Saturday, August 16, 2014

"But it's OK! He was a thug!"

You've probably heard that there's a little bit of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. It's right outside of St Louis, and there seem to be some unhappy people there.

See, according to eyewitnesses, a cop confronted the teen, then shot him. The details are a little sketchy, but according to eyewitnesses, the cop told the teens to "get the fuck off the street," started to drive off, and then came back, shouting something to the effect of "What'd you say?!?" And then Michael Brown was shot.

Like I said, the details are sketchy, because, obviously, the cop had a different story than the three eyewitnesses. A lot of the people watching this story from a distance were thrilled when the police released video showing somebody who looked kind of like Michael Brown stealing a box of cheap cigars (Swisher Sweets, if you're curious), because, obviously, Brown was a "thug," and the cop was a hero.

(That's something else: why is it that black teens are now "thugs," if they might be linked to any type of crime, even a misdemeanor? I don't see that word applied to a lot of white kids. Is this like people calling Obama "arrogant" for doing his job as president? Since they aren't saying "uppity," that makes it OK, right?)

There's just one problem with that narrative: the cop in question, Darren Wilson, didn't know that Brown was allegedly involved with any crime other than jaywalking. The police chief has admitted it.

So, the question remains: is it OK for the police to shoot unarmed teens, as long as they can tie them to a crime later?

I can't see any way that might be abused.


Shaw Kenawe said...

I can't make sense out of any of this. And what is more senseless than what happened in Ferguson is what I'm reading on certain right wing blogs. They're saying the same thing they said when Treyvon Martin was killed, something about black on black crime and that somehow excuses what the police did to this young man.

There is no question that young black men are seen as menacing and worthless in America today, and judged so because of what those who are unlawful do.

The majority of mass shootings were committed by young white males, but yet I doubt cops shoot them in their backs if they mouth-off or are seen walking down the street in a hoodie on a rainy evening.

The white-privileged communities do not see the double-standard in this:

Some young black men commit crimes, therefore ALL young black men are suspect and deserving of execution, with question asked later.

Some young white men commit massacres, therefore we try to understand what caused their behavior.

That's where we are today.

And it stinks.

Nameless Cynic said...

And just to make things exciting, the city had a history of racial tensions between the cops and the citizens.

Funny how things like that start to add up...