In high school and college, I was blessed that as long as I paid attention in class and studied, school came relatively easy to me. The one subject requiring much of my study time and never came naturally to me was English literature so I find it ironic that I have the opportunity to write.
When I write for TheRightRush.com or WayneDupree.com, I do not do so on a regular basis, because it is actually work for me to produce a story worthy of being read by anyone other than me. I write only of stories for which I have passion, as the words seem to flow from within me and through my fingers onto the keyboard, something I do not quite understand, but for which I am grateful.
I have not felt compelled to write about a subject in some time, but tonight I felt the stirring. I knew I needed to write something but with so many important issues facing our nation, I was unsure of what.
Should I tackle the barbaric beheading of James Foley by a terrorist group who would like nothing more than to do the same to every American should they have the opportunity? Rick Perry being indicted for having the courage to hold a government employee responsible for their behavior, or the news du jour, the death of Michael Brown?
As much as I would prefer to avoid what occurred in Ferguson Missouri, the subject won out as I believe it can be easily explained, but not easily solved.
In my opinion, the Ferguson story boils down to:
Lack of knowledge and/or respect for our criminal justice system
Lack of expectation and/or personal accountability within the black community
24/7 news coverage geared toward entertainment with the added pressure of being first rather than accurate
Unlike most, including a Missouri state Senator, I have made no judgement on what occurred in Ferguson. Michael Brown is a young black man, unarmed, who was shot six times by an officer. This is the information I believe to be true.
Do I find an unarmed man being shot six times troubling, very. Do I believe because of the number of shots combined with the color of the young man’s and of the officer’s skin that it means the officer is guilty of murder, absolutely not.
Our criminal justice system provides for a grand jury process, many who have already tried and convicted the officer are condemning before its completion, because grand juries are held in secret. One wonders if those who have made comments such as the grand jury “better come back with an indictment,” understand only the prosecution only provides evidence to secure a grand jury indictment?
As the video showing Mr. Brown robbing a store prior to the shooting and reports that the officer involved was severely beaten by Mr. Brown surface, it proves we do not know all facts about the Ferguson shooting, yet 56% of black Americans believe the officer is guilty of murder, and over 40% believe rioting and looting is an acceptable form of protest.
I am not a black man. I am not targeted by the police, and pulled over for the color of my skin. So I do not pretend to understand the feeling of injustice many in Ferguson likely feel for good reason. The injustice must feel overwhelming, and yet most are doing to the officer exactly what they complain is done to them, convicting him without evidence.
While I can understand the feeling of frustration within the community, I do not understand how breaking the law, looting local businesses and rioting changes the injustice felt. If the black community wants real change within the justice system, a look within is necessary as is the expectation of accountability from leaders within the community, rather than the expectation that it is someone else’s fault.
The unfortunate part is how the media rushes to cover white on black crime, pushing the narrative that racism runs rampant in every street, even in middle America Missouri, yet completely ignores the fact that 91% of murders within the black community are a result of black on black crime. In an effort to sell news to the American people, the media adds fuel to the fire, creating narratives rather than reporting facts.
The death of Michael Brown is tragic, and likely could have been prevented, but until we begin allowing the justice system to work speaking the truth about race, and refusing to award infotainment news media, nothing changes.