If I was Michael Brown’s mother I would feel devastated that he was dead and gone forever. But after the facts were in I would hope I would look at the entire picture of what happened and what led to this tragic event.
I would not see the “Gentle Giant”, who I knew, while viewing the video of him robbing and man handling a store owner. I would be devastated to find out that he was on drugs that probably altered his decisions. I would be sad that he did not follow orders to stop and decided to attack Officer Wilson. He would be alive today if only he had followed orders and respected the command to stop.
I would hope that before the Grand Jury finished their investigation that our president, Attorney General and the Governor of Missouri would not have used the word “prosecute” but had said ‘investigate” when talking about my son’s death before all of the facts were in. I wish when Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson showed up I would have welcomed their support but asked them not to bait the race issues that incurred. I would hope that I would have encouraged peaceful protests, since riots and vandalism interfere with seeking justice of any kind. I would not have wanted businesses and churches in my town destroyed. Why attack innocent brothers and sisters who had no part in my son’s death? I would have wanted our local economy preserved. I would have wished outsiders had been barred from our community and that the media had been kept at arms length. I also would wonder why the National Guard was not allowed to engage and help protect Ferguson.
After the Grand Jury’s announcement, I would hope that I would have thanked Michael’s dad for calling for only peaceful protests. I also hope that when Michael’s step dad shouted out for our town to be burned down I would have said, ” I am kicking you to the curb unless you shut up, and if the town is burned you had better bust your butt to help the victims rebuild”. Inciting a riot is not part of the grieving process.
I know our justice system doesn’t always work. I also know all cops are not good cops. But after reading the Grand Jury records I believe they made the right decision. We have a justice system that we must lean on to reach decisions. We need to follow laws that are in place. If we don’t agree with them we can work to get them changed. The process takes patients, but it is what we have to work with. Justice is blind, and is not based on feelings or public opinion. I also know that a fight is never resolved when both sides are not listening, and respectfully working towards a common goal of justice and fairness. Race baiters need to be ignored for peaceful resolutions to be reached.
Michael Brown’s mother has a rare opportunity . Her name and face are known around the world. She could be a voice of reason. She could ask how Michael ended up without a moral compass while under her watch and question what she did to let this young man down. She might even ask if her husband, who has been involved in drugs and has been incarcerated had any impact on her son. She could openly and honestly discuss what she would do differently. All parents make mistakes. This discussion could be eye-opening and valuable.
She could speak out at schools and community events, and talk to children about their future. She could talk to adult groups as well. Her message could be, keep families together, avoid drugs, stay in school, be respectful of all human beings regardless of race, respect the laws of our land. And if you disagree with a law work to get it changed. The most important message to be taught and learned is to remember what Martin Luther King Jr. taught us by his actions. He taught us to protest peacefully. She could be a voice in keeping his dream from going down the toilet. She could point out that rioters are breaking the law, and are cowards and bullies when they destroy property by burning, and looting. She could spread the word that there are many successful people of color. They could be the subjects in educational discussions. I think she could be a more popular speaker than both Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton, and could be a healing factor for America in supporting non-violent protests.
It is my opinion that the people rioting just want a reason to run wild, steal, loot, and get away with crimes, and don’t give a hoot about the Brown death. I also wonder who really is behind the nationwide protest movement? I believe there are people who want race conflicts to be paramount in society. Otherwise they would lose their voice and funding. Eyes need to be opened to see that both the Brown family and Ferguson are really just pawns in the game of unrest.
I have heard that when black kids do well in school some of their peers call them “Uncle Toms”. This was reported by the basketball player Charles Barkley. My reaction is that these people are envious of the black students who are excelling in their journeys of success. Could it be that the ones doing the name calling are too lazy or unmotivated to take advantage of getting a proper education. I would guess that kids that criticize good students are likely to become rioters if the opportunity arises.
I am almost three-quarters of a century old. I saw how badly blacks were treated growing up in the south. There has been much improvement because of Dr. King. Let’s honor his vision and view things as right and wrong, and take race out of the picture. After all we are all Americans.