Perspective of black man: Burning and looting misplaced response to Ferguson grand jury decision

Ferguson resient Michael Brown / Headline Surfer®
 
Facebook posting shows sentiments of looting in Ferguson, Mo / Headline Surfer®
Photos for Headline Surfer® /
This posting at left on Facebook is typical of reaction to the looting that followed in Ferguson, MO., after a grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, shown above.
The YouTube video shows looting in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury announcement.
 
David Beilstein, community columnist / Headline Surfer®By David Beilstein
Lion's Den
Community Columnist
 

ESSEX, VT -- The Ferguson grand jury in the fatal Michael Brown shooting chose not to indict Darren Wilson. For many, this was not a surprise.

For many others, still, including bushels worth of protesters and looters, the decision marks another episode of police brutality against unarmed black men.

But that would be wrong, based upon the evidence. Just plain wrong!

In a manner of speaking, I guess we can't be adults anymore: Have to burn down and destroy other people's property when we hear something we don't like - when the incident in question involves a not too bright street thug who decides to assault a police officer, goes for his gun.

Following the discharge of that gun, said thug decides to assault the police officer again, resists arrest, taunts the officer in question, and then decides to charge.

The officer, fearing for his life, shoots and kills the thug. I'm not a wise man, but I'm not too excited about burning down a McDonald's over that kind of circumstance. I'm also clueless as to how Michael Brown is supposed to be the poster child for police brutality against unarmed black men -- and black women, too.

Sadly, Michael Brown is responsible for his own life ending so abruptly because of his actions -- not the cop's. Brown decided to ramp up what would have been a minor theft of cigars incident into a full scale cause and effect happenstance that resulted in his own death.

That's not police officer Darren Wilson's fault - the police officer at the center of the grand jury investigation that ended Monday with its decision not to indict him on criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

It's not even the fault of his parents or his peers, either. It's Mr Brown's fault -- though his choice was so stupid and ill-founded. He will not have the chance to learn from it. That is a tragedy of a kind.

Mr Brown will not be the first such exponent of that tragedy, and he unfortunately will not be the last. But an indictment of the white police officer, Darren Wilson, and the hope of an indictment, is the scary thing here.

For the evidence did not support such an indictment, and thus an indictment would have singled we are now ready to throw off our rule of law: Our constitutional basis, and rule, horrifically, by sheer emotion.

As a black man myself, I am keenly aware the history of law enforcement's treatment of black citizens is a travesty. Nevertheless, the question arises, should all cases be subject to that history regardless of evidence? Do we indeed erect justice by filtering every officer-related shooting through that particular lens? The lens of the past?

As a black man myself, I am keenly aware the history of law enforcement's treatment of black citizens is a travesty. Nevertheless, the question arises, should all cases be subject to that history regardless of evidence? Do we indeed erect justice by filtering every officer-related shooting through that particular lens? The lens of the past?

 

As adults, we know to do so in our own lives is to tempt unceasing problems. It is to walk away from objectivity; to throw off reason and prudence; to not comprehend reality. So why are we so tempted here with Ferguson?

Michael Brown should be the poster child for unfulfilled life; of gone-astray attitudes, and ambitions. He is -- gracefully -- what we must seek to avoid.

There is a lesson to be learned here. But it is not the lesson many desire to learn -- as like the smoke and fire -- that swarmed and concealed sight across neighborhoods in Ferguson in the overnight hours following the prosecutor's announcement that no indictment would be returned.

That the lesson needed to be learned in our time is concealed by the smoke and fire of emotion and wrongful interpretations of the racial context in America. Our hour is too critical to get this wrong. But we are, now, doing so with the rioting, looting and burning.

Headline Surfer® is the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-Orlando metro region via HeadlineSurfer.com. It is owned and operated by Publisher Henry Frederick, a multi-award-wining journalist, who is authoring three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker (May 2015), "Wrestling ReWind" (September 2015) and "The Day NASCAR Died: 15th Anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's Death in the Daytona 500" (February 2016). 
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Short Bio

David "Daniel" Beilstein, spent the better part of a decade in Central Florida, in New Smyrna Beach in particular as a reporter for the former daily community newspaper, the New Smyrna Beach Observer, in 2008, and later attended Full Sail University. A kidney issue forced him to return to Essex, Vt., in November 2014, but he has agreed to continue writing his community column, the "Lion's Den" for HeadlineSurfer.com, owned and operated by award-winning journalist and Publisher Henry Frederick under NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark.