The Real Takeaway From Ferguson
(before I posted this, I had to think twice, which is a really bad sign. The opinions expressed here are mine, but may not be the most popular or soothing opinion)
It’s been a nasty week and an even nastier few months since Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, as a result of either a confrontation with a police officer, a physical fight with a police officer, or randomly selected for walking while black. The simple fact that there are so many versions of the story should tell you where this is going: hell.
Having watched the back and forth and the resulting riots from both afar (I don’t live in Ferguson, obviously), and from a more up close and personal level (interactions on social media and such), I can say that without a doubt there are some clear takeaways here. First off, there is an amazingly huge gulf in America, but it’s not the racism you expect, rather it’s the gulf of culture that has grown wider, further, and faster than anyone could imagine.
For me, what has happened is that in the last 20 years, black youth in America has created a culture which is so incredibly self defeating as to be scary to watch in action. I have written in the past about how the US has reached a very dangerous tipping point, and the Michael Brown case is a perfect example of it. What has happened is that the black culture and society accepts and even idolizes those who disrespect others, who commit petty to middling crimes, who join gangs, hang on street corners, paint graffiti on buildings, walls, and about everything else that doesn’t move… I could go on, but I think you can get the idea. This stuff is considered normal and acceptable, and it’s all wrapped up in a “snitches get stitches” mentality that assures that these thugs and petty criminals can flourish and enjoy their chosen lifestyle.
The funny part, however, is that for the most part they are marking up and hurting their own neighborhoods and their own people. Black on black crime in America is a huge issue, from robberies and physical crime to the selling of drugs and helping to keep an entire generation too numb and too uneducated to get ahead. Then the community leaders (often their parents) complain about their living standards and the state of their community – and expect the government to fix it. But when the government does step in to do something, their first step is to try to stop the vandalism and crime that is hurting the neighborhoods. The result is unpopular police enforcement of normal laws, which turns the area into an even bigger war zone and doesn’t move things forward.
The answer I found in this video:
In serious terms, the issue of Michael Brown is very complex. There is certainly some racism in there. There is some distrust of the police. There is some hatred of the police ruining the fun in the neighborhood, like stopping drug dealers and asking people to actually walk on the sidewalk instead of in the middle of the street. This is stuff the community should support, not snipe back at, but it’s clear here that Michael Brown (and many others like him) are fast to give a police officer lip and attitude rather than taking the steps to accept responsibility for their actions and to control themselves a little bit.
I know this conclusion won’t be popular. The black community has a real issue with the situation because many believe that black people don’t get a fair shake in the legal system, or don’t get treated fairly on a day to day basis. News flash: If you don’t commit the crimes, if you live in a civilized manner, if you keep your children from becoming gang mmembers, drug dealers, and petty criminals your lives will get better. The police enforce the law. They don’t show up randomly to just gun some black kids down for fun. They are there for reasons. Stop giving the police reasons to hassle you, and things will get better. Control yourselves, control your children, don’t get into beefs with each other, stop thinking that trashing your neighborhood and it’s businesses are good for you, and things will get better.
Change starts with you. Stop waiting for the man to do it for you, you know what those results will be.