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  1. I apologize for posting this here but I wanted to ask about Black Lives Matter.

    While I fully understand the cause for upset concerning willful violence against African Americans, I don’t understand the link of BLM to the Ferguson case. Did I not see a city vandalized and burned only to have the office exonerated by DNA of willful murder?

    Has anyone apologized for ruining his life? Why did BLM simply move on and all but say that the reason people lied is because of the history of police abuse?

    It is difficult to separate the Ferguson case and BLM because no one has made it clear that they strongly condemn lying on the stand, fueling criminal activity and sedition. Not only was this shown nationally but it was commented by foreign news outlets.

    Where is that officer’s sincere apology?

    I believe as long as the Ferguson case is left hanging, then Black Lives Matter will operate with a stain that is difficult to forget.

    Am I correct in saying, witnesses lied, the young man did attack the officer. He left his blood, his DNA on the door and on the officer.

    Sincerely and respectfully,
    Sundrip – Art for Life

    Comment by Faith — August 21, 2015 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

    • Hi Faith,

      Thanks for the comment. I think it’s useful to separate some of the events and look at them individually and then as a whole. In the case of Mike Brown, what we saw was a teenager who lived in the poor black section of Ferguson who just graduated high school. The day he died, he shoplifted some cigars and was a jerk to the store clerk, much of which was caught on camera. The clerk never called in the complaint to the police, but a customer did. That complaint never reached officer Wilson, one of a mostly white police force that routinely harassed residents of Ferguson for minor traffic violations. His previous job was on the Jennings police force – which had been disbanded because there was so much tension between white officers and black residents. He didn’t know about the cigar incident when he stopped the two teenagers for jaywalking. Brown was probably a jerk to officer Wilson. He probably mouthed off. And here’s where I stop. Because even if Mike Brown was rude, stoned, had just stolen a packet of cigars, and was walking in the middle of the street, those offenses would never warrant the death penalty.

      After the shooting, officer Wilson moved the car and left the scene and Mike Brown’s body laid in the August heat for 4 hours uncovered in front of his mom, stepdad and friends. The gathering crowd became upset and enraged. You know the rest of the story – protests, riots, fires, teargas, tanks.

      I don’t really know what to say about the witnesses’ truthfulness. I wasn’t there. My guess is that there was some truth, some lies, some omission on the part of everyone involved including Darren Wilson. That’s the way things usually pan out – that nobody ever has the full truth.

      The frustration and anger surrounding the scene above has everything and nothing to do with Mike Brown. In his very public death and very public mishandling of the case, other black people recognized their own poverty, their own struggles with the police and their own feelings of invisibility and worthlessness. This feeling of powerlessness and impotence was the spark of the Black Lives Matter movement. The incident of a single kid on a poor street is only the thunderclap that woke up a population. The rest of the movement – as it stands now- sometimes struggles with the notion that the only people who are defensible in an altercation with police are people who have done absolutely nothing wrong – and I don’t think that’s ever possible. We’ve all done something wrong.

      Our responsibility to each other in our society is to protect the rights we all are entitled to even when someone has failed to be a good citizen. Protecting these rights and valuing these lives are what make ours a civil society. It’s what sets us apart. Protecting those rights and valuing the lives of African Americans are at the heart of Black Lives Matter. Even for an 18 year old poor black kid who stole cigars and gave someone a black eye.

      I hope you take this response in the spirit it was intended – with respect and sincerity.

      All my best,

      Comment by Jarek Steele — August 24, 2015 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

      • Oh wow, I had no idea. All I got from the media was that he stole something, an officer stopped him, he fought with the officer and left his DNA on the door. I have not heard , and no one I know has heard about anything you mentioned.

        When I read that his body was left exposed in the street that really hurt me. It was clear that he didn’t matter in life or death, and the feelings of his loved ones didn’t matter.

        I never know what to trust when I see it or read it.

        I’m really sorry for taking the word of the media who left out important details. I’ve got all these feelings rushing through me. I was lied to. I was told he stole, fought with the police officer inside the officers car and was killed in self defense. That is all I heard. Omission of vital details that mislead the public should be a criminal offense.

        When I saw the video of a man shot at 8 times for running I couldn’t believe my eyes. Right then I felt like we were in hunting season. Death after death made it feel as if black people were in hunting season.

        Thank you for taking the time to explain and fill in the gaps.


        Comment by Faith-Magdalene — August 24, 2015 @ 6:42 pm

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