It might actually be possible to turn on a TV or load an internet news site without hearing something about the saga unfolding in Ferguson, MO. But I doubt it.
First off, let me say that I find detestable the notion that a sworn police officer does not have any right to “due process” just because a mob gets itchy and wants “street justice”. This is not a nation of “street justice” – it is a nation of laws. While it is true that the system is not perfect and does not always work, that is not an excuse to throw it all out every time we anticipate not getting a result we like.
However, that is all only surface scratches. It’s an irritation, but the real problems are much worse.
Let’s start with “the reverend” – Rev. Al Sharpton. The very night this happened, he put himself on a plane to travel to Ferguson, MO, to claim control of how this would be spun in the media. But did he call for calm, understanding, peace, or love? Those are the things I would expect to hear a holy man calling for, but that is not what we got from Al Sharpton. No, Mr. Sharpton got in front of a TV camera just as fast as he could, to make sure everyone on both sides knew that he considered it a racial issue. Nothing less than total hatred of the police officer would be acceptable, in the mind of Al Sharpton. He wasn’t there, didn’t know the kid or the police officer, and hadn’t seen any evidence, but he knew things nobody else could possibly have known at that time. Which makes me think he jumped to conclusions to make the story fit his agenda.
His agenda is where we start to get to the truth of the deeper problem. Since Mr. Sharpton is a reverend, let’s put it in terms he should be familiar with. Go all the way back to Genesis chapter 1, where we get a vague report of GOD spending 6 days creating this, that, and the other. At the end of that 6 days, GOD did something that nobody on earth has ever done since – he looked at “ALL OF HIS CREATION” and declared the sum total of his efforts to be “very good”. No qualifications, no exceptions, no exclusions based on skin color, gender, race, religion, or species. Mankind caused separateness, in practically the very next paragraph, and we’ve be subdividing GOD’s creation ever since. The real kicker is, in the whole of history, nobody has done more damage to the unity of creation than those who profess to believe in it’s creator. Organized religion is constantly establishing boundaries between “us” and “them” – and “them” is always someone to be hated, reviled, and sometimes even killed. It matters not whether you look at Catholics, Muslims, Jews … all organized religions are led by people who stand in front of their congregations pointing fingers at someone who is “bad”. Except that GOD did not say so, mankind did. GOD said it was all “very good”. Even the Democrats, the Republicans, and the Gay Tea Party NRA members.
So, let’s dial down the rhetoric, tone down the name-calling, let the evidence and the process do their work, and see what really happened before we start calling for street justice. We just might find out that a “kid” who was 4-6 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than a cop was impeding the cop’s response to another situation, and assaulted the cop when asked to clear the road.