How We Stand on both sides of Ferguson

I’m certainly not condoning violence and destruction whether it is in Ferguson, MO, or elsewhere.

I fail to see how anyone can praise the loss of a life as some media outlets appear to be suggesting. For the event to which he will forever be linked, I would not call Officer Wilson a hero or a villain. Like every law enforcement officer I have known, I would think and hope that Officer Wilson wanted a career where he never faced a situation of life or death for himself or others.

I was neither on the grand jury nor heard the evidence presented in real time. Transcripts are one thing, but the tone and manner of delivery of testimony cannot be truly conveyed via transcription.

(The NY Times has created this interactive to the grand jury documentation, and no I have not read it through.

Personally I’ll assert that the majority, an overwhelming majority, of law enforcement officers that I know or with whom I have interacted have been professional and seemingly honest. Still, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

Likewise the overwhelming majority of people that I encounter in my daily life appear to be law abiding. Again, however, it only takes a single individual to tarnish a view.

Do people have a right to be upset about the decision of the grand jury?

Yes they do. Whether their reason is valid or not rests with the individual and his or her past experiences and current perspective. I cannot make that determination for you, and you do not have the facts to make the determination for me. We both, however, should and need to be respectful of each other’s opinion and rights.

It’s the double standards that tick me off. The violence and destruction is ridiculous and does not serve any purpose. It increases the amount of harm endured by the people who must live with the aftermath.

People trying to fan the flames of unrest need to be locked into their little glass houses to throw all the stones they want. That’s my opinion regardless of skin color or side of any political fence.

I’m really not interested in what someone such as Al Sharpton has to say. His information is second hand just like mine. I’m really not interested in what these people who are trying to turn this into even more of a racial situation than it has to be. We should all be concerned with the possibility of law enforcement taking the laws into their own hands as judge and jury. We should all be concerned if a law enforcement officer is wrongly accused of excessive force. I do not know what happened in Ferguson. I’ll never know and that is not a criticism of the grand jury that made the decision based upon what was and was not presented to them.

The grand jury made a decision and that is the manner in which our process is conducted. Whether I agree or disagree with that decision, I like to trust in that decision. I would also want to learn from what happened. What are possible measures which may have lessened the possibility of the confrontation? Yes there are easy answers; home life, respect, religion, and so on that are being shouted about the young man. There are others stating that the officer did not need to use deadly force; he could have used a Taser; he could have retreated and waited for back up. All may be true, but just saying stuff does nothing to address the problems. Seriously, there are multitudes of complex issues that we need to address as a nation without explicit biases. Even then we have to compensate for any implicit biases that are present whether we admit that or not.

To those criticizing the people for exercising their right to protest and who are not participating in the violence and destruction, I think silence is the only way in which someone of that mindset can exhibit any semblance of intelligence.

Think about the arguments that “these people” do not respect the system. Think about assertions that “these people” are looking for any excuse to cause trouble. I hate to break it to you, but “these people” are “those people” “your people” “my people” “we” and “us”

Can we not accept that they might have legitimate reasons not to trust the system?

I read a number of statements by Allen West praising our justice system and our country for the grand jury decision.

“It was supposed to be that seminal moment, shining a glaring light on the abject horror of white police brutality towards young black men. It was intended to be a triumph for the champions of race baiting. It was intended to be a midterm election rallying point for the black vote, staving off an electoral debacle of monumental proportions. It was intended to be a victory for victimhood and mob justice over the rule of law and judicial process. In the end, Ferguson, Missouri resulted in a Waterloo for the Left — especially the liberal progressive media who was caught perpetuating a lie of epic proportions.”

“Of course, the hydra decided to strike anyway, displaying true disregard once again — two weeks in a row — of the rule of law in America. The real losers in all of this were those like Jesse Jackson Sr., Al Sharpton, and the mob who, even in the face of truth, made a conscious decision not to abide by it — or accept it.”

Mr. West, we also have a system in this country where the people via the Electoral College elect an individual to serve as President of the United States. Like or dislike Barack Obama, he won the elections in 2008 and 2012. How much trust and respect have you and others of a similar mindset given to President Obama?

Look at Benghazi, how many investigations with each costing millions of dollars will the House of Representatives conduct before finally accepting the findings that have been delivered? Consider what has been done to this point.

Still Speaker Boehner plans to reappoint the latest special committee?—i-m-ready-to–re-appoint–members-to-special-benghazi-panel-in-new-congress-001822450.html

Mr. West, you have claimed to know the truth on multiple occasions such as:

Who Sir is the hydra, displaying disregard of the rule of law in America?

If you as a learned person cannot give proper respect to the individual elected as President of the United States of America, why should the people give proper respect to any law enforcement officer or even teacher? Why should they trust a system that you yourself do not trust or respect?

Leadership and respect are not one way streets, and you cannot praise a process when it works to your liking and criticize that same process when it does not.

One can hate the President, but he is the President of the United States of America. If he is not your President, then how can one argue that they support this country and its principles? Even if the President or one of the people protesting in Ferguson, MO, is a weak link then what good are we as a people? Regardless of how many strong links a chain might have, it only takes one weak link to break that chain.

Perhaps we can learn and transition from the events in Ferguson. Body cameras seem like they would benefit both law enforcement and private citizens with whom they make contact. Yes, finances will be in issue. Maybe we can get more emphasis on the members of the law enforcement community actually being connected to and living in the community which they serve. If the people on the street know the “cop on the beat” and that cop knows the people and the area wouldn’t that make life easier for all with mutual cooperation? If that child sees that police officer as Sir or Ma’am and not as some stereotype wouldn’t that foster better interactions? If the police officer sees that suspect as person and not as a statistic wouldn’t that develop better interactions?

None of this will transpire within a 24 hour period, a year, or sadly not even 5 years. It will take generations, but no matter how long it takes it has to start sometime. Why not with our generation?

Perhaps if we did not fan the flames of hatred; perhaps if we tried to fortify weak links instead of pouring acid upon them, we might return to the country given to us through the blood, sweat, and tears of generations past.

They kept the chain intact and pulled us ahead with that chain, so why in the heck do all the lovers’ of the United States of America want that chain rendered worthless by intentionally stressing the weaker links? That’s just as devastating as the fire of hate.


3 thoughts on “How We Stand on both sides of Ferguson

  1. How about the issue of privacy not everyone wants to be recorder

    • I understand and actually agree with your point about privacy. Even though I have taught multiple classes on live television, I typically do not allow students to record classroom lectures unless reasons to record that I feel will assist that student in the course exist. In a way it is a double standard on my part, but my reasoning for not allowing the tape recorder inside the classroom is that I discovered that when I did not have that policy most students who used a recorder did poorer. After some research and a lot of analysis, I felt that most recording tended to be more passive and not active participators since they viewed the recording as a proverbial crutch. My concern wasn’t about anything I said or did during a given class because multiple people were always present to back up or to dismiss any allegations against me or anyone in the classroom for that matter. From an officer’s perspective, if the camera did not create a physical hindrance I think most would welcome that extra eye. I’m basing my assumption on the number of cruisers that have dash cams to record traffic stops. If I’m the person stopped in public by an officer, my feeling is that I’m in public so chances are a street camera, security cameras in stores, and other surveillance cameras have already recorded my movements. A camera and microphone on the officer becomes another recording which hopefully will be more detailed if problems occur. Whether we like it or not, privacy today with technology is not the same as it was just a few years ago. The question in my mind, however, is if that law enforcement officer or anyone enters into a non public place, for example my residence, and records. Just like my rules in my classroom, what is the purpose of that recording, how will it be used, is it beneficial to me or to that officer’s safety? It’s not a simple, one size fits all, answer. If recording were implemented, standards would have to be established about what is proper and improper. There will be debates on those standards. We will discover things that need to be changed because it just causes more harm than good. My point is that we have a problem in the system where no witnesses might be present or the witnesses contradict. When the potential is someone losing their life, I think we need to open discussion about what is possible to limit an unnecessary death, unwarranted conviction, and the ambiguity that exists. I think body cameras are a possibility, but not the perfect solution. With anything either as it is today or how it might change tomorrow, it’s going to require a balance between rights and an ability to be flexible. As a people, we only enjoy rights because we also limit those same rights. It’s a delicate balance.

      Thanks for reading and the question.

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