Please consider this post an update to my update on the racial tensions that have been brewing since Michael Brown’s killer Darren Wilson was exonerated. Tensions have not only been building in our country, they have been brewing in the world. December 16 I published “How to Get Rid of Racist Cops” http://wp.me/p5jxvv-8Q. The post wasn’t so much how I felt cops were racist but how other people felt they were and what they were doing about the situation. I now have clarity, and I want my readers to as well. I have modified my opinion on the situation, and by writing this I hope to affect a change in my readers’ views, so that the current situation of protests and the violence that has emerged from it can stop.
Saturday, December 20, two New York police officers, Ramos and Liu, sat in their police car patrolling a housing project when an African-American walked up to their car and shot them in the head from behind. Supposedly, he’d bragged about his upcoming murders on social media by claiming his intent to make “pigs fly”. While fleeing the scene, the suspect took his own life.
As explained in my December 16 post, last summer African-American teenager Michael Brown was shot by a Caucasian police officer Darren Wilson. Wilson was not indicted by a grand jury and Ferguson, Missouri was the site of unrest. President Obama sent two White House officials to the funeral and said that the Grand Jury’s verdict was a mistake.
About a week later, New York’s Officer Daniel Pantaleo was also exonerated after putting African-American Eric Garner in a chokehold. Asthmatic Garner died after screaming, “I can’t breathe.” The city, the United States, and even countries as far as North Korea were protesting what seemed like a series of deaths by racist United States policemen.
What Has Exacerbated the Problem
The problem is that violence has broken out in response to the officers being cleared. In Ferguson, for example, there has been great destruction of property. Arrests during protests have been widespread. As explained in my post, social media has had a field day with no less than five hashtags claiming Officer Pantaleo, who killed Eric Garner, was racist. As I write this, #NYPD is still trending on Twitter. Clearly, the United States has been in turmoil.
Several African-Americans have exacerbated these problems. First, Michael Brown’s stepfather is to blame. I saw him in news videos using profanity and encouraging “burning”. Next, the Reverend Al Sharpton has been extremely vocal about stopping what he perceives is police violence toward African-Americans. Louis Farrakhan, the hate monger from decades past, has reappeared to encourage violence. In November he threatened to “tear this country up”. Samuel L. Jackson, the actor and director, wrote a song about what he considers police racism and is shaming celebrities who participated in last summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge for charities to sing it with him.
Even President Obama, who I believe meant well when he sent officials to Brown’s funeral and claimed Officer Wilson should have been punished, has changed his stance. He now says he didn’t have all the facts when he made those statements.
I believe Sharpton, Farrakhan, and Jackson have used the Michael Brown and Eric Garner incidents to their advantage. This is their “15 minutes of fame”. If they had had all the facts when they started propaganda against police officers, perhaps Officers Liu and Ramos wouldn’t be dead today. For example, facts have come out that say at the time Michael Brown was shot, he was trying to use Officer Wilson’s gun against him presumably with the intention of killing him with it.
Where the Situation Stands Now
The country is an even more of an uproar than it was! New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police
Department are divided, and President Obama is being criticized for coming out on the wrong side in Michael Brown’s death. He is being asked if he is going to send White House officials to the funerals of the murdered officers just like he did to the funeral of Michael Brown. In addition, all sorts of blame is being thrown at the Reverend Al Sharpton. Actor James Woods, for example, has called Sharpton a “pig” who is at fault for inciting hatred against police officers that caused the officers’ deaths.
The families of the dead are even divided. The 13 year-old son of the slain officer has written him a goodbye letter that is breaking the hearts of those around the world. One relative of the slain became so upset that she had to be rushed to the hospital where she still lays. Other relatives claim they are glad the dead officer will be in heaven for Jesus Christ’s birthday party on December 25!
The bottom line is that the holidays should be a time of peace, yet I can’t remember when there was more unrest in this country. One of my students is the son of a police officer. Knowing public attitude is currently against the police, his spirits have been down. He told me how proud he is of his father. I told him, which is true, that I married into a family of law enforcement officers, and I am equally proud of them.
One bad apple does not spoil the bunch. This is not an issue of police racism anymore. It’s not even an issue of police brutality. It’s an issue of brutality, national brutality, that has resulted in the murders of two men as they sat on patrol in their car. Whatever it is we have been reduced to as a nation, it has to stop. Violence, police violence or otherwise, needs to end.
Readers, what is your opinion about Michael Brown, Eric Garner, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and the violence that has broken out in our country? I look forward to your views.