I’d planned a series this week on the trouble in Ferguson, and I got it about halfway written when I hit a wall. I decided to sleep on it, and post early this morning.
Well, today it occurred to me that it was all crap. Why?
Because I was trying to be reasonable. Because I was trying to find solutions. Because I was trying to understand.
And you know what? I’m tired of all that. You can’t be reasonable with those who are unreasonable; you can’t talk about solutions when they’re so simplistic that they’re staring everyone in the face; and I’m tired of trying to understand.
I’ve heard horrible things from both sides of this issue—threats, name-calling, bullying, and more. Both sides. Sickening.
For three months, the area has been held hostage by this crap. Yes, I said crap.
A young man was shot and killed by a cop. It happens. But dammit, “justice” does NOT MEAN that the officer was wrong just because he was white. Michael wasn’t wrong because he was black. There’s a lot more to it and only Michael and Officer Wilson know the whole story.
My point is that you should all stop screaming for justice—justice will be, first, the decision of the grand jury to indict or not; justice will be, second, a trial if that’s what’s called for; and justice will be, third, a conviction or an acquittal.
DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND? The protestors are not calling for justice, they’re calling for a lynch mob. RIGHT NOW.
Good grief, that is NOT how it works. It takes time—think of the families of victims who must wait decades for a death sentence to be carried out. And you want the officer arrested immediately and tried and convicted and hanged RIGHT NOW.
Let’s look at one of the main complaints: Michael’s body lying in the street for hours. Do you know why that happened? It was NOT because of skin color or neighborhood. First, there’s an investigation. Hello, you want justice? But mainly it’s because the coroner couldn’t get close enough, safely, to pick up the body, because YOU ALL WERE BLOCKING the street and chanting.
The protestors say there needs to be change. They could be right. I’m not discounting the feeling of powerlessness, or the anger, but there are ways and then there are ways.
Get educated. Save your money. Vote. Heck, run for office in your city. But you have to do it in a civilized manner, you have to work for it, you have to TRY. You have to want it. There are no shortcuts.
Teach your kids to want it, to work for it. Don’t keep them out late at night so they can’t focus in school the next day; don’t terrorize the neighborhood so your children become afraid. Tell them about it the next day, TEACH them about their history and the things you think are worth fighting for.
Oh, say the protestors, we just want justice, we want change. You know what? You’re not doing much for your cause when you block highways and lie down in the streets. That’s just dumb. Is that what leaders do? Leaders lead by example, by rhetoric, by speaking well, by being charismatic, by being willing to do whatever they ask of their followers—and that last is important.
Leaders don’t lead from jail, even if it’s a symbolic “I’m willing to be arrested for my beliefs.” Bullshit. Be willing to stand up for those beliefs, don’t be willing to look like an idiot by offering yourself as a sacrifice. A record is nothing to be proud of, period.
That education? You can learn all about public office and who does what and how government works—teach yourself how to do things, don’t just march around being angry. Actually DO something constructive. Get off your ass. Yes, I said that. Stop whining about the past and talking like a big man—BE one.
Think. Just think.
Yes, I’m angry. Stupidity always makes me angry. Being held hostage while waiting for a grand jury decision and listening to all the chest-thumping is a damn near intolerable situation. Three months. What exactly have you accomplished?