Barack Obama says that the notion that our laws are not being enforced uniformly is “rooted in reality” and that the rioting in Ferguson will “make for good TV”. Time Magazine says that the Ferguson riots “are part of the American experience” and “are a necessary part of the evolution of society”. Statements such as these stir the pot in Ferguson and provide fuel for the violent protests that have erupted nationwide. And now that protesters are rioting and looting in major cities all over America, all sorts of angry and dissatisfied individuals are coming out of the woodwork. For example, CBS Seattle is reporting that “communists” and “Palestinian groups” have joined the protests in Portland. This kind of civil unrest draws them in like a moth to a flame. But instead of stirring the pot in Ferguson like Obama and the media are doing, real leaders are trying to bring us together. Setting fires and destroying businesses is not going to solve anything. But if we love one another and resolve to work together, anything is possible.
If federal, state and local authorities wanted to prevent the violence that we have witnessed in Ferguson, they could have done it. They had more than three months to prepare, and they had control over exactly when the grand jury decision would be announced. All of the key areas of Ferguson could have been absolutely inundated with police and National Guard troops. But instead, police and firefighters were held back, and National Guard forces were nowhere to be seen on Monday night. So either this was a case of gross incompetence on the part of the authorities, or someone wanted this to happen. For a complete analysis of this, please see my recent article entitled “Did They Want More Violence In Ferguson? 10 ‘Coincidences’ Too Glaring To Ignore“.
In addition, authorities also had to know that if images of rioting, looting and burning buildings were broadcast nationwide from Ferguson on Monday night that it would likely spark similar incidents in other cities. And that is precisely what has happened. For example, the following is from a CNN report about what happened in Oakland on Tuesday night…
Perhaps the greatest concentration of turmoil Tuesday night was in Oakland, where vandals smashed the windows of a car dealership and looted several businesses, including a T-Mobile cell phone store.
Some also set several bonfires in the city. One row of bonfires stretched across a road, blocking off access, footage from CNN affiliate KPIX showed.
Sadly, similar acts of violence are being reported all over the nation on Wednesday.
But these are not spontaneous protests. This kind of rioting has been hyped for so long on the big mainstream news networks that it became something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even Barack Obama knew ahead of time that the violent reaction to the grand jury decision would “make for good TV”…
“There is inevitably going to be some negative reaction, and it’ll make for good TV.”
And after the violence that we saw on Monday night, Obama added even more fuel to the fire on Tuesday when he made the following statement…
“A grand jury made a decision yesterday that upset a lot of people. And as I said last night, the frustrations that we have seen, are not just about a particular incident. They have deep roots in many communities of color, who have a sense that our laws are not always being enforced uniformly or fairly. That may not be true everywhere. And it’s certainly not true for the vast majority of law enforcement officials, but that’s an impression that folks have and it’s not just made up. It’s rooted in reality.“
Of course the mainstream media is generally taking the side of the violent protesters as well. For example, Time Magazine’s Darlena Cunha actually penned an article entitled “Ferguson: In Defense of Rioting“…
When a police officer shoots a young, unarmed black man in the streets, then does not face indictment, anger in the community is inevitable. It’s what we do with that anger that counts. In such a case, is rioting so wrong?
Riots are a necessary part of the evolution of society. Unfortunately, we do not live in a universal utopia where people have the basic human rights they deserve simply for existing, and until we get there, the legitimate frustration, sorrow and pain of the marginalized voices will boil over, spilling out into our streets.
What in the world is happening to our country?
There are protesters burning American flags right in the heart of Washington D.C., in Ferguson, and in major cities all over America and very few people seem to care.
This is not the way to resolve things as a society. If our forefathers could see us today they would be absolutely ashamed.
For example, the University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin. What do you think he would have made of this statement by University of Pennsylvania religious studies professor Anthea Butler?…
America’s racist god requires black people’s blood to atone for the sins committed by its followers. This time, the blood shed in sacrifice to this god of white supremacy was Michael Brown’s. Darren Wilson, an agent of that god, was vindicated. For his reward, he is showered with blood money from other followers of the racist god.
No one should be surprised that Darren Wilson was not indicted by the grand jury. Prosecutor Robert McCulloch played the role of Pontius Pilate, washing his and Darren Wilson’s hands of impunity, while the sacrifice, Michael Brown, was deemed worthy of death because in Wilson’s words “he look[ed] like a demon.” Wilson even uses the sacred instrument to complete his sacrifice to the god of American Whiteness: the gun.
This is not the kind of language that brings people together.
Rather, it is the kind of language that tears nations apart.
And it is just a matter of time before radical groups such as ISIS attempt to exploit all of this racial division for their own purposes. In fact, according to the Daily Mail this is already happening…
Using the slogan ‘From #IS 2 Ferguson’, Birmingham-born jihadi Junaid Hussain, 20 – who has adopted the nom de guerre Abu Hussain al-Britani – this morning tweeted a photograph of a hand-written letter urging the Ferguson rioters to ‘reject corrupt man-made laws like democracy’ and declare their allegiance to ISIS’ leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The note Hussain posted on Twitter today is titled ‘From #IS 2 Ferguson’ and contains a promise to send militants to the Missouri city if protesters pledge allegiance to ISIS.
It reads: ‘We hear you and we will help you if you accept Islam and reject corrupt man-made laws like democracy and pledge your allegiance to Caliph Abu Bakr and then we will shed our blood for you and send our soldiers that don’t sleep, whose drink is blood, and their play is carnage.’
What we need at this moment are real leaders.
What we need are more men and women like tight end Benjamin Watson of the New Orleans Saints. The response to the Ferguson riots that he posted on his Facebook page acknowledges the pain that people on all sides are feeling, and it has over 400,000 likes so far…
At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:
I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.
I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.
I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.
I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.
I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.
I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.
I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.
I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.
I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.
I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.
I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.
I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.
Why can’t Barack Obama issue a statement like that?
If we continue down our current path, it is only a matter of time before our nation is torn to shreds.
We desperately need leaders that are going to be willing to stand up and bring us together and heal old wounds.
But at this point those leaders appear to be vastly outnumbered by those that want to stir up violence and promote discord.