Thursday, November 27, 2014


Many have said much, but to me, the bottom line is that fear is the cause of all that has happened in Ferguson.  The officer afraid and perhaps too quick on the trigger, or at the least, aiming in the wrong place-- a couple of shots in the legs would have been a better choice.  Michael Brown, realizing he had done something illegal, afraid of the ramifications, afraid of the years of being looked at the wrong way because of the color of his skin.  And now, the people rioting, afraid they will never receive justice, never be allowed into the world that America brags about: "liberty and justice for all."

We all approach life with our experiences firmly in tow.  We don't look at a situation dispassionately, factually, we look at it through the eyes of our experiences to that point.  Sadly, in those 90 seconds in Ferguson, it resulted in a dead teenager with a grieving family and a cop whose life has been altered forever (I'm betting grieving, as well.)

There is no doubt that social injustice runs rampant.  That there are young men who fear what will happen next because of nothing more than the color of their skin.  That there are areas cops fear to go knowing they are hated.  That there is justified great frustration on the part of those who have little, through no fault of their own, and that frustration may come out in rage at what is perceived as another lack of feeling for what it is like to feel oppressed, with no hope, with your children given little opportunity and forever living in danger.  White folks (of which, I am one) you need to get this and have compassion.  When you don't, you look to others as idiotic as those you think are stupid because they are rioting.  Is destroying their own neighborhood the answer?  No.  But if that brings attention to a problem that no one ever seems to give a damn about until they burn down buildings, then maybe it feels like that is the only voice they have.

Until we can put down our fears, our experiences and approach each situation with an open mind we won't be able to see what is right in front of us.  And sadly, it is hard to do that.  But it seems to me, if we all could see it for what it is--- fear running rampant--- and unite in grief that this situation took place, comforting all those involved, and further, address the underlying problems that brought this about, we might move forward.

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