*sigh* This is certainly a post that I don’t want to make. I generally try to stay away from politically, racially, police-state related topics. This one, however, seems to be resistant to going away, so I guess my two cents will be heard (read). So… here goes!!!
I have absolutely no clue what REALLY happened in Ferguson. I wasn’t there. I don’t think there is any real clear, definitive videotape of the incident. If I had any money, I’d be willing to bet that at least 99.9% of the people protesting, commenting or otherwise involved also have no REAL clue as to what happened. In my not so humble opinion, never have so many people been so opinionated over an issue that they really know very little, if anything, about.
Is what happened a tragedy? Of course it is. Both for the officer and the youth involved. One life lost, one life changed forever, countless lives affected by this and I can’t think of anyone who came out “ahead.” Everyone lost. No one gained anything. As far as I can see, there is no good in this at all. There is no silver lining anywhere.
Another issue that amazes me in this situation is the generalizations that are being made. Are there bad cops in this world? Of course there are. Are ALL cops bad? Of course not. Are there young thugs out there? Of course there are. AND… they are NOT all black. They are white, red, brown, yellow and every color of the rainbow. No race or ethnic group has the monopoly on thugs. Similarly, the same goes for bad cops. The are NOT all white. Like thugs (and they really pretty much are thugs themselves) they come from all races and any ethnicity.
Was (Is) Officer Darren Wilson bad? Was Michael Brown a thug? Somehow everyone thinks so, depending on which side you fall upon. I do not know. I only know what I read or see in the “news”. I have no confidence that what is presented in the media is fair or even factual, so I can not and will not pass judgement. Even if they both were as “bad” as either side portrays the other, is that a good reason to generalize that behavior? Seems like one side classifies all young males of color as a certain way while the other side believes all white male cops are a certain type. Neither is true… and that may be the ONLY fact I am completely sure of. Why would we classify an entire group based on the actions of one (or more) individuals.
So, now what? Somehow we need to move past this and I don’t think anyone is ever going to be completely happy with the results. Should cops be required to where some sort of “chest cam”? It seems like a good idea. Should someone maybe take a look at the training of police officers? Of course. Being a cop has to be a hard job. You leave for work each morning not knowing what kind of day it might be. Maybe peaceful, maybe a couple traffic tickets or an accident? Or maybe, a day that will change your life forever?
And to the young people? It’s equally hard. Especially if you’re growing up or living in an oppressed neighborhood or situation. BUT, maybe we should be teaching our kids RESPECT. This is one of my pet peeves. It seems to me that respect has been replaced with “entitlement” in our youth. And, this is not race or ethnic group specific. You know what??? You’re NOT special until you prove it!!! You’re NOT better than anyone else until you prove it. You do NOT deserve “special” treatment until you prove that you’re “special” yourself.
Do I have answers? No, only ideas… and not well founded or researched. Just the things I think. I worry about our country though if we continue to slowly destroy ourselves from within. If we keep it up, we won’t need to worry about some terrorist group or foreign country taking us down. We seem to be doing a damn fine job of it already!
PS. As always, I’d love to hear (read) your take on it