Michael Brown was an 18 year old kid getting ready to start college in two weeks. A lot of hope came to an early end. He was shot by a police officer this past weekend and Sunday night, riots broke out in Ferguson, the neighborhood where Brown lived and died. A Quik Trip was raided and burned up. Taco Bell restaurants were also targeted and streets were full of looters and bandits. All of this happened because one man died in a manner that hasn’t been clarified yet. The National Guard and The FBI are getting involved as we speak, and nothing good comes from that folks. When officers and soldiers line the streets, more innocent people have a chance of dying. In the history of this world, the human species has always resorted to acts of violence as a source of revenge. Why do that? It’s our human instincts kicking in. A man who many probably didn’t know at all feel the sense to set fires to public places, beat up random people and run wild like it’s the Purge. Violence breeding more violence never ends well and happens far too often.
People will instantly attach this to St. Louis and its rocketing crime rate and status as a bad crime city. That’s not completely untrue but this reaction happens across the world and all over The United States. Rioting has taken place in many cities. St. Louis is just the latest location of madness. Savagery isn’t relegated to one zip code. It has no one location. It’s a common occurrence.
I have a friend who lives in Florissant, a town right next to Ferguson. I lived in Florissant for three years. Those aren’t the safest streets in the world but Sunday night, they got a lot more violent and unstable. In 1992, Los Angeles started one of the most deadliest riots when the four officers accused of beating Rodney King were acquitted. In 1980, a similar act happened in Miami. Edward L. Glaeser wrote in 2011 that “When riots can often overwhelm police forces, most modern governments have more than enough military might to repress any riot, if the army is willing to slaughter civilians.”
Hopefully, this doesn’t happen. There are currently military officers with high powered weapons walking the streets in North St. Louis. This only ends in more bloodshed if people don’t relent and stop fighting back.
Let me throw something out that is pretty well known yet easily forgotten. All this raiding and looting doesn’t bring Michael Brown back. The uprising Sunday night won’t bring anyone back or bring a satisfying conclusion to the hearts and minds of Ferguson families or Brown’s family. According to police, Brown struggled with an officer for his weapon inside a patrol car, and when the teen broke out and tried to run, the officer shot him many times. This is an initial report that will be thoroughly investigated. The right hammer will come down on whoever was truly responsible for this altercation. If Brown was unarmed and the officer shot him, that officer will be punished. If it is ruled self defense, then that shall rest as the basis of the case. Why not let the powers that be figured this out instead of bringing down violence on the streets?
So many times, I see unneeded violence. Damage that can’t be undone. Young men shot. More young people dying. Parents losing kids. Children losing parents. It’s a sad but true product of living. There’s nothing as damaging as a group of people thinking public retaliation will bring a calm to their storm.
Saturday morning, Mike Brown was alive. The QT was standing. The streets were safe. Ferguson wasn’t a place for the National Guard. Less than 24 hours later, madness settled in. Violence broke out. Who benefits from this? No one does.
It’s just a sad time. Unfortunate. Those people looting and raiding are ignorant souls who don’t get it. Their reaction fixes nothing. This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with right and wrong. Violence breeding more violence is never the right path to take.
This is why I fear for my son when he gets older and I can’t protect him. Vincent will grow up and be a man one day. He will be a part of this dangerous world. I won’t be able to stand in front of him. Violence may find him. How will he react to injustice or tragedy? What will his mind figure out? This scare the shit out of me.
When you help a person into this world, your guard instantly goes up. It never goes down. No matter what. I fear the world my son will grow up in.
Stay safe St. Louis. All the young souls aren’t restless tonight.