Any day now, the grand jury will decide if there is enough evidence to take officer Darren Wilson to trial over the shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown. Protestors stand ready to protest, which each day looks like a potential repeat of the Rodney King case, back in ’92. Only in this case the multi-site protests exceed anything we’ve seen before. Simultaneously, Obama is getting ready to make a unilateral decision on immigration, and some people are expecting violence over Obama’s decision as well.
I typically don’t like responding publicly to racial hot button issues like this, because I do not have minority status, nor the experience of racial bias being used against me, but as an individual writing and studying about the impossible gap between church and secular culture, and the extended issues of social justice as they relate to our increasingly disassociated culture, I find myself asking questions. Have we returned to the Old West? Are we once again a nation of vigilante justice? If we feel that there is injustice perpetrated by police officers against citizens of minority status, are we willing to riot with impunity, and allow whole cities to suffer? Are we so mistrusting in the evidence of eye-witnesses, and justice in the courts that we will call guilt before the evidence is in and decided, and prepare ourselves to protest (read between the lines here the word “riot”)? Are we fighting what we believe is vigilantism by police, by our own vigilante justice? Is this our MO now? Is Ferguson showing us the Modus Operandi for future engagement with national issues? Are we all vigilantes from the top down? Is the Ferguson MO, the new MO for pursuing justice in all situations?
Where is MLK? Where is Ghandi? In fact, where is the not so distant Occupy Movement (Oakland aside)?
Friends of mine are making dramatic statements on Facebook, and Twitter about both cases. Some in counter-protest to what they see as inevitable injustices, others to what they see as a media-hyped campaign fomenting ongoing racial tensions. Strangely, both right and left in our nation are getting madder and madder. They are dividing into factions against one another, and I am not sure there is a road back. I hope I am wrong, but history, and the tensions of these issues do not give me much hope.
For evidences so far known in the Ferguson case, you can see these sites. I hope educating ourselves, relieves our tension, but then again, I am pointing you to media sources. sigh.
Christian Science Monitor
An “I Love Ferguson” Story