Just watched the press conference there in Ferguson, Missouri, the suburb of St. Louis where all of the rioting and protests are taking place over the death of Michael Brown. Governor Jay Nixon spoke earlier this morning and kept pushing the point that the community has the right to express their frustrations and their opinions about the situations concerning their community and neighborhoods. I agree to a point. When those expressions turn violent or antagonistic towards the police, firefighters, first responders and others there in that community, then that “right” is lost.
Did the St. Louis County police handle this situation properly? Probably not. Did the St. Louis County Police Department abuse their authority by bringing out the militarized SWAT teams and use too much of a heavy-handed approach in the beginning to squelch the protestors so things wouldn’t get out of hand? Probably. Were things made MUCH, MUCH worse with all of the outside “help” the protestors got? ABSOLUTELY! With everything brought out by the St. Louis County police chief this afternoon about why the police officer stopped the two young men who were “walking down the street minding our own business”, the policeman had probable cause since the description of the suspect who had robbed the convenience store and roughed-up the clerk fit Michael Brown’s description. Did Officer Darren Wilson KNOW that the police department had just been notified of a “strong-arm” robbery not too far from where he was at that time? Only he knows. Did Michael Brown panic when the Officer told them to get out of the street? Probably. After all, the person in the videos, that are being shown of the robbery and assault of the store clerk, sure do look like Brown. Brown had no way of knowing whether or not Officer Wilson KNEW that they were the suspects the police department was looking for. With that being said, Police Chief Jackson stated that the stolen items from the robbery were found on Michael Brown’s body after everything was over and he was lying dead in the street. Now what needs to happen is to allow the police investigation to continue to find out exactly what happened that led up to the youth being killed. All of this information could have been released the day after the incident and that probably would have stamped out all of the protests and rioting and looting that took place. Hopefully, the St. Louis County Police Department as well as the Missouri leadership at every level, has learned a valuable lesson from everything that has transpired this past week. And I hope those same lessons have been learned across this nation. Do our law enforcement personnel have the right to protect themselves? Of course they do. But was it necessary to pull out all the military-style equipment in order to do that? Probably not in this particular situation. There were mistakes made on every level here and hopefully everyone has learned a valuable lesson.
I heard all the comments made earlier this morning by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain, Ron Johnson, trying to reassure the people there in Ferguson that HE DOES hear them and is doing his best to address their concerns and fears. I also was able to catch a few words from those citizens that were at the back of the crowd of those gathered for the press conference who didn’t have the opportunity to speak into the microphone. The few words I was able to hear stated that person was concerned with “who’s going to protect our children”, and “who in the leadership of our community is concerned about our children”. Those two statements stuck in my mind. What I find disconcerting is the fact that those two parents, and by the amount of applause those two people received there were many more in the crowd with the same opinions and beliefs, are under the impression that government, whether it be city, state or national, is responsible for “taking care of and teaching” their children! REALLY? Every day practically every news broadcast over the airwaves and here online has at least one or more incidents where a black youth has been killed for any variety of different reasons, either by another black youth, or a police officer, or even by security guard, or a home owner trying to protect themselves, their family or their property. Mostly because that youth was breaking the law by either attempting to break into a business, home, or attempting to rob a person, or business. Whatever the reason, there are far too many young people loosing their lives because of the choices THEY THEMSELVES are making in their daily lives.
It’s NOT the government’s responsibility to teach the children of the black community, Hispanic community, white community, or any other ethnic background how to be a responsible resident of their particular community. That burden and responsibility falls squarely upon the shoulders of the PARENTS of that child. The Word of God tells us that every child should be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and for far too long we as parents have failed our children on EVERY level of that command from God. Then there are those parents who do try to monitor every aspect of what their children do and they have brought them up in the church surrounded by church fellowship, guidance, and doctrine and they still get into trouble. Each child is an individual person and they are going to do what they are going to do, especially when they are grown and out on their own whether it be at college or in an apartment working at their daily job. What I do have a problem with is those parents that we see on these news broadcasts who continually state “my son wouldn’t do what the ‘poll-eese’ say he did” or those who say “well, if the ‘poll-eese’ hadda left him alone…..”. Those parents are a huge part of the problems we are seeing across this country. Are there power-hungry policemen and police women in some precincts who chose to abuse that power and harass and sometimes take their authority too far? ABSOLUTELY! BUT… we as a nation MUST find a way to regain the balance of respect between the citizens and the law enforcement personnel. If we don’t, things are only going to continue to get progressively worse and we WILL end up with a military state because that will be the ONLY way there will be control over the criminals.
The parents in Ferguson, Missouri and other cities and towns across this nation have got to realize that it is NOT acceptable for your children to supposedly act like angels at home and then once your back is turned or they leave the sanctity of your home, they turn into thugs, gang members, and criminals! It is NOT alright for a boy or young man to walk into a convenience store and grab a handful of cigars and then proceed to walk out the door without paying the clerk and when the clerk tries to stop him, he grabs the clerk around the neck of his shirt and roughs him up to show what a big man he is. There MUST be consequences when these children and youths chose to misbehave. We cannot continue to allow our children to live their lives without living through the consequences of their actions. Neither can we continue to allow the adults who chose to act like this to get away without the consequences that come with that kind of behavior. Somewhere, somehow, we have got to regain the balance between the citizens in our communities and those we have placed in positions of authority.
There are those in every society who are anarchists and no matter what form of government or authority there is in place, they are going to disagree and try to extinguish that authority over them. The place we are at in this country now is, do we continue to allow those in some leadership positions and positions of authority to instigate and call for civil unrest and for racial divide to be able to continue with their agendas or do we say ENOUGH and no longer listen to their cries. The discourse in this country will never be healed as long as people of every ethnic background continue to allow those in leadership positions to rule over their thoughts and actions. It’s way past time for everybody to realize that the only person who can change the circumstances in your life is YOU, not your parents, not your family, not your neighborhood, not your community, not your government. Only YOU have control over your own thoughts and from that your own actions! It’s past time for parents to tell each child, NO you will NOT act this way and you WILL have respect for the law enforcement trying to protect and serve our community. And it’s also time to stand up to our elected officials and law enforcement personnel and say NO, you will NO longer abuse the authority we have placed into your hands, if you want us to respect you, YOU are going to have to show the same respect to US. We MUST regain this balance in our neighborhoods, communities, cities, counties, states and federal government. We MUST if we want to stop all the senseless killings of our children and if we want our freedoms to remain in tact and our country to survive!