Ferguson Missouri Didn’t Have to Endure This Hell, The Media Made it That Way [OP-ED]
Ferguson, Missouri. I doubt many people knew all that much about the town prior to the events of August 9 of this year. A few famous people are from Ferguson: Jimmy Doolittle, the famed WWII pilot lived there; singer Michael McDonald and Enos Slaughter, a big hitter for the Cardinals in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.
But it’s not those good folks that Ferguson will be remembered for anytime soon. The St. Louis suburb of just over 20,000 burned last week. It burned at the hands of hundreds of so-called ‘protesters’ who destroyed police vehicles, burned buildings and looted stores. One of the stores looted was the same convenience store that Brown robbed just minutes before he was shot.
This destruction proves nothing, it solves nothing. It does nothing but heighten racial tensions and leave a town scarred, pillaged and burned. We saw the same ignorance exhibited in Los Angeles in 1992 after four L.A. police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King. We saw the same happen in Los Angeles in 1965 with the Watts Riots. In each case, buildings were burned, people were killed and many suffered injuries. And what did all that violence and mayhem gain for anyone? Nothing.
What has happened in Ferguson is a product of thug mob mentality: let’s break everything, burn everything, steal what we want and to hell with the law! There is no great prize to be won here, no grand statement to be made. Yes, there are a few people who are legitimately upset that Officer Wilson was not indicted and were engaged in peaceful protest or perhaps even civil disobedience that did not involve setting a fire. The evidence presented points to Brown’s shooting as having been justified. Brown attacked Wilson in his patrol car and attempted to take his gun. Imagine what could have happened had Brown successfully disarmed Officer Darren Wilson. He almost certainly, in his rage, would have killed Wilson and even more lives would have been lost.
Millions of people around the world have taken to social media for days to voice their opinions. Some of them helped to incite the violence we saw in Ferguson. But the most irresponsible act in print comes from two New York Times reporters who published Wilson’s home address info. The information, including a copy of Wilson’s marriage license containing sensitive personal info, was reported Campbell Robertson and Julie Bosman. The Times eventually pulled the marriage license info, but left the name of Wilson’s street published for all to see. They have lowered themselves to a level of yellow journalism that is beyond explanation. So-called reporters like these make the National Enquirer seem like a legitimate news source.
The media has deliberately thrown gas on the fire. It’s beyond shameful. They have done with this story what was done in the case of the Trayvon Martin shooting. The media has distorted facts, told half-truths and worked to characterize the deceased as just an innocent young man. Trayvon was not the innocent-looking 11 year-old boy whose picture was paraded around by the media. He was older and his behavior far from what the media at-large was reporting. Michael Brown was no innocent young boy either. The video of Brown stealing cigarillos from a convenience store and assaulting the owner tells us Brown’s character was not only questionable, but fowl. Only a thug engages in such behavior. It is this same type of mentality that was at work with the so-called ‘protestors’ in the hours and days following the announcement that Wilson would not be indicted.
While race should never have played a role in it at all, the media quickly turned this into a racial card for their playing pleasure. Al Sharpton just had to get involved. The so-called civil rights activist isn’t about to miss a photo op, anything to keep the 15 minutes of fame alive. I feel sorry for the Brown family. He’ll use them to his advantage. Sharpton and all the other race baiters in the media want to make sure that you hate Wilson, not because he shot a young black man, but because he is a white cop who shot a young black man. They just can’t tell the story without playing the race card.
Ever heard of Dillon Taylor? Most likely you have not. Dillon Taylor was a 20 year-old white male who was shot and killed by a police officer in Salt Lake City, also in August of this year. I’ve found no reports of police cars being burned or business being looted and torched in Salt Lake City as a result of this man’s death. There have been protests, but mainly due to the media’s near total lack of attention to the shooting. Is the media deliberately ignoring this story because of the race of the victim or the cop or both? You bet they are.
Story after story on the Taylor shooting referred to the officer (now identified as Bron Cruz) as ‘non-white’. You’ll find no narrative of ‘the Hispanic officer who shot an unarmed white male’. And you shouldn’t. It’s irrelevant. Was his shooting justified? All the evidence says yes. Cruz will not be indicted. He had every reason to believe Taylor was going for a weapon. But you won’t see Al Sharpton in Salt Lake screaming through his bullhorn demanding ‘justice’. It’s not a headline for them (the media, Al Sharpton and company) unless the person shot is black and the person doing the shooting is white. At least, that’s the message we seem to be getting from the handling of these stories. So ask yourself: Who exactly are the racists?