(…where you’ll always be judged to be wrong…if you’re a cop and white)

The extreme and violent reactions across the country to the Grand Jury’s decision about the police shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, seems to be a deplorable case of reverse racism…where you’ll always be judged to be wrong…if you’re a cop and white.

Sadly, inevitably that leads to this question: Would there be as much outrage over such a tragic incident if the officer had been black…and the victim of that shooting had been white? To be cruelly honest…most probably not.

The most depressing thing about this event, however, as with so many others, is that supposedly responsible “community leaders” have engaged in vitriolic rhetoric for purely demagogic purposes, further aggravating the situation. The Rev.Al Sharpton is a prime example of that approach, egging on others to make erroneous assumptions for a rush to judgment… before the fact (s).

Another critical question that we should also all be asking ourselves is this: Why are there so many such incidents between African American youths and police? Ferguson is just one more in a long line of these all over the country. Are we to believe that all police officers in general are trigger-happy and just itching to shoot anyone…just because of their racial composition? Rogue elements aside, we seriously doubt that. So what is going on here?

Several things come to mind. Ever since the ’60s, an anti-authoritarian and nihilistic mindset seems to have developed among our younger generations. Mindsets which consider any restrictions on their rights to act out in any way, be it disorderly public conduct, vandalism, or whatever…as an assault on their personal liberty. Since police officers represent our collective authority governing such behaviors, these then…are to be resisted, no matter what.

Inevitably such a mindset leads to misconceptions about personal liberty, and what police officers can or cannot do about it. Police officers do have the right to stop and question someone, not because of their behavior, race, or anything else, but because it may be part of their duty to do so due to some information or instructions received which are otherwise unknown to the public. Unfortunately, too many youths view such things as personal affronts, especially if they’re not “white”, thus leading to open hostility towards the officers concerned…and confrontation. This seems to be the pattern involved with all these reported deadly force incidents.


And another very critical question that has not been asked about this particular incident is this: What made Michael Brown a matter of interest to this police officer in the first place, which led to the start of a verbal exchange between them, then to open confrontation? Until that has been clearly answered we may never really know the truth about what ultimately led to his death.

So rather than just focusing solely on any racial aspects involved with such incidents, we really need to be looking at ways and means of re-directing our youths’ perspectives (regardless of race) about police, and the proper way to react whenever there is an encounter with them. Perhaps if more efforts were made to eliminate that current culture of antagonism and confrontation towards any police officer’s questioning or directions, most of the deadly results we have today might never happen.

As for the police themselves, perhaps they also need to review and reconsider the basics of their training, and what better means there might be, if any, for them to handle such confrontational situations. As things are, once things escalate and become physical, they really don’t have many options to choose from…the baton…or…their weapon…and not much else. Unfortunately, public perceptions about the use of either of these instruments is always negative, no matter how justified their use might be. Perhaps mace and tasers need to be reconsidered as more viable alternatives to deadly force, despite their own inherent problems. A police officer’s lot is, indeed, not a happy one, even though most are truly there to…protect and serve.

Meanwhile, protesting just for the sake of protesting serves no purpose, and those who use protest as an excuse to engage in violent criminal activity, destroy the validity of their “protests”.

Well, if any of this offends anyone, my only response is this quote from Marcus Aurelius: “If it is good to say or do something; then, it is better to be criticized for having said or done it.”