by Andy Weddington
Monday, 01 December 2014
"Fiction is the truth inside the lie." Stephen King
Above the fold of Section B in yesterday's USA Today was a large color photograph of protestors staging a "die in" at a mall in Chesterfield, Missouri.
Yes, another displaced show of misguided anger over the death of Michael Brown - shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson defending himself in the line of duty.
The big bold caption under the photograph: Ferguson could spark a new civil rights era with the sub line: Protests in St. Louis suburb may be defining moment
And that's when the title for today's comment struck.
With some questions...
1) What civil right, and legal for that matter, did Michael Brown have to get stoned (on marijuana)?
2) What civil right, and legal for that matter, did Michael Brown have to strong-arm rob a convenience store?
3) What civil right, and legal for that matter, did Michael Brown have to assault and threaten the comparatively tiny convenience store employee?
4) What civil right, and legal for that matter, did Michael Brown have to walk down the middle of a city street?
5) What civil right, and legal for that matter, did Michael Brown have to disobey a police officer's order to get out of the middle of the street?
6) What civil right, and legal for that matter, did Michael Brown have for struggling with and striking a police officer and attempting to take the police officer's firearm?
7) What civil right, and legal for that matter, did Michael Brown have for attempting to charge and overpower a police officer?
Michael Brown breached civility and broke the law.
So exactly what does civil rights have to do with the death of Michael Brown?
And President Obama is not helping. In fact, to the contrary. And ditto for media.
Instead of patronizing, fueling the fires of ignorance and idiocy, what a president, even President Obama, should have said, and still needs to say (but, of course, won't), to America...
"Michael Brown, for whatever he was, was not a victim. Michael Brown is dead because Michael Brown made a series of escalating poor decisions all whilst under the influence of marijuana.
Let me be clear, Michael Brown's death - as unfortunate as it may be - has nothing to do with race nor civil rights. Skin color is not grounds for excuse, alibi, nor charge.
Michael Brown's death has everything to do with personal responsibility and accountability. Period!
Make no mistake, had I been in Officer Darren Wilson's shoes - fearing for my life at the hands of a huge, physically superior in size and strength, visibly crazed man - I, too, would have done whatever necessary to protect myself; to include shooting my attacker.
It's okay, in fact necessary, to gather and mourn - peacefully - the death of Michael Brown. But it's not okay to blame anyone other than Michael for his death. And it's not okay to be a mob.
The destruction, the violence, the arson, in protest of legal due process is not what America is about. It's criminal. Enough!
Whatever it takes to end this uncivilized behavior - wherever it occurs in our country - my administration will support state and local leadership, and engage as necessary. For to encroach upon the safety and greater good of any community will not be tolerated.
Splinter yourself off as white, black, or whatever flavor - and victims, if you will - but know such a mindset is not healthy, is counterproductive, and will not prevail; now nor ever.
Pulling together is the only way to conquer.
We are Americans - and long past time it is to start acting like the world leaders we are and are expected to be."
Too much to ask of a president especially a president who eloquently orated about the "United States of America"?
But a fraction of a faction is determined to create big fiction - a great big lie - deliberately twisting right from wrong into conflict between black and white.
The grand jury - a mix of black and white, seated long before the fatal encounter between Brown and Wilson, got it right. They did their duty.
And so did brave witnesses, black, whose sworn testimony corroborated Officer Wilson's sworn testimony (about what happened) do their duty - all supporting the physical evidence and rigorous analysis thereof; from ballistics to autopsy.
Science, irrefutable at that, there was to support the fine art of leadership.
So had President Obama done his duty much, if not all, of the violence in Ferguson and about the country could have been prevented.
But it's not too late. It's never too late to speak truth.
Alas, little hope of such from the man billed and self-proclaimed as the one of Hope & Change.
Anyway, America awaits - a leader.
Puzzling to an artist, how is it such a simple palette of colors (races), and mixing thereof, creates so much discord disruptive to harmony?
Thus, with contemplative application here, consider a thought on painting from American painter Fairfield Porter (1907-1975)...
"The right use of color can make any composition work."
Michael Brown's stepfather, for yelling "Burn this bitch down!" and more, after the grand jury decision was announced, should be charged with felony inciting a riot, arson, and whatever else the district attorney can come up with within law and order.
Officer Darren Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department; for doing his job.