Monday, December 1, 2014


I haven't spent much time in the comments sections of stories about Ferguson and the protests. Not from lack of interest but in the interests of keeping my blood pressure at levels closer to Mt. Hood levels than Mt Everest.

What I have seen. If you aren't white you don't have the right to protest. I've seen comments that seemed to call for genocide against minorities in this country. Most African Americans are thugs or worse and those who acknowledge that like whites, a small minority are responsible for violent crimes. However, even that person called on the African American community to "police themselves." That's why we have the LAW, bonehead. Not all cops are trigger happy either. All African Americans are lazy, on welfare, on food stamps etc. etc. etc. One commenter even called for 7 PM to 7 AM curfews in the cities and if you don't "have a good reason to be out" subject to arrest. Shades of North Korea, the old USSR and Nazi Germany.

And something that really bothers me. Too many of our fellow citizens don't seem to know the difference between a grand jury proceeding and a jury trial. There's a joke that a careful prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. After the sandwich is indicted both sides have their chance to present their best evidence before the public and before a jury of the sandwiche's "peers." Now THAT presents an interesting picture. LOL

I've run into more than one comment of "he's not guilty, get over it." No, we don't know that. The grand jury didn't indict the officer and there are plenty of questions about how the prosecutor handled the proceedings. No indictment, no trial. No chance for the public to watch what's going on and see justice being served.

Now, about those protests. I'm all in favor of non violent confrontation, that's NON VIOLENT confrontation. And if it means going to jail, that's part of the price we pay for something resembling the rule of law. You don't throw bottles at the cops. You don't throw barricades at the cops. You don't spit at the cops.

Anybody out there ever watch the movie Gandhi? There is a sequence where demonstrators are marching on a salt works. There was a tax on salt and the British government controlled production. Row by row they marched towards the native police armed with bamboo staves. Row by row they were struck down and the women carried them to one side for first aid treatment. They kept it up hour after hour until after dark. It took another decade and WWII to finally achieve Indian independence but the Raj fell that day. True non violence is a disciplined, courageous confrontation of injustice. It doesn't always work. But it puts the violent response squarely in the oppressors ball park. Dr. King where you now?

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