As I watched the prosecutor in the Michael Brown murder case read his statement I could almost sense what might follow.
I mean it seemed to me like the guy began his presentation by attacking the media, the social media, the shooting victim (Mr. Brown) himself ….. and I got the feeling that what I had said all along about this tragedy was going to be the case. I had always said and I had always thought, “This policeman is not going to face any kind of charges in this case.” I had said it …. I had thought it …. I had told other people that is how I thought all this would go down from the grand jury in the case ….. the grand jury of 9 white people and 3 black people …. in a jurisdiction down in the South where racial tensions are a matter of history ….. and just shortly after the prosecutor in the case had delivered his speech informing the world that no charges would be filed against the police officer in the shooting of the unarmed black teen, Michael Brown …..fires started in Ferguson and shots rang out in the darkness.
I have seen this kind of thing before in this country and it never seems to get any better and the conditions that become the underlying cause of these kinds of things never seem to get adequately addressed …… all kinds of conflicting opinions and attitudes erupt on both sides of the issues ….. and when things finally settle down ( as they always seem to do after a while) ….. more incidents occur somewhere along the line and tempers flare again …. and on and on and on it goes!
I do not know and I have no way of knowing if the grand jury verdict was a just verdict because I am not a lawyer and I am glad I am not one …. especially when it comes to complex cases like this one seems to have turned out to be. I do know there are an awfully lot of hurting people in Ferguson, Mo., today and I don’t know what the answer to their dilemma is going to be.
I do know that I do not personally like the idea that somebody could be indicted for a crime on the basis of how the public outrage about the situation developed …. I am not the kind of person who would approve of “Mob” justice ….. but I also know that racial tensions have run deep down there in the South for many many years and if you are going to look at this Michael Brown thing circumstantially it is not all that hard to see something called “Old Southern Justice” at work here …. but like I said, “That is my personal opinion …
This is not the first time I have heard such an idea being advanced …… there are always all kinds of people with all kinds of viewpoints and some of them will yell, “Racist” at the first available opportunity …..
I don’t think that every confrontation between Law Enforcement and civilian citizens is always “Racist” and I think there are plenty of folks on both sides of the issues who might be tempted to play the “Race” card to support their driving agendas ….. but Racism is a really hard thing to understand ….. with the ethnic diversity of America …. It is hard to understand …. I think it is nearly impossible to explain …. and I am not sure it is fair to invoke it every time something like this happens …. but like I said earlier on, “These questions are better resolved by people with far more knowledge and experience than I possess because when the rubber meets the road the only thing I have to offer about any of this stuff is an “Opinion” and even though I am entitled to an “Opinion” so is everybody else!
The question about “Opinions” might well become, “Maybe people ought to keep their opinions to themselves sometimes …. and yes, it applies to me just as well as it applies to everybody else. There are some things we just cannot know about situations and it serves no positive purpose to engage in speculation.”
I am not a lawyer …. I am going to have to see how all this turns out just like everybody else is going to have to wait to see …. I just hope nobody else loses their life and I hope the property destruction ends soon and I hope the police and the national guard who are on the scene are not brought to the place where they have to fire on American Citizens who …. in my opinion …. are justifiably angry and confused and hurt.
I do not like the thought of American police or armed forces firing on our own citizens.
By the same token I sure as hell don’t want our citizens firing on our Law Enforcement either …… although from what I have heard some extremists on the far right saying sometimes the day might come when such horrors might become a possibility.
There are all kinds of nut cases out there in the boon docks of America and a lot of them are so paranoid and so gun-crazy that I believe it would be totally foolhardy to discount any possibility in a country as big as this one and as ethnically diverse and as ideologically diverse as The United States has become.
It is getting to the territory now where thing could turn nightmarish with minimal provocation ….. and in many respects I think that very fact is the reason we are seeing the increasing militarism in the ranks of our Law Enforcement agencies. I do not see this as a good development but given the growth of the nation I cannot help but see it as an inevitable development.
The bigger a country becomes I believe the harder it is for anyone to effectively govern ….. and I am afraid America is on that path and I have no idea of what the solution is or what the answer might be …. and sometimes I really fear what the future might bring ….. but I still have faith in the common sense of The American People and that gives me some comfort when my mind runs in these somewhat paranoid directions.
That is one of the most uncomfortable feelings I can think of and I definitely do not want America to start looking like some third world tyranny. So the morning has come now and I have just gotten out of bed and I am curious to see what went on in Ferguson after I retired last evening.
I would say that I hope all Americans will join together in prayer to God and ask God to take control of the Ferguson situation …. to protect the innocent from harm …. to bring true justice to the case that was the cause of all this commotion in the first place. God can do these things and I think we should all be in prayer about the situation.
A friend of mine has a different world view than I do. He is a little more fatalistic, I think and his response to what happened at Ferguson last night was, “Might as well get used to it, folks – – – if you’re black or a minority in this country this is how it is always going to be. This is how it’s always been and this is how it’s always going to be. I remember Martin Luther King and the civil rights protests of the 1960s ….. I remember when sections of Detroit were burned to the ground in the 1970s …. I remember Rosa Parks ….. Emmet Till ….. Rodney King ….. I remember all these things and none of these things has ever resulted in anything getting done. It’s like “Gun Violence.” Gun violence kills schoolkids and innocent citizens on a regular basis and there still aren’t any laws on the books to try to do something about gun violence and as long as the Gun Lobby controls the American dialogue there ain’t never going to be anything done about gun violence either.”
I imagine there will be some folks who come by here to read this who might be tempted to say to me, “Why are you complaining about civil rights and gun rights? If you don’t like it here in America then move to another country where you might be happier.” I have had people say that to me before and I say to myself, “I have served my country in military uniform and I have the right to say whatever I want to say because we still have freedom of speech here if I haven’t missed something …. I am American …. I was born American …. and I have a right to say what I want to say just like anybody else does and I am not moving to another country ….. but it is some people like those who tell me these things that have made America what she is becoming today …. a place filled with suspicion …. with hatred …. with violence …. and I mourn for the days that once were …. days when a person could walk down any street alone and have absolutely no fear for their safety … I am afraid we are seeing the end of those kinds of days coming.