Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Hypocrisy.....It Burns




Well, I have spent most of my day pissing people off on Facebook. I probably have a lot fewer friends than I did 24 hours ago. It's all about Ferguson, of course.

Oh, those terrible black people, many of my white friends say - looting and burning and vandalizing. We would never do any of that because we aren't violent animals. We respect the rule of law and obey authority. We have faith in our wonderful justice system.

Except when they are and they don't.

Except when they want to walk into restaurants carrying AK-47's over their shoulders. Except when they form militias to threaten government agents in defense of Cliven Bundy. Except when they protest carrying signs that show our president hanging in effigy. Except when they want to disobey duly passed legislation like gun control laws and abortion rights they disagree with. Except when they call out their fellow citizens to start the revolution and "take our government back" by force. Except when they shoot young black kids coming home from the store. Except when they don't like the president the majority of voters voted for. Except when they cheer for a foul-mouthed and murderous Ted Nugent.

Because, you see, violence is in the eye of the beholder and when they do it, of course, it is justified but when those black people do it, it's because, well, you know, they're not quite civilized.

Many middle and lower-middle class white people seem innately incapable of even attempting to put themselves in another's place. Their lives are their lives and the way things are. There's no excuse for what people in Ferguson did. You can ask - "but haven't you noticed that this killing of black boys by police officers seems to be happening more frequently and most often, nothing is done about it. Can you imagine how frustrating it might be if you felt the authorities would just as soon kill your child as not?" or "If your child was shot to death because a police officer saw a game remote in his hand and thought it was a gun, do you not think your level of rage would be through the roof"?" or "if he was killed simply walking home from the store?" Yeah....but, he had Skittles and that kind of drink and we all know what that means....he's a thug!

(Thug - I swear to God, I wish we'd banish that freaking word from our vocabulary!)

All you get in return for your questions are blank looks, or maybe anger. That isn't the world they know and it is beyond their conception.

All this began many years before Michael Brown was killed. I wonder, did it never occur to the town fathers of Ferguson to say, "you know, this situation with a majority of black citizens and a vast majority of white cops just isn't good. In fact, it's a tinderbox. There is no respect or trust between the two sides. You know, maybe we should make a big recruiting effort to bring our police department more in line with reality." No, evidently that never happened. In fact, they hired an officer, Darren Wilson, who came from a department that was disbanded because of racial animosity. Oh, yeah, that's smart.

And did it never occur to the African-American leaders in Ferguson to say, "you know, we need to get off our asses and vote. If every one of us voted, we could elect whoever we wanted. So, by God, we're going to register every eligible voter in this city and we're going to get everyone to the polls in the next election if we have to drag them kicking and screaming." Nope, that didn't happen either.

So the the way things were just dragged on. The hostility just dragged on. The fear and mistrust just dragged on.

And then came Michael Brown's death and it hardened attitudes even more than they had been before. Will it also act as a catalyst for change? I guess that remains to be seen but judging by past experience, I'd probably take the "against"