Tuesday, August 19, 2014

FERGUSON, MISSOURI

Missouri is not use to what is happening in a suburb of St. Louis over the last couple of weeks.  We are usually the ones reading about such events from other states in the union and being thankful that Missouri does not have to deal with situations like we have now.  This is not normal for Missouri.

No one really knows what went down in Ferguson.  There are witnesses who give testimony to the events but a lot of the testimony does not agree with the other testimonies.  What we do know is that a police officer, who was Caucasian, shot and killed a young African American young man and I think we can put to fact that the young man was not armed.  As of this writing this is what we know as facts.  The rest of it is rather hazy.

New "facts" that have not been verified come out almost everyday.  They include that the policeman shot the young man at least six times bringing about his death.  Another "fact" that has come to light is that the young man had just been involved with the robbery of a convenience store just a little bit before the shooting.  At first the city officials said that the officer did not know that the suspect had been involved in the robbery, then a couple of days later they said that the officer was aware of the tie in of the robbery with the man.  This was an unfortunate turn of events.  Now the latest that I have heard was that the policeman ordered the young man to stop and the suspect started charging at the officer making threats and coming fast explaining why the officer took the shots.

That event I just described is disturbing enough, but it is what happened after the shooting that is really the bad part of the situation.

Soon after the shooting, word spread through the community of what had just happened.  The members of the suburb were understandably upset and came out to see for themselves what was going on.  They set up a small protest that was peaceful yet aggressive in getting their message across.  If it had been left at that we probably would have more facts by now and the move towards justice would be a lot further along down the road than it is now.  Agitators were on there way to Missouri though, and the somewhat peaceful, although angry, demonstrations and protest would turn into a scene from Los Angeles or Detroit.

Arriving in Missouri was the Reverend Al Sharpton who brought his special brand of preaching to the crowd in Ferguson.  His special brand is one that, in my opinion, smacks of a racist philosophy.  The good Reverend does not get involved in anything much unless it is a situation of black against white, or more accurate, a situation in which a white is involved in an unlawful act against a black.  You never see him when the situation is turned around or if it is black on black crime.  He only shows up when a white person has injured a member of the black community.  Sharpton's goal is to rile up the community until they are more than angry.  He organizes marches and makes speeches from courthouse steps about the evil of the white man and how whites seem to get away with everything as long as it is against a black.  Other than the view that Sharpton throws out about racial inequality, his message is not exactly true.  The justice system we have works better than any system in the world and is treats everyone the same ... innocent until proven guilty.

From what I have observed over the years is that in cases like what happened in Ferguson, Sharpton does not hold to the philosophy of innocent until proven guilty.  He is charismatic and whips his listeners into an angry frenzy that leads to actions being taken by the citizens that are violent and unlawful and soon the streets are not safe.  What was once a not too bad neighborhood is suddenly a war zone.

The good people of Ferguson seem to have let their anger out and are back to just protesting and not causing much trouble at all.  Unfortunately Reverend Sharpton's damage had been done as hundreds of his followers flooded into Ferguson to keep the fires burning ... literally.   While the citizens of Ferguson want their community to come back to some semblance of order and safety, the outsiders that not only came from other cities in Missouri but came from other states as well ot riot on a nightly basis.  The people of Ferguson are seeing their suburb burned to the ground.  They are seeing local business being looted and are hearing gunshots coming from the site of the riots constantly.  They are seeing their community slowly being destroyed by people who do not have any stake in getting things calmed down and start to sort out what the facts are about what happened on that fateful day when the situation occurred.

This is not Missouri.  This is not how the citizens of Missouri react to situations.  I firmly believe that the people of Ferguson and the surrounding suburbs as well as St. Louis itself wants to get things settled down and find out and sort out the facts about what happened so they can move along with the justice system doing what it is meant to do.

My request is simple.  Reverend Sharpton ... wait until the facts are out before reacting in an imature way that causes loss of property and safety in an area where you do not have to come home to everyday and where your future is not dependent upon.  If you can't wait until you have some facts, please stay out of Missouri.

All of the out of state thugs that are rioting without fear of loss of property or loss of the safety of your homes .... go home.

The people in Missouri are more than capable of getting the facts, sorting them out and taking the appropriate measures that need to be taken.

Governor Nixon, let's take Ferguson back from these outsiders and bring the town back to being a good old Missouri town once again where justice is served fairly and quickly.

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