Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ferguson riots and why everyone should just shut up about it.

I'm not going to screen cap anything for this one because you already know what the comments will focus on. Calling rioters thugs, telling them they need to go to college and all manner of other advice that misses the point entirely. White people from middle class homes who just don't understand why these black people can't be civilized and white just like the rest of us.

You get it. It's disgusting. You overhear it at work, you see it on Facebook, it's people who don't live in Ferguson telling people who do live in Ferguson how to live.

Ferguson was my old stomping grounds when I was a kid with a bicycle and nothing better to do on a Saturday. It's not Ballwin or Chesterfield, but it's filled with normal, honest people doing their thing to get by in the world. The demographics have been widely reported as about 70% African American, yet the government and police department is mostly white. Turns out when you are a minority who grows up marginalized and close to, or well inside, poverty levels you don't want to run for Alderman or become a cop.

I'm not black, but I watched what happened to young black people in the area. They were scrutinized more heavily by everyone for being young and black. They were watched in stores by shop owners, harassed by cops, harassed by older neighbors all for being young and black.

Take a moment and imagine yourself at Walmart and being obviously tailed by employees because you're young and black. 

Seems kind of unfair, doesn't it? The whole world looks at you like a criminal. Crime statistics say you probably are a criminal. Prison populations say you'll end up there one day because you're nothing better than a thug who smokes weed and lays around all day taking government benefits.

When the world has a lens on you every day, do you think you wouldn't lash out? If the world treated you like a criminal, do you think that would make you work harder?

I don't know what happened to Michael Brown other than he was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer. What I do know is everyone lost their shit because of it. And I understand why.

This doesn't happen with black on black crime in North City because that's rationalized. It's just the way things happen. A Major General was recently killed in Afghanistan and no one outside the military community cared. There are no more protests against wars because it's expected now. We don't protest meth labs, white on white violence or any of the other "expected" deaths.

So why riot?

Imagine this: You're trying to get a doctor to pay attention to a problem you're having, but the doctor just ignores you. You're in pain, something is wrong and the doctor just has his back to you, ignoring your pleas and talking about whatever they feel is important. He's the doctor and you're just a lowly patient, so you have to shut up and wait until maybe he can get to you.

So you pick up his jar of tongue depressors and smash it to the ground while screaming at him.

The doctor turns and looks at you with disbelief and says "Why would you do that? You're such a monster!"

This is why you see black people rioting and white people not (unless, of course, they win a sporting championship.) As a middle class white person, I'm used to people listening to me when I need something or have something to say. I'm not now, nor have I ever been marginalized based on my race or gender.

But when you're poor and black, no one wants to listen to you. You're too poor, too black, don't vote enough or any other hundreds of reasons to not listen to anything you say. You're an eighteen year old who smokes weed and hangs out with his friends late at night and I'm intimidated by that, so your opinion doesn't matter.

You're a thief, a liar, a thug, a drug addict, a drain on my tax dollars. You should do better and tell your thug friends to do better too because you don't matter, you fucking cockroach.

I'm not condoning violent actions, but if the response to my anger was wooden bullets and tear gas fired at me into my own back yard?

This is exactly what every doomsday prepper and Missouri militia nutjob has been crying about, but you won't see them stand on the front lines of Ferguson protecting the rights of the residents against the jackbooted government thugs. Every person who has ever clutched their guns and cried about the Constitution should be out there in Ferguson demanding due process and standing between the police and the protesters.

But they won't. No one will stand with the protesters. They won't listen to black people when you do it peacefully, they won't protect you when you fight back. This would hardly be a bump on the media radar if it wasn't for the rioting and you're crazy if you think peaceful protests would have gotten anything done. The feet of the Ferguson police are being held to the fire by the world because of a burned down gas station and photos of officers in riot gear holding back snarling dogs.

Yeah, I'd set some shit on fire too. 

3 comments:

  1. except the part where it is about black because to me its about poor and uneducated black or white when you live in poverty you are not listened too...and when white people protest no one listens either...this is about justice and this cop and all police need to be held accountable and not be above the law...period...if this was a white kid that got shot it wouldnt of probably even made the news...and justice would not have even had a chance to be served...if everyone would quit focusing so much on the race thing and just focus on the actual crime...come on...idk...i am nobody...they got a good lawyer so this wont just get pushed under the rug....which is good...the cop needs to pay ...

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  2. The riots were bad inasmuch as it gave white people a chance to say, "Well, you see what these people do..." I had many people in my newsfeed talk about how they were disgusted and embarrassed by the riots, but not a single person had posted ANYTHING about the kid getting murdered. Shouldn't taking a human life be more outrageous than burning a building? And yes, wait for "due process." The same due process that let George Zimmerman go, the same due process that saw that guy in New York killed for selling loosies while no cops got arrested (but the guy filming was!), the same due process that got Michael Brown killed, etc. These people act as if a letter to a Congressman would have any impact at all. I'm white, but fuck white people. We're the worst.

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