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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ferguson One Year Later: What have We Learned?

  On August 9, Ferguson Missouri marked the one year anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown by former Ferguson police officer Darrin Wilson. The shooting sparked weeks of non-stop looting, rioting, and destruction mainly in Ferguson, but all over the St. Louis area. While there are passionate opinions on each side of the story, local Clergy and those who just want to bring about peace might hope that in the year since the shooting took place, Ferguson and the surrounding communities might have learned a few necessary lessons. But the lessons learned are most likely not the ones those interested in peace and healing were hoping for.
  One lesson that has clearly been learned all across the country, but has its beginnings in Ferguson, is that it is now acceptable, and in some cases encouraged to not only disrespect law enforcement and their authority, but to attack, and in extreme cases, kill them. According to the Nationwide Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation, the number of cops killed while on duty has risen 40% over this time a year ago.
  In the aftermath of the Brown shooting, a group calling itself “Black Lives Matter” was born. This group’s main goal was to apparently float the idea that more black people were shot by police, thus making it appear that blacks are being intentionally targeted. Which brings us to lesson #2, facts don’t matter. Aside from statistics that report that in 2012, 123 blacks were shot by police compared to 326 whites. Facts don’t matter was learned within minutes of the incident. Witness stories were changed to fit the narrative that Officer Wilson gunned down Michael Brown for no reason. Later it was learned through a report from that not only did witnesses lie about what they saw, they were also intimidated by some in the neighborhood if they cooperated with police and actually told the truth. This also led to the real story of the rallying cry, “Hands up don’t shoot” for all those “peaceful” protesters coming out. It never happened. But as for the hard-core supporters, facts don’t matter.
  Lesson #3, and perhaps the most illustrative of why the crime rate in predominantly black neighborhoods continues to skyrocket, “snitches get stitches”. It was explained very clearly when it was spray painted on the wall of a now non-existent convenience store that was destroyed in the rioting. It continues to be the rule for anyone, Ferguson or anywhere else in black communities, that knows who committed the crime, and talks to the cops. After all, they have to live there right?

  It is one year later in Ferguson. Were these the lessons that would lead to peace and understanding that you had in mind?