Governor Jay Nixon activated the Missouri National Guard Monday night, and placed regional police departments in a “Unified Command” in anticipation of a decision not to prosecute police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown last August 9th.
From the very day of the shooting, State and local authorities have done one injustice upon another in refusing to do the obvious thing, and arrest Wilson for at the very least using excessive deadly force in the killing of Brown.
The police reports on the shooting, all public records were never released. That is a violation of the law in itself. News media outlets and the ACLU have sued to obtain them but those cases are not ready to be argued. The county prosecutor decided not to prosecute following what ought to have been a routine arrest for any other citizen who did this, choosing instead to employ a grand jury that has been flooded with conflicted information from a prosecutor who has no heart to bring Wilson to justice.
Only bold action to show that police themselves are accountable for their own actions would have stopped the pent up anger in the Ferguson community. From what we can see here, it appears that Governor Nixon, and the authorities want violence to ensue to show the nation who is responsible for all the trouble. That’s right, they want violence.
Many nonviolent protestors are there, and will continue to employ the First Amendment to the United States Constitution without violence and passively resisting to see that Michael Brown is not forgotten, and that a deep injustice is addressed. That is the majority of the people that can be expected to protest.
Yet, conservative and Republican news outlets have been asserting that Brown was a dangerous criminal who deserved to be killed on the spot. We have much of the eyewitness record to what occurred after some sort of altercation between the youth, and the officer in his squad car. What is emerging from this reporter’s perspective is a justified shooting by Wilson when the two struggled by the car and Wilson fired two shots from there. That justified shooting assessment is based on very little evidence to the contrary.
What has always been impossible to explain, and is factually so damming to Wilson, is why Wilson got out of his car and pursued someone who he’d just shot at in fear of his life, and who the officer then knew was unarmed. In the space of less than ninety seconds Wilson shot at Brown ten more times when all the witnesses say Brown was running away from the officer—not toward him The kill shot was right into the head from above, or sideways as Brown fell to the ground from five previous wounds.
The people of Ferguson, particularly those of color, deserve real answers. They should have gotten them in the first few weeks of the investigation of the case. But they did not. Only the most naïve and foolish person would believe that the withholding of so much public information was not deliberate on the part of authorities from Ferguson right on up to the Statehouse of Missouri.
This sort of thing has been going on in this nation for centuries. In the modern era, it began with the killing of Emmet Till. There are so many black men, even young boys that seem to be an attraction for police officers to kill. White suspects only in the rarest of cases get the same treatment. Police departments jump over backwards to avoid antagonizing white parents and families. They deliver lead and metal jacketed death notices to black families by contrast.
Just yesterday, conservatives argued that it is President Obama who will be the culprit in the coming slaughter of black citizens in Ferguson, whose police too have pent up anger against the very community they are sworn to serve. The President has offered a few comments of encouragement to “non-violent” fully Constitutional protestors to stay the course and patiently await justice to be served. He has not incited anyone to violence as the Fox News crew and others believe.
At bottom of this ugly situation is the complete denial that this nation has a race problem on the part of white America who want it shoved back into a dark corner never to be confronted. The browning of America has scared white people to death. The idea that the United States can be a nation of people with diverse skin pigmentation will, according to Phyllis Schafly, cause the death of the nation. What she is really speaking of is the death of a white supremacist America we’ve had since 1607 at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock in 1619.
Racial bigotry, primarily directed from white people against those of color of all backgrounds unfortunately is the distinguishing feature of our history. Someday, perhaps, the idea that “all men are created equal” will be more than a convenient abstraction.