Tag Archives: Ferguson

America’s Ignorance Problem :: Beyond Race and Anti-Police Sentiment

I’ve followed the situation involving the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO for several days now and I’ve come to the conclusion that once again mainstream media has created an out-of-control shit storm.

My opinion isn’t going to sit well with many of you, but nonetheless, it’s my opinion and I’m going to share it.  I didn’t form this opinion with ease, I came to it after many hours of observation, digging through tons of media reports, and a lot of CRITICAL thinking, which seems to have totally abandon many of the people weighing in on this issue.

Let me start by saying that without a doubt, I believe this country has a serious issue with race. ESPECIALLY in the south.  I know my southern friends aren’t going to like that, but I’m saying it the way I see it.  I’ve lived north and I’ve lived in the melting pot of diversity that is known as South Florida and I’ve lived in places in between.  No doubt racism exists everywhere, but I’ve NEVER experienced racism at the PROFOUND levels that I’ve witnessed here in the Deep South. Until I moved here 12 years ago, I had no idea that racism still existed on this level. Not until I witnessed it and actually experienced it while out with black friends.  It’s VILE and contradicts everything people here claim to be i.e. Bible Belt Christians filled with God’s love.  I see nothing of the sort.

If that bothers you, then I suggest you examine yourself to see if you might be reflecting what you oppose in my statement. It’s on YOU.

For the last 6 years I’ve listened to far-right politicians spew hatred for minorities while using fear to turn their brainless constituency against their fellow American’s simply because they are black. I’ve heard the jokes about watermelon being grown on the White House lawn, I’ve seen my “Christian” friends post memes on Facebook of the president portrayed as a monkey and effigy’s of him hanging by a rope on front lawn trees.  I’ve heard the word ni**er used more times in the past 6 years than I have my entire life.

The fact is, racism is a serious issue in this country. It’s especially an issue right here in the south. It always has been. Many people here have been conditioned to hate anything and everything that is different. This isn’t an opinion, it’s a fact. I’ve experienced it.  I’m originally from New York and of Italian/Sicilian decent.

Ask me how many times a week I’m referred to as Yankee?

Go ahead. Ask me.

I’ve lost count and when I lost count, I lost my patience and any sense of decorum. MY response to those who refer to me as a Yankee is this:

“We kicked your ass once, would you like to step outside and go ‘round a second time?”

To date, no one has taken me up on my offer and I pity the fool that does. I’ve had it with being treated differently because of where I’m from and what country my relatives descended from. If I’m WHITE and go through this, I can only IMAGINE what it’s like to be black.

The other thing that amazes me here in the south is that people believe that all blacks are welfare queens living off the government their entire lives.  I hate to burst your bubble people, but you’re wrong.

According to SNAP – The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (U.S. food stamp program), of the 47 million people receiving food stamps, 43% are white and 33% are black with the remaining 19% being Hispanic, 2 percent Asian and the remainder Native American.

So for the past 6-years, the bullshit statements coming from right-wing politicians that claim black people are welfare queens, is just that. BULL SHIT.   Those of you who’ve adopted the attitude that blacks are welfare queens should probably start thinking for yourselves and verifying the things you believe before you climb up on that high-horse.

Racism isn’t a law enforcement issue, it’s a PEOPLE issue whose fires have been stoked and revived by extreme right-wing politicians, ass-sore over the fact that they lost an election to a black man and fanned by people who listen to the bullshit being spewed by these idiot politicians. They prefer to hate others because they are different and because they’re too dumb to stop and realize that their skin color doesn’t make them better than anyone, even if they HAVE been conditioned to believe that.

In the past week, some of the comments coming from the prejudice and ignorant among us are reflective of their lack of intelligence. For instance:

“Deport all ni**ers back to Africa”

“Look at the animals tearing up the city because one of their own got what he deserved”

“All ni**ers re animals, just look at them rioting in the street, they should all be locked up”

 

Oh really?

So then, what do you make of this picture?

whiteriot

 

Or this one…

 

pemnnstateriots2_centreDailyNews

Those WHITE kids, mostly Penn State students, are rioting and destroying the shit out of everything in site after Penn State Coach Joe Paterno was fired.  I guess that kind of response is OK when a college loses a coach, but people protesting a violation of their civil rights and what they perceive as the senseless murder of one of the members of their community is totally unacceptable because they’re black.

Am I right?

On the other hand, the image below of what appears to be gang-bangers with their saggy pants, rag-heads and Molotov cocktails are what police have had to deal with in Ferguson.

 

fergusonriots1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should police officers have stood down and waited for whatever these guys were planning in their anti-police rage? The majority of the protesters in Ferguson WERE peaceful and some even stood in front of the trouble makers and tried to stop them, but the bad apples tainted the whole tree.

Realistically, in these situations there are ALWAYS trouble makers. You know, the few who take things too far. The ones who fire up the mob and get them to start destroying businesses and vehicles and take advantage of an already emotionally charged crowd to justify looting and blatant lawlessness. What does smashing the windows of a Nike store and looting it dry have to do with the death of Michael Brown?  How did burning down a gas station, destroying businesses and stealing merchandise justify a possible wrongful death of a 19-year old kid? I asked the same question about the kids rioting at Penn State. How did doing tens of thousands of dollars in damage help their cause?

It didn’t. Their mob mentality and rage were simply an excuse to take advantage of a situation while using peaceful protests to get way with acting like animals.

Do I think the blacks in our nation are being racially targeted? Absolutely,  I do. But, in cases like Ferguson, I think the image and cause of the peaceful protesters is being tainted by the trouble makers and as a result, the racists will brand ALL of the blacks participating as animals, the same way the nation branded the white kids rioting over their coach being fired as animals. That’s how they were acting.

It just so happens that there is a racial undertone in this country which has created a powder keg and we can’t blame THAT on police. Militarized or not. It falls SQUARELY on the shoulders of the individuals who feel it’s OK to treat people of a different color like less than human. People CHOOSE to be racist. PERIOD.

Here’s the part where I stand for what I believe in even if it means I’m standing alone.  The anti-police rhetoric is unacceptable. I refuse to partake in it and I have a problem with those who do.  If this means you don’t want to be my friend, well, then I guess I’m going to lose some “friends”, so be it.

Since EVERYONE has instantly become an expert on law enforcement these past few days, I feel it’s only fair that I get to throw in my 2-cents on the issue. For those that don’t already know, I’m married to a 36-year veteran of law enforcement who currently serves his community as a violent crimes/homicide detective. I think I’m a qualified, simply by direct association, to address this issue. For the past 14 years, I’ve lived with a cop that has worked on just about every level of law enforcement possible during his THIRTY-SIX year career. From patrol, to investigations. My husband was a state Special Agent Supervisor who investigated all types of crimes, including those involving corrupt cops.  He and the men and women he works with, as well as most cops in this nation, take the civil rights of the people VERY seriously.

The lynch mob, anti-police mentality many of you are adopting is no less than pure bullshit.

Are there bad cops out there?

Hell yea there are.

We’ve all had run-ins with guys with badges whose egos make them think they have the right to be an asshole. Even police officers have run-ins with these guys. Every department has them. Hell, every profession has them. From clergy to medical doctors, to politicians and everything in between. There are those who think their profession gives them the right to treat people badly. And they do.

Police are no exception. In some cases, the power they’ve been given goes to their head.  Many police are former military and often times forget they aren’t an occupying force and aren’t on the streets as soldiers, but as servants – there to protect, not to invade.

However, what the public fails to realize is that these days, the streets are a LOT like war zones. NONE of the people I’ve talked to that have an anti-cop attitude have ever served one single day on any police force. Not one.

They make their assumptions based on what they see on television shows and the always bad, rarely good reports from the media.  These people now believe that they are experts on law enforcement without EVER having spent a day walking in the shoes of an actual cop OR, they’ve made their judgments based on a bad experience with law enforcement.

Of the 1.2 million law enforcement officers in this country, All but a handful of them are good and do a great job at serving the communities they’ve been given the privilege of serving. So, when I see stupid Facebook posts and memes declaring that you don’t want to have to be worried about being shot walking down the street my instant reaction is to remind those of you posting such incredibly stupid bullshit is that 99.99999% of the people in this country DON’T get shot walking down the street.  Nor do they have to worry about it.  MOST people are law abiding citizens and don’t have to worry about negative interactions with the police.  So why are some of you making such STUPID statements?

It’s clear that many of you have listened to extremely one-sided media reports about how bad our police have become, or you visit websites like Cop Block which only presents ONE SIDE of any given story.  And here I thought some of you were smarter than that.

How about we suspend all law enforcement officers from performing their duties for the next 5 days? Let’s see how many anti-police memes you post on your Facebook wall then.  Maybe you can summon the militia to come protect you and your community from the bad guys?  I’m sure Cliven Bundy can spare a few guys who are just dying to take over the law enforcement duties of our nation.

If you’re one of the idiots who feels that so long as you’re armed to the teeth with guns and an attitude you can just handle your own policing.

I say have at it.

Let’s see how far you get with the criminals who have you out gunned and out manned. And please be sure not to trample anyone’s civil rights in the process. While you’re at it, you may want to brush up on the countless laws you need to enforce even the ones you don’t agree with because after all, you didn’t make them, but now you’ll be responsible for enforcing them. I’m sure YouTube will have some excellent videos on how to handle traffic stops so you don’t get yourself killed, how to approach a suspect for something minor not knowing if he just committed a major crime, maybe even murder and has no idea you’re stopping him for a broken tail light…yea, there’s training for how to make sure you don’t get yourself killed while still making sure you don’t violate anyone’s rights.

If you’re part of the crowd who thinks there’s way too many laws to begin with and you’ll just enforce the ones YOU feel are just, then screw it! We’ll have a free for all and hope YOUR laws don’t conflict with your neighbor’s laws or the laws of the guy around the block.

You think the nation would be a better place without police? Don’t call them when you’re being carjacked, or your home is being invaded, or you’re being assaulted or raped.  Deal with it yourselves.

Your shitty attitude against ALL police because of the actions of a few bad ones is making it far too dangerous for our police officers. As someone who actually understands law enforcement better than most of you spewing your garbage, I feel that the safety of the other 1.1999+ MILLION police officers that do it RIGHT every day is far more important than your media fueled, mob mentality.

Do I think any cop should get away with shooting someone in cold blood?  Nope. I don’t. But I REFUSE to join the lynch mob until I’ve heard ALL of the evidence and that includes the information about witnesses, the so called victim, and the officer who fired the bullet.

I especially want to see it when the victim strong arm robbed a convenience store hours before and has a history of being a violent, wannabe gang member. It still doesn’t mean I believe he should have been shot for no good reason, but it damn well makes me want to see the EVIDENCE before I crucify the police officer who shot him. And the color of EITHER of their skin is of no importance to me.

If you don’t like the way our police operate, then it’s up to YOU to demand changes in your community, but as with everything else, Americans are complacent. My guess is as with everything else, you’ll go on with your busy lives and remember that for some reason or another, you just don’t like the police.