November 25, 2014 at 6:57 pm #3664
I am a bit surprised that nobody has yet started a thread on the awful, awful violence that erupted after the verdict was announced. Here are some photos (these are even worse than what I imagined, hearing radio coverage of the protests last night):
Frustrated people? Angry people? Opportunists? Fools? I don’t know what to make of it.November 25, 2014 at 7:06 pm #3667
Sadly, the correct answer is “E”.
All of the above.November 25, 2014 at 7:28 pm #3669
I think the violence was mentioned in another thread last evening.
That having been said, the protests are spreading across the US, including Portland, Seattle, NYC, Boston, LA and others. EDIT: According to CNN the protests in NY are growing quickly.
My sense is the country is winding around into another protest mode similar to the late 60’s. These things are cyclical and seem to be happening again. Why? That is for others to decide, but I will offer there is a lot of resentment that has built up during the great recession and many young people still don’t see a way out.November 25, 2014 at 7:51 pm #3675
Yesterday, KOMO was reporting that Seattle protesters had caused some road closures, but there were no accounts of damage.November 25, 2014 at 8:27 pm #3677
There’s a reason the protests are happening. Injustice pisses people off.November 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm #3678
I guess I was a jerk for not burning someone’s business or smashing someone’s car when OJ was unjustly let off. Maybe destroying an innocent person’s livelihood would have been the way to fight that injustice?
Anyway, it’s too bad these protestors are so misguided that they are destroying property because of a just verdict. There was no injustice.
They ought to read about the case instead of listening to sharpton and his ilk who benefit by the racial tensions they aggravate.November 25, 2014 at 8:57 pm #3683
You ought to understand the real world. Riots would not be occurring if the people didn’t think there was an injustice.
Anytime an unarmed person is killed by the cops, there’s a problem with how that cop handled the situation.
It’s just too bad Michael Brown wasn’t able to counter the made up BS story the PIG Darren Wilson is pushing. He’s dead.November 25, 2014 at 9:49 pm #3686
The people with the “Hands Up – Don’t Shoot!” signs are, I think, the legitimate protesters. I think that it is unfair to lump everybody into one group and assume that everybody who was upset over the shooting or even who disagreed with the verdict actually supported violence. This is why I used the word “opportunists” above–because in situations like these, there are thugs who crawl out of the woodwork for a chance at proving their machismo or grabbing a few goodies, and the peaceful protesters do not stand a chance of stopping these jerks.November 25, 2014 at 11:35 pm #3690
People are acting out about injustice, as they should. Until we get some meaningful effort to improve things, I suspect acting out will continue to escalate.
Rather than attempt to blame them, or make them the focus, we really do need to get at root causes and start working on solutions to improve.
There is no excuse, and that is why there are riots.November 25, 2014 at 11:54 pm #3694
And the injustice is…?
And if there happens to be an injustice, acting out by destroying the property of innocent people is the proper course? We fight injustice with injustice?November 26, 2014 at 1:08 am #3698
KOMO is now reporting that in Seattle, there was one demonstration that turned violent. A few stores were robbed. The demonstrations in Portland have been peaceful.November 26, 2014 at 8:51 am #3705
Of course it’s not OK to ruin property F&B. Having that happen is an artifact of this mess not being handled in a way people themselves can handle.
People riot sometimes, and avoiding those times is all about demonstrating the system people need to trust and believe in and live by is actually worthy.
Right now, it’s irrational, and that’s not good, and that’s apparently irrational enough to fuel riots.
This is why some of us are calling for a more rational approach to improve things. We know what happens when it’s a mess, so why not avoid the mess?
Another thing that fuels riots is authoritarian bull shit, “Let that be a lesson…” style.
Nobody actually needs that to be said. And saying it in response to irrational happenings just fuels the flame of emotion, which leads to unrest, riots, and in some cases violence and death.
Humans work in specific, well known ways. And we understand those well –or at least some of us do.
This dynamic going on right now is one of those ways. Nicely packaged “those other people” type statements really won’t do any good, and in fact, may well escalate the damage being done.
None of that should be taken as being right, or just. It just is.
People feel what they feel and denying those things really doesn’t work. They feel it anyway, and if they’ve got an outlet for those feelings, or they can see something that is happening that can resolve those feelings, they experience it all washing over them, and it passes and they move on.
Where they aren’t experiencing that, they will tend to express those feelings, and that is precisely what a riot is.
We got riots because this event triggered strong emotion that has gone unresolved. And until we actually do work to improve things, there will be more strong feelings, more denial, fear, shame, blame, and more riots and violence.
Simple as that. It’s not right, it just is.November 27, 2014 at 8:26 am #3729
Not all NFL Players are big, dumb jocks. Benjamin Watson plays for the New Orleans Saints, and recently posted this on FB:
“At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:
I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.
I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.
I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.
I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.
I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.
I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.
I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.
I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.
I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.
I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.
I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.
I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.”November 27, 2014 at 2:53 pm #3736
I really liked Benjamin Watson’s essay, but I respectfully beg to differ on the conclusion that racial prejudice problems would be alleviated if we all were to worship Jesus. As a case in point, during the height of racial tensions and segregation in the Southern US, Christianity was a very entrenched part of the culture both for African Americans and for the worst of the White supremacists. The White people had their churches and the African Americans had their churches.November 27, 2014 at 7:49 pm #3737
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
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