A Follow-Up: What It Doesn’t Mean

Quick note regarding yesterday’s post and the continuuing story coming out of Ferguson. I will post my “real” Nablopomo moments after this one! TWO IN ONE DAY! JUST LIKE YESTERDAY!

Some of the rebuttals I’ve seen around the web toward people expressing support of those upset in Ferguson lead me to believe some points may not be clear.

Sympathizing with protestors does not mean I believe all cops are evil. Just the opposite. Thanks to some really positive childhood experiences I’ve always tended to believe cops are awesome by default. It did not make me popular during my hippie college days.

It also doesn’t mean I think Darren Wilson is guilty of murder. It just means I understand the hope for a trial in a case with murky circumstances.

It also doesn’t mean that I think the biggest problem in the African American community is cops and not same-race murder. One of the people I’ve been following on Twitter wrote about this back in August. This is my favorite part: “When cops are killed the outrage is always different than when citizens are killed. Likewise when cops kill under questionable terms, more scrutiny follows directly from the logic of citizenship. Great power. Great responsibility. Source” There was also an article written in response to this issue addressing specific things leaders in the black community HAVE been doing to address these issues.

It also doesn’t mean that I think all of the violence and looting and vandalism is justified. I think the GREATER issue is seeing the “Great For The News” photos and clips and assuming the fires and aggression represent the protestors as a group. PEOPLE ARE ANGRY. Protests bring about conversation. Even in my own home with my own family – we’re discussing race. Peaceful protestors in Ferguson have been working for 108 days, and they’re angry and now feel like maybe they didn’t make their points strong enough. I’m sad at the images of violence and vandalism because I know that’s going to be the story. But I also worry that if there was no violence and vandalism – there would be no story. It’s a tricky territory because some people just like to be aggressive and violent and this is their opportunity. Others are angry at not being heard when they were quite. And the VAST MAJORITY are not doing anything destructive. So I’m try to stay focused on the message and I’m praying with all of my heart that people on all sides comes home safely to their families every night.

Here’s some great things written yesterday:

Regarding how systemic privilege is not personal.

Why It’s Hard For Whites To Understand Ferguson

NYT write-up about the Grand Jury decision.

Kelly gathered her 13 essays on race. Ending with yesterday’s post which was amazing and title, I Speak Girl.

Ferguson guide to facts

Here is another great piece from August

How to Deal With Friends’ Racist Reactions to Ferguson

Let me know if you have anything to share.

2 Comments

  • Monica

    Thank you for your post yesterday about sharing with Nikki and for the links today. I am going to spend some time reading the things. I am struggling with all of this because I just can’t understand how this case didn’t at least go to trial. Someone I am friends with on Facebook ‘liked’ an article about how great the decision was and I was just flabbergasted. I am a very non-confrontational person so speaking up is difficult for me, but I know I have to do a better job of it. I have made small improvements at it over the years but obviously small improvements aren’t good enough.

  • Cara

    Have you seen what Benjamin Watson posted on his (public) Facebook page? While, even as a practicing Christian, I find his conclusion a bit out of reach for me right now, its a beautifully written and thoughtful post.

    Also – I doubt anyone could have read your post yesterday and thought your feelings were all one sided. There was a clear underlying message that you were upset by the systemic prejudice in our society and the fact that it didn’t feel like a fair hearing had been had. And I say that as someone who knew I’d be saddened by any outcome from the moment the grand jury was convened. A wise judge once told me ‘the perception of inequality in the court system is nearly as damaging as actual inequality. We must do everything in our power to make it apparent that everyone is receiving equal treatment under the law.’ A grand jury just can’t do that, and no matter the outcome one side was going to believe the cards were stacked against them. (Though, I really need to get around to looking up whether a grand jury was required before the case could be brought to trial in Missouri. I honestly don’t know.)