Dec 1, 2014

The Protest Tragedy of the Brown and Wilson Tragedy

Disagreements and protest are going to happen in a country where we have free speech and free thought.  Nobody will deny that it is our right as American's to speak up when we do not agree.  No matter what side you were on with the recent issues in Brown/Wilson tragedy though, there are just certain things you should not do for reasons of right as well as reasons of legality:

1.  Don't burn down other people's businesses - burning of businesses occurred in both Caucasian, African-American, and other minority business.  These people are operating businesses in their community - They did not shoot Brown and they are not Wilson- They are fellow American's trying to get by, trying to survive, and trying to live in their community-They did nothing wrong to deserve to be burned or destroyed.

2.  Don't loot and steal - Looting and stealing is wrong, period.  It's against the law as much as burning down businesses and churches is against the law.  Because Brown was shot, or because Wilson was found innocent does not give you or anyone the right to steal.  The logic is wrong and completely irrational - stop and think- A young man is shot and killed, and an officer is found innocent of any wrong doing, therefore I should be entitled to a new television set! This is not protesting - This is stealing.

3.  Don't burn YOUR flag - One of the many things that broke American's hearts over the Ferguson riots was seeing our fellow American's burn the flag of this country.  While it is certain that some countries in the world will rejoice as they see the pictures, and doubtless use those same pictures in new propaganda ads, it is simply wrong.  Your nation did not wrong you - we can still debate, discuss, and maybe find solutions on all sides, but the fact is this- An American young man was killed, regardless of what he did or did not do, and an American young man shot the other young man, regardless or justified or not.  Two Americans had a tragic moment that ended one man's life and will forever change the other man's life.   It is horrible that it ever happened, but it did.  Now, the law has investigated, and it is very certain that other laws will be used in future lawsuits-that is part of the American justice system - it is the same laws that says you can protest, the same laws that says no a man can not be shot without justification, and the same laws that says that if a man is shot and the justification is questioned, we can ask the law to check into the issue....no, we can demand the law check into the incident.  The flag that you chose to burn in Ferguson is a symbol of all those protections and more....it is YOUR symbol, my symbol, America's symbol.  Men and women, African American, Caucasian, Asian, Indian, Native American, and on have stepped forward under that flag and defended YOUR right to protest....Don't trample and burn the one symbol that stands for everybody in Ferguson and the country.

4.  Don't hold all law officers as the same - the fact is there are some bad law officers out there.  There are some who simply use their power as a weight to throw around and "rule" others, but not all of them do.  One picture of a young man hugging an officer has gone world-wide as a symbol that we can protest, disagree, cry, and even mourn what might have been or what is going on without hating our law enforcement officers.  When we have a bad one, protest, demand justice, write letters, make verbal demands, but do not hate them all because of one or two.  I have seen officers crying at the death of children regardless of race, I have seen then putting their lives on the line regardless of race, and I have seen them stand up to protect and enforce our laws when nobody else would-to the point of giving their own lives.  They aren't rich - check the public records- few officers make the kind of money that you can make in other fields.  Just remember, they are not all the same.

Finally, remember that the Republican Party will always support your right to protest.  The party was founded on the issue of protesting slavery in this country.  We have learned that you can work, protest, push for new laws, and bring equality in this nation.  The events in Ferguson, illegal and wrong, would bring tears to the Republicans who gave so much for equality in this nation.  Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Dr. King never have wanted people to loot, steal, burn business, and burn our own flag to protest.  They wanted us to demonstrate and protest, yes.  But they wanted us to demonstrate and protest in a civil manner.  As you go through the day, whether you support the Wilson side or the Brown side of this tragedy consider this one final thought from Dr. King:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."