Gerald (Jerry) Zezas

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Ferguson and the Underlying Problem


I wrote some months ago that one shouldn’t jump to conclusions on the issue of Ferguson, Missouri. The predictability of this scenario is not helpful in solving problems of racism. What predictability? The one were whites kill blacks, then blacks destroy stores.

I will assume that the grand jury in Ferguson is NOT made up of a bunch of idiots. I will assume that they are reasonable people who wanted to do what is right (although, statistically, grand juries virtually NEVER indict the police, irrespective of the crime. They tend to be an arm of the prosecutor’s office, with which the police are closely aligned).

One can’t confuse desired result with just result. Simply because you really, really, really want something to happen does not mean that it should happen. Just because you really, really want to prove a point does not mean that your point is correct.

From my perspective, it sure seems coincidental that so many blacks are killed by so many whites, especially those with real (Ferguson police) or imagined (George Zimmerman) authority. I’ve seen the statistics, including those bandied about by the right-wing nut jobs that claim to show that black on black crime is more prevalent than white on black crime. These dolts never bother to go a step further to discover that white on white crime happens with virtually the same regularity as black on black crime. Any group that lives in close proximity to each other is going to commit crimes against members of their own group. So the statistics that they’re so proud of themselves for having uncovered is of no intellectual value whatsoever, but that doesn’t stop them from using it.

Personally, I have no idea if Darren Wilson was justified in killing Michael Brown. Brown certainly didn’t come across as some innocent, angelic teenager. He appeared to be a huge guy who liked using his size to get his way. A bully. Someone confident that he could intimidate people into doing what he said. Its entirely possible that he came after Wilson and that Wilson felt the need to defend himself. But that’s not the point here. The point is that we see this cycle being repeated over and over.

The cycle includes the history of Ferguson, Missouri, where a police department that is 95% white is policing an area that is more than 75% black. Its the history of numerous racial incidents all over that city, where black men are frisked unnecessarily, where the police use military equipment to suppress peaceful protests. Where it appears to all intents and purposes that the police look at the black citizenry as the enemy; as someone to by held down, restricted and controlled in their movements. They appear to be GI Joe wannabes and have the equipment to match. It is when police departments treat the citizenry like Afghan tribesman that it becomes difficult to believe that when a white cop shoots another black kid that it was a justified act. It’s just hard to believe that those who are apparently on a hair-trigger to kill the “enemy”, have the presence of mind to not do so unless fully justified.

Police departments are charged with protecting ALL people from danger, including the potential danger inflicted by those police officers with Rambo mentalities who are so cowardly that they shoot first and ask questions later.

No, I really have no idea who is at fault here, or if racism was involved in Michael Brown’s killing. I also don’t know how many more of these killings will occur before we learn that dark skin is not synonymous with criminal activity. But people tend to look for patterns of behavior to help them decide who is right in matters of this type. And I’ll be damned if this doesn’t look like a pattern…


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