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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Brown’

I am so goddamned sick and tired of hearing how Michael Brown was just a great big jolly kid who didn’t deserve to die that I want to puke.

The way this kid is being portrayed by members of the community, most of whom are probably like me and didn’t know him, is that he was just so wonderful, laughing, the life of the party, etc., and he was shot by that white son-of-a-bitch who was out to get him. That’s what I’m hearing; that’s how I’m interpreting what I’m hearing. Now that white son-of-a-bitch is going to go free, just like that white son-of-a-bitch in Florida who killed Trevon Martin. All the white sons-of-bitches are going to go free because it’s open season on Black people.

What a crock of shit! Michael Brown robbed a store minutes before he was shot to death. He threatened and pushed a clerk or someone, perhaps the man who owned the store and who was so small he wouldn’t stand a chance against someone of Michael Brown’s size and obvious disposition. Give me a break, folks. Michael Brown was killed because he was a punk who thought he was bigger, badder, and the meanest son-of-a-bitch on the street. Evidence says he got two punches into the face of Darren Wilson before Wilson started to shoot.  In my mind, from all that I’ve heard, Michael Brown got exactly what he deserved.

That being said, I don’t believe that Trevon Martin got what he got. I do believe that George Zimmerman should be sitting in jail for murdering that particular 17-year old. I toss that in here just to placate those who have reached the point where they would like to shoot me.

Fact: If you are told to stop by a police officer, stop!

Fact: If you are told to put your hands up by a police officer, get your damned hands in the air!

Fact: If you are told by a police officer to get down on the ground, hit the deck with your arms and legs spread!

These are the facts. I’ve been there; I know this. If a cop tells you, “Stop or I’ll shoot,” you better freeze in your tracks and hope your bladder and bowels don’t let go. I’ve been there; I know this. If you are acting suspiciously – and we were – and a cop comes toward you with a gun, you are well advised to do what “the man” says, regardless of the color of your skin or the size of your body! My personal experience happened in South Boston many years ago. It was a mistake, but it was a very frightening experience.

Had that cop shot and killed any of us, I find it difficult to believe that a large group would gather and burn down businesses in Southie. Being Irish wouldn’t have helped me or my friends in that Irish neighborhood. In Ferguson; in Detroit; in many other cities around the nation, if a Black person is shot, that seems to be time to riot, burn businesses – many owned or franchised to  Black entrepreneurs – and otherwise cause trouble…because “the man” hates Black people.

I read an editorial in the Boston Globe this morning. In it the writer notes, “Being black in America means trying to heal wounds that feel like they’ve been left raw since long before you were born.” I’m sorry but for me, many of these wounds have been self-inflicted. Most of us, Black or white, can only speak anecdotally about our experiences with people of the opposite color. Most of my experiences have been good; some have been extremely unpleasant. When I walked into a Black bar in the Mission Hill section of Boston, I was the first white face in there. Until the members of the Boston Patriots football team walked in behind me, I was terrified. Why, because a group of Black men were already on their feet and coming toward me and from the expressions on their faces, they did not have handshakes on their collective minds. Had we not been previously invited by the bar’s owner, things could have gotten ugly. The writer goes on to say, “Over and over he (St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch) repeated two themes: That the loss of Brown’s life was tragic; that Wilson was justified. This reinforces a message that gets whispered and shouted from black parents to their children and all along the family tree: Your life is not your own, your body is all you have, and even that guarantee can be voided in this country. Wait a minute; that’s not a Black thing; that’s true of every single one of us. Our lives are not our own. Our lives are governed by the environment in which we live. Our body is all any of us have, and it can be snatched from us with the snap of one’s fingers. Don’t you dare go attaching color to something that is universal. Yes, if you choose to live in a violent neighborhood, your chances of survival go down, but please don’t tell me that you are required to live in that neighborhood. There are  many people who manage to get out of those neighborhoods by hard work and an understanding of why they should move.

I am sick to death of this “Woe is me” attitude that I’m hearing from people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the protesters in Ferguson. Stop blaming all of your problems on the white man. Burning out businesses and turning over and burning cars is not the answer. Organize; run your own candidates for public office; work to get out the vote and vote yourself. Stop bitching and start building opportunities.

 

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Michael Brown is dead and has been buried…all six feet, three inches, nearly 300 pounds of him. He was unarmed when Darren Wilson shot him; shot him six times. The only thing he was carrying was the stolen box of cigarillos that he and his buddy had taken from a convenience store.

Is Michael Brown a symbol of a racist police department? What an interesting question, particularly in light of the fact that the police haven’t been able to stop the rioting, looting, and overall social unrest that’s occurring in Ferguson, Missouri. They say that “Big Mike” was a gentle giant. He sure didn’t look too gentle when he was shoving that convenience store clerk around. They say that “Big Mike” was a child in a man’s body. He and his buddy, Dorian Johnson, were adult enough to rob that convenience store. They say that “Big Mike” was a friend to teachers, coaches, etc. I taught high school. I was criticized for hitting a smart ass in the head with a piece of chalk. I was told by the principal that “..there is no such thing as a bad kid.” I laughed my ass off when the Massachusetts State Police came to the school and hauled that kid away in handcuffs because he was determined to be the leader of a gang that was robbing stores all over town. Was he my Michael Brown?

Is the Brown death a tragedy? Of course it is. No one wants to see an adolescent cut down. Was the shooting a good one? There are two people who know the answer to that…Dorian Johnson and Darren Wilson. Who am I more likely to believe? I’m going to go with the cop 99 percent of the time. Hell, Johnson’s already shown that he is a punk store robber. Was Michael Brown’s body left on the street for four hours as has been claimed? That’s just wrong, and the Ferguson Police receive very bad marks if that’s what actually happened.

After Michael Brown is killed, what happens? There are riots in the streets. “Oh, that poor baby!” “Oh, those racist policemen!” “Oh this and Oh that and let’s go steal some television sets as retribution.” It didn’t matter that the television sets and the air conditioners and whatever else, there were riots and looting from stores owned by other Blacks. Michael Brown’s been shot…Hallelujah, it’s time for me to get my new TV. What bullshit! If Michael Brown had been a white kid, would whites have rioted? I rather doubt it. If Michael had been Hispanic, Asian, or Native American, would there have been riots? I sure as hell doubt it.

Then Cornell West, a Black activist from Princeton goes out to Ferguson, probably because people are beginning to come to their senses, and he inflames the crowd even more. Peaceful sit-ins become us against them and West gets that fire all built up again. Of course, the minute one disagrees with anything that West has to say, one becomes a hater, a racist, anti-Black, and “you people” are still trying to keep “my people” down. That is just so much hogwash.

The Black inner city community needs to wise up. Black fathers need to begin acting responsibly. Black mothers need to keep an aspirin between their knees. Black children need to insist on equal education with equal facilities. If the Black community wants to protest something – without resorting to violence – let them protest the quality of some of the inner city schools. Obviously, these are generalities. Obviously, there are large communities of Black men, women, and children who are peacefully pursuing the American Dream, whatever the heck that is. However, there are too many angry Black people out there who either are not pulling their share of the load, want that load for free, or who see the only way to get their share is by robbing, looting, selling drugs, and hating. Those are your racists!, and I will, once more, be called a racist for telling the truth.

Is there blame on the part of the white community for the problems in Ferguson and elsewhere? You’re damned right there’s blame. “Oh, you poor people; my ancestors kept you down so we must give you everything we can.” That’s nonsense. The white community in both the North and South were too slow to recognize that Black people are just as good as white. Killing civil rights workers; fire hosing peaceful marchers; refusing to integrate schools; segregated units during WWII…all of these things are contributors to why we still have racial problems today.

The population of Ferguson is 67.4 percent Black and 29.3 percent white. The police department has 50 white officers and three Black officers. By anyone’s math, those figures are disproportionate. I fully recognize the problems that all communities have getting, training, and retaining police officers of any color. It’s like trying to find a theoretical physicist with a Ph.D. who is a minority for your university…it ain’t easy, McGee! I want to know what Ferguson officials have done to try and equalize the police department, fire department, schools, etc., so that the Black community is properly represented. Some will toss figures back at me, saying that Missouri is 87 percent white and only 11 percent Black. Know what, I don’t really care; I care about Ferguson, a tragic death, a cop who’ll have nightmares for years, and a bunch of citizens being riled up by inside and outside racists who get their jolly’s by starting trouble.

This country is beset by problems galore. By comparison to everything else that is wrong with this country right now, Michael Brown’s death is a piss hole in a snow bank. We have a government in gridlock. We will probably soon have boots on the ground again in the Middle East. We have a national debt that is only growing larger. We have other nations purchasing America one piece at a time. I’m sorry for your death, Michael, and I’m sorry you had to shoot Darren, but it’s time to learn from what happened in Ferguson. Let’s learn from what happened, examine our own communities, change what needs changing, and move on to solving some of our national concerns.

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