In less time than it takes to blink an eye the shooting of Michael Brown was framed with a racist portrait.
For Auriel Brown (no relation to Michael), many of those “uncomfortable” discussions have taken place inside her own home, with her 12-year-old son.
A former resident of St. Louis, the Wichita, Kan., mother spoke with the CBC’s Keith Boag in Ferguson on Sunday about “The Talk” many black parents are forced to have with their children, particularly their boys.
“You let your son know that, ‘Hey, the world that you live in — I hate to break it to you — is a little bit different from those of your classmates,'” said Brown about preparing her son for the racism he may encounter as he grows older.
“‘People do have these preconceived ideas about who you are just because of what others have done or because of somebody’s fear of unknown… so unfortunately, you’re going to be stereotyped, and sometimes you’re going to be treated in a way that’s really unfair. I just need you to know how to handle it in way that’s not going to make things worse for you.'”
A couple of days ago Eric Holder penned a message to the people of Ferguson MO.
At the same time, good law enforcement requires forging bonds of trust between the police and the public. This trust is all-important, but it is also fragile. It requires that force be used in appropriate ways. Enforcement priorities and arrest patterns must not lead to disparate treatment under the law, even if such treatment is unintended. And police forces should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.
There are some strong undertones in it and they beg several questions. Are black people more inclined to respect black cops than white cops? Would Michael Brown have obeyed a black cop who ordered him to walk on the sidewalk? Would Michael Brown not have assaulted a black cop? Is that what Holder is intimating? Is Holder suggesting that white cops patrol white areas and black cops patrol black areas? What if the police department was as diversified as Holder wanted? Would that guarantee Brown wouldn’t encounter a white cop? Wasn’t segregation a bad thing?
Holder went to Ferguson to share his painful personal memories of racism:
“I understand that mistrust. I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man,” Holder said during an appearance at Florissant Valley Community College. “I think about my time in Georgetown — a nice neighborhood of Washington — and I am running to a picture movie at about 8 o’clock at night. I am running with my cousin. Police car comes driving up, flashes his lights, yells ‘where you going? Hold it!’ I say, ‘Whoa, I’m going to a movie.’ ”
As though that had anything to do with anything. Holder has been stopped twice for speeding and once for running down a street.
So have I. I too must be a victim of racism. If I had only known….
Victor Davis Hanson observes that there are common themes to the incidents which result in civil unrest over perceived racial mistreatment.
– When a white person shoots an unarmed black person
– The media distorts the facts
– The participation by the race hustlers
All the elements are there in Ferguson.
The Michael Brown shooting is not nor has it ever been about race. It is about crime and enforcement of the law. That’s it. Brown’s robbing the store, walking in traffic and the assault and battery of a police officer are continuously being suppressed. Those raising the issue of racism are ignorant and disgraceful and do everyone a disservice. How did Tawana Sharpton and Crystal Mangum Jackson contribute to a resolution of the unrest? Jackson actually started panhandling and was booed for it. Sharpton made sure that attention on events would not focus on Brown’s actions:
“Ferguson and Michael Brown Jr. will be a defining moment on how this country deals with policing and the rights of citizens to address how police behave in this country,” Sharpton said.
As though being severely harmed by a criminal suspect is a mandatory part of the job and not at all illegal.
Auriel Brown asks:
“My big thing with coming here is, this isn’t just about Mike. This is about everybody’s little boy that will run into the same situation if change isn’t made. If this happens to him, it can to anybody’s kid. It has been happening to other people’s kids, so when does it stop?
“And what do we do to make it stop?”
What can you do to make it stop? Tell your kids not to commit robbery, not to walk in the middle of the road and not to assault police officers.
The residents of Ferguson want justice as long as Officer Darren Wilson is convicted of something. The good news for them is that Eric Holder has declared that the Department of Justice “stands for them.” In case you were considering a peaceful protest in Ferguson, please note that that right is reserved for only one side.
Michael Brown’s death was a terrible thing, but by injecting racism where there was none makes it far, far worse. And speaking of the right to protest peacefully:
In Ferguson on Wednesday, the first hours after sunset were unusually calm. The only major flare-up in that period came about 8:20 p.m., when a white woman walked down the street holding a sign that said “I support Darren Wilson.”
“Y’all need to get your facts straight,” the woman was yelling.
A crowd gathered. Someone hit the woman on the head, and somebody else snatched her sign. Officers rushed to surround the woman, and she was quickly put in a police vehicle and driven away.
Yes indeed, y’all need to get your facts straight.