I have been watching the activity in Missouri from the beginning. Over the course of the past couple weeks I have developed some concerns about the so called "Ferguson movement". And while quite a lot is being said, some things that need to be said remain unspoken.
First, it should be said that the facts are not clearly understood. And the few facts that are in the public domain seem to be in, shall we say, a state of flux. So due diligence is incomplete.
But it is clear that no one has the right to summarily execute anyone in these United States. There must be accountability regardless of which side of the divide you find yourself on. It would appear that justice for the law enforcement officer is now on a course that cannot be easily subverted. I also expect to see the people in that community begin to seize the reins of power in their municipality so that they may control their own destiny.
What I am not seeing, however, are the loud voices calling for accountability from those who are most likely to find themselves holding the shitty end of the stick.
The frequently used refrain "hands up, don't shoot" on it's face is completely accurate, but I am deeply troubled by the message it may send. To me the message implies that its okay to go about your extra legal lifestyle until confronted by the authorities. And as long as you promptly surrender you may now rely on others being compelled to adhere to the very laws that you yourself have failed to respect. Well if you are not adding to your community then you are subtracting from your community. Anything that connotes an acceptance of breaking the social contract that provides for a civilized society should be openly denounced as unacceptable.
It is partially because of community members who "got to live that thug life" that we all need to narrate our every move whenever getting pulled over by the cops in order to avoid becoming the beneficiary of law enforcement lethal force, "I am reaching into my pocket for my license".
Why can't we develop a preconceived notion in the psyche of every cop in America that pulling over a black person will be met with the same experience as pulling over a white person. I suspect that the people of Ferguson have a deep understanding of the issues in Gaza and the West Bank. A minority of the residents create a majority of the chaos. But to the ones with the power everyone is the same and completely deserving of indiscriminate group punishment.
Someone with the proper amount of pigmental qualifications is going to have to say it out loud. There is a certain way that each of us is expected to conduct ourselves, regardless of your class, race or economic situation. And failure to adhere to these standards puts you squarely in the category of being part of the problem, not the solution.