night?
Anyone remember the Catholic Priest child sex abuse scandal that blew up big in the early 2000’s? I mean apparently, the child abuse was going on for decades in the Catholic Church, but around that time people felt emboldened to talk a little more about it. Thus, it became news. I remember as the scandal was breaking, the Pope at that time got together with a bunch of Cardinals and other clergy to develop a solution to the crisis. Then comes their big announcement. The Catholic Church announced that they are coming up with a Zero Tolerance policy against child sex abuse. To which I say great, but what the heck was the policy before that.
I mean think about that. If your solution is to finally come up with a zero tolerance policy then does that mean before you got one kid on your 10 year priest anniversary or something? That’s crazy. However, it reflected the reality that abuse had been taking place for a long time in the church and now that it has been discovered they are forced to deal with it. It doesn’t mean that abuse will not take place, but rather it simply means they will no longer cover it up. However, the truth was most likely known for decades before that and people just couldn’t handle the truth. So it persisted unknown to the public, but true all the same.
What if I told you that not all cops are good? Would that bother you? What if I told you that assaulting a police officer could get you shot? Would that bother you? You see to me, the questions of what happened with Officer Wilson and Michael Brown are not mutually exclusive to the greater truth. To me it is beyond dispute that youths from certain economically disadvantaged areas have mountains to climb that middle class kids couldn’t fathom. I have seen much of this with my own eyes from the work I do so you can’t convince me that it is not true. I also have no doubt that racism persists in elements of society. It does and there is much we can do to move forward in these areas as a nation.
The problem is, there also seems to be little doubt that Michael Brown assaulted Officer Wilson. And in the end, Officer Wilson should be judged not by the shortcomings of our society, but by the truth of his interaction with Michael Brown. For this grand jury, it was never a question of whether or not bad and murderous cops exist, because I’m sure they do. I’ve watched The Shield. The question was simply whether or not Officer Wilson was one of them. The truth would seem to support that in this particular interaction, he was not. That’s truthfully the only thing I am hung up on. Officer Wilson could be a raging jerk for all I know. I don’t know the guy. Michael Brown could have been a great kid who was having a really rough day. I don’t know the guy. But on the day of their encounter, we have to judge what occurred and hold neither to national stereotypes or ask either to bear the weight of all the nation’s problems. I might be the same guy who looks at the incident and supports the Officer’s right to self defense. But I’m also the same guy that says our nation tragically neglects some of the most vulnerable people and kids. You won’t force me into a camp based off my stance on Ferguson and I’ll not do the same to you.
But after all, people rarely care about the truth in the internet age. Most are just seeking affirmation for the preconceived notions they most likely had flowing through their heads seconds after they first heard the news of the shooting back in August. I have no problem with alternative views. I respect them all. I’m just saying quit burning down the Little Caesar’s Pizza chains before the price of a Hot and Ready Pizza raises to $6. Oh and by the way, there are probably minimum wage workers in Ferguson right now without jobs because people burned down their place of employment. Consider that for a minute.
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