Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Thoughts on Ferguson


I wish I had the whole file on Michael Brown and the police officer who shot him.  I keep reading news stories and editorials and they all have different opinions.  I’d love to know what exactly happened.  Everything I write today is about what I have read.  I was not there.              
             The latest editorial I read was about the number of black men shot by white policemen and how it compares to the number of people shot in Britain, which is apparently very low.  My question to the writer would be this, Are the police officers treated differently in Britain than they are here?  And, Do the Brits have the same sense of entitlement that Americans do?  Do the parents in Britain go off on their children’s teachers when the kids misbehave at school?  I don’t think that’s asking too much.  I have a feeling that Britain’s children are brought up very differently than American children.  Do the Brits spank their children; teach them right from wrong and to respect authority?  Because I have to believe they do.  Lack of respect for authority is ingrained in our children from a very young age.  I believe it has to do with single parent households with no strong male figure to enforce rules and set a good example on how to treat people. 

My dad was a fair man.  He was not a violent man.  I was lucky to have two parents in my home to raise me up.  My mom was the nurturer.  My dad was the provider.  They loved me and I knew it even when I told them they didn’t.  I was a rebellious teenager, yet I knew that they were teaching me the right lessons.  I got into trouble, but I never tried to wrestle with a police officer.  I never did something wrong in front of someone and pretend I didn’t.  When I got caught I knew I was caught.  I didn’t fight it.  Why do today’s youth think they can fight it, that it is their right to fight it?  We had the Beastie Boys fighting for their right to party and we still knew that when we were told to stop we had to actually stop.  Maybe it’s the culture. 
I hate to say it’s a black and white thing, because I feel that if a black police officer fired on a white criminal, it wouldn’t be as big as the Michael Brown case.  Michael stole something before he was shot.  Michael was warned before he got shot.  Michael was supposed to start college this past fall.  He was smarter than he was acting, apparently.  Why didn’t he stop when he was told?  Why did he advance on the officer?  I’m sorry.  If it were my son I would be devastated too, but he was wrong to do what he did.  What about the officer?  I can’t imagine shooting someone, much less killing them.  Of course they are trained to fire, but it still has to have a major emotional impact.
The other thing I hate to read about is how Martin Luther King Jr. would have condoned the riots after the hearing.  I’d think he would not have liked it at all.  The riots afterwards were anything but peaceably assembling to make a statement.  Another boy was killed during the riots.  I wonder if he would still be alive had the riots not happened.
What happened in Ferguson should be a lesson to us all.  Respect others, respect authority, be honest, and take responsibility.  Treat others as you want to be treated.  Think before you act.  If we all did this, instead of trying to be better (stronger, smarter, faster, etc.) than everyone else, then I think we would be a stronger nation.  We all would be better for it, no matter what our color.