Enough is enough. I am sick and tired of lies and the liars who tell them.
Michael Brown Sr., the father of Michael Brown Jr. - the
18-year-old African-American who was shot by Ferguson, Mo. white police officer Darren Wilson in 2014 - recently spoke at Sacramento State. This event was in collaboration with among other things the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, and while I cannot speak for Dr. King, I am sure as with many events that have been carried on in his name he is rolling over in his grave on this one.
I am so flabbergasted I do not know where to begin. From the description of this event on the theuniversityunion.com website: "The unorthodox murder and disputed circumstances of the shooting of Mike Brown Jr. sparked strong protest from The Black Lives Matter Movement and its surrounding community."
What murder? Brown Jr. was a thug and a bully. Prior to his death, Brown Jr. shoplifted and then rag-dolled the clerk half his size on the way out the door. (Very little is this piece will be supposition - except this: I seriously doubt this was his first such incident)
Brown. Jr. was challenged by Wilson, and a struggle ensued with Wilson while Wilson was in his police car. No small man himself, Wilson - 6-foot-4, 210 pounds - felt severely outmatched by Brown Jr., who was 6-5, 290.
"When I grabbed him the only way I can describe it is I felt like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan," Wilson said of Brown Jr. "Hulk Hogan, that's how big he felt and how small I felt just from grasping his arm."
Despite disproved testimony to the contrary, "Hands up don't shoot" never happened. From a Department of Justice investigative report:
"Investigators tracked down several individuals who, via the aforementioned media, claimed to have witnessed Wilson shooting Brown as Brown held his hands up in clear surrender. All of these purported witnesses, upon being interviewed by law enforcement, acknowledged that they did not actually witness the shooting, but rather repeated what others told them in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. ... Witness accounts suggesting that Brown was standing still with his hands raised in an unambiguous signal of surrender when Wilson shot Brown are inconsistent with the physical evidence, are otherwise not credible because of internal inconsistencies, or are not credible because of inconsistencies with other credible evidence. In contrast, Wilson's account of Brown's actions, if true, would establish that the shootings were not objectively unreasonable under the relevant Constitutional standards governing an officer's use of deadly force."
Why let the facts get in the way of a good story?
Also from the theuniversityunion.com website: "Mike Brown Sr. has been motivated to use his tumultuous experiences to help others who have been affected by police brutality through his non-profit organization ‘Chosen For Change'.... The mission of Mike Brown Sr. is to provide fruition to the endemic acts of racism in America."
As Paul Harvey would say, how about the rest of the story? Brown Jr.'s mother - Lezley McSpadden - has written a memoir about her life and the life of her son. McSpadden, herself the product of a single-family home where the mother worked long hours and multiple jobs, followed in her mom's footsteps, having Brown Jr. at 16 and getting pregnant by 19 a second time by Brown Sr., whom she claims was having affairs all along.
According to McSpadden, she was beaten multiple times by Brown Sr. and one time he even put a shotgun in her mouth.
McSpadden went on to have two more children with her second boyfriend before he was beat to death in a robbery.
Brown Sr. does not deserve a forum at any venue, much less one in our backyard. Wilson was not responsible for Brown. Jr.'s death - Brown Sr. was. With multiple generations of single parenthood, absentee fathers and violent abuse, is it any wonder Brown Jr. turned out like he did?
While discussing this column with my son, he firmly opposed my view. He told me that is the standpoint conservatives take. Well, even a broken clock is right once or twice a day.
My father passed certain values onto me, and I passed those same onto my son who I trust will pass them along to his son. None of those values include impregnating women out of wedlock, abandoning women, beating women, or shoving shotguns into their mouths.
There has been much made about Donald Trump and his lack of respect for women. Compared to the actions of some, he is a real choir boy - and that is something I thought I would never say.
I am not a bigot. I am not prejudiced. But I absolutely detest anyone who uses the color of their skin to further a bigoted agenda - from the rednecks in white sheets to looters in the inner city and any and all in between.
If you have a cut on your arm, you need to clean it, put medicine on it and bandage it. Just putting a bandage on it with the dirt and debris will lead to infection, and left untreated it will fester and eventually rupture.
That is what is happening today. Going after all policemen who have been called upon to do something they would have wished they never had to is like putting a bandage on a dirty cut. It looks good for a while, but eventually reality will begin to ooze out.
Am I saying all policemen are saints and infallible? No. Am I saying that all police shootings are justified? No.
But Ferguson, Mo. was. To use it as the foundation for the movement that sparked "Hands up, don't shoot," fits the dictionary definition of disingenuous. Only when the color blinders come off and accountability is accepted by all will the narrative begin to change.
And maybe then Dr. King will rest a little easier.