Unless you’ve been living with your head in a hole, you’ve probably heard about the rioting and looting going on in Ferguson over the black kid who was killed by a white cop. In a way, I feel sorry for the town. It’s a hell of a way to get put on people’s mental maps. I have a feeling that there would have been no real winners no matter what the Grand Jury decided to do.
I do wish that people would realize that rioting and looting will cause more problems than they solve. I’ve compared the Ferguson looters to the most ardent soccer fans. You know, the ones who riot no matter whether their favorite team wins or loses while the rest of us just relax and shake our heads at the way such things get blown all out of proportion. Maybe a dead kid is a more serious matter than the outcome of a soccer game, but when has looting and rioting ever helped matters?
There are actually people who try to defend such destructive behavior. It’s the result of pent-up frustration at the system. The rioters feel left out, held back by residual racism. The fact that the dead kid was a thug who had just robbed a convenience store and then attacked a cop does not matter to these people. In their minds, what really matters is that the dead thug was black and the cop is white. It’s like the idea that there are consequences for bad behavior never occurred to them.
I get drawn into arguments with them because I refuse to let them blame me, a white and supposedly “privileged” woman, for any lingering effects of the fact that a certain group of people’s ancestors used to be slaves. I dump people who suggest to my face that I don’t have the right to defend myself if I feel threatened and the person threatening me happens to be a black man. I just blistered somebody for suggesting that white kids don’t have the right to a quality education simply because black kids are often stuck in an underfunded and underperforming school, and of course he tried to play semantics with me to make himself look better. Another person has been pretty quiet since I snapped at him for trying to turn one of my links to a crowdfunded lunar mission into a race thing. As you might guess, I have very little patience for people who try to play the race card with me.
I try not to judge people based on their skin color. I’d accept a black person who isn’t an asshole over a white person who is. Race baiting is my real problem whenever something like the recent events in Ferguson happens. As I understand it, these are the facts:
- An 18-year-old black man named Michael Brown was involved in a brutal robbery of a convenience store and, later, was involved in a confrontation with the police officer who killed him and tried to grab the cop’s gun.
- The witnesses involved couldn’t seem to get their stories straight, contributing to the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict the police officer.
- The shooting, and then the Grand Jury’s decision, set off waves of rioting and looting in Ferguson – a far cry from the peaceful protests that the media has tried to make it out to be.
- The KKK is involved. Anonymous is involved. Al Sharpton and Obama have weighed in, unfortunately doing more harm than good by implying that “white privilege” is somehow at fault.
Al Sharpton’s Full Statement on the Ferguson Grand Jury
It’s like people want you to forget that there is such a thing as personal responsibility. Michael Brown was the one who set off the chain of events leading to his death. He was caught on camera robbing that convenience store. He could have just kept walking like nothing was wrong when he saw the police officer. Blame the victim? Sure; trying to wrestle a gun away from a police officer has to rank high on the list of the dumbest things you can do when dealing with the police.
I can’t even blame race any farther than saying that this kind of event smacks of minorities sabotaging themselves by choosing to engage in destructive behavior. It’s hard for me to take someone seriously when they loot a store and then whine about racism like it absolves them from any kind of responsibility. Then I put you on the same level as the woman who says that somebody has to pay for her 15 kids. Here’s the video if you don’t believe me.
I sometimes lecture people about personal responsibility and it gets frustrating when somebody makes poor decisions and then expects everybody else to pay for it. As an Aspiring Martian, I would not be very surprised if a future Martian society evolves in such a way that anyone who is unwilling to do his or her share of the work or causes more trouble than he or she is worth will be invited to leave the colony regardless of race or gender. Any colony that seems intent on destroying itself because it thinks it’s not being treated fairly by all the other colonies would ideally be isolated and quarantined to keep the damage from spreading. I’m not seeing a lot of that in modern American society, where anyone who suggests that Michael Brown was a thug who was out looking for trouble and found it is shot down for being racist. I refuse to believe that my white face is somehow at fault for the fact that some thug kid in Ferguson – a town I had never even heard of before August – got himself shot by a police officer. Don’t like it? Tough.