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In which I have a few things to tell you about #Ferguson

Image via Tweet from @AnneHelen and @MotherJones

Image via Tweet from @AnneHelen and @MotherJones

If you’re not angry and grieved about what has been going on in Ferguson, then you simply aren’t paying attention.

On Saturday night, I was in the car with two of my best friends. We had just left Barnes and Noble and I pulled out my mobile to scroll through Twitter as we drove home. Immediately, I discovered that two more young unarmed men had been killed by police. I was horrified and sickened, oh, and so angry. Again!

There was 18-year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri who was shot in his neighbourhood, and John Crawford who was shot in a Walmart for holding a toy gun in the toy section. (I’ll let that last one sink in for an extra second – as I hear tell of “American patriots” who wander into grocery stores with assault rifles dangling off their shoulder because it is apparently their constitutional right. Meanwhile, John Crawford apparently does not have a constitutional right to life. Or due process.)

According to witnesses, Mike Brown was unarmed and was surrendering to police when he was shot. Shot multiple times in the middle of the street. And then his body was left in the street, uncovered, uncared for, for hours.

Both of these young men were killed because they are African-American.

Let’s not kid ourselves. This was murder. This was injustice. This was heinous and evil lack of regard for life or the law on the part of the aggressors. And sadly, it is all too common.

This is when the vigils and protests began. People gathered to watch over his broken body, to stand as witness. That is holy work. Then the community began to gather to protest police brutality. And all hell broke loose.

I cannot pretend to know everything about the history and context for Ferguson. I have watched and listened and followed closely over the past four days. Ferguson has turned into a war zone. Tear gas, smoke bombs, rubber bullets, tanks, riot gear. Suppression of information, arrests of reporters and citizen journalists.

Ferguson reminds me of the Arab Spring uprising. The people of Ferguson are rising up against their oppressors and hallelujah for that. I pray for their endurance in the face of state sanctioned violence against their children.

I have hesitated to write about Ferguson because I have preferred to amplify local voices or the voices of those who have been engaged in the real and difficult work of race relations in the United States. After all, Canada has our own issues, particularly with our treatment of First Nations.

But these past four days in Ferguson have broken through my usual resolve: this is absolutely a justice issue. I have waited patiently for more white Christian bloggers to speak up, particularly the Americans, trying to give them precedent to respond, but I have been disheartened by minimal response there. I want to come alongside the African American voices already writing and advocating, even in this small way.

So imperfect as it is – and I am well aware how imperfect – there are a few things I want to bring to our attention:

Black lives matter. I cannot even believe I have to write that sentence but there it is. Black lives matter. These young men matter, their lives are sacred. It doesn’t matter if Mike Brown was on his way to college or on his way to the unemployment line – his life had value and purpose. He was loved. His life mattered. Every single black life matters. If your pro-life ethic doesn’t include black lives, then your pro-life ethic is useless.

White privilege is real and it’s time we acknowledged it. White privilege is being told that the police will help you and protect you. White privilege is being able to lawyer up when arrested by the police. White privilege is being able to say things like “due process of the law” or “wait for the facts to emerge.”

We need to be listening to African-Americans and other minorities – in our lives, on Twitter, in the news, in education, in poetry, in art, in literature, in politics. Listen. When people tell me that America is not for black people, I want to listen to why. When people tell me that there is a case for reparations, I want to listen to why. When First Nations tell me that they will be Idle No More, well, then me, too.

Watch the narrative. The news media is notorious for this – it’s only by listening to voices on the crowd and on the front lines that you see it though. For instance, NBC went to Mike Brown’s Facebook page and pulled a photo of him for their broadcasts. They chose a photo of him flashing a peace sign with a stern look on his face over any of the other photos he had there, including one of him in his cap and gown. They changed the narrative of the story by how they characterized Mike Brown in the minds of their viewers. Another example is the image of a young man throwing a smoke bomb. It’s probably the defining image of the protests so far. But what most news media outlets aren’t clarifying is this key face: that young man was throwing that smoke bomb BACK at the police who threw it at him. Another example: is it an “angry mob” or is it a “community protest”.

This has also given rise to the powerful images of #IfTheyGunnedMeDown which also show how the media portrays young black men who are victims – victims! – in the media. Most of us have photos of ourselves that are ridiculous or terrible or in compromising situations but by fixing a victim in the mind of the public as a menace, they change the narrative on a subconscious level. “He’s a thug, he was probably doing something wrong.” Here’s an example image:

IfTheyGunnedMeDown

Don’t shoot. One of the defining protest images so far will haunt me for a long time. The people of Ferguson – and all protesters who gather in cities and colleges and communities around the world – are doing one thing: they are standing with their hands up and their faces blank. That is the posture. Don’t shoot: I’m unarmed: my hands are up. This image of the student body at Howard is unforgettable. This is powerful prophetic witness.

Howard Don't Shoot

This is also about the militarization of police. This is not proportionate response but it is not surprising. When we sow to the wind, we reap a whirlwind. When we outfit police like the military instead of as officers of the peace, they will treat the citizens as enemies and engage in war tactics. It’s time to ask some serious questions and make changes here.

This is NOT about looting. Don’t you dare. Don’t you dare bring up looting in the face of this situation. There was minor looting on one night of violence AFTER police brutality. Looting is not the point. People talk about looting because they cannot bear to face the truth of what is happening and why it is happening, it is a distraction. Same thing with folks who want to debate black-on-black violence right now. This is not that and this is not the time.

Twitter is the place to be right now for news. Main stream news outlets are turning a blind eye to Ferguson. But on Twitter, #Ferguson is hopping. Next time someone makes fun of Twitter as a place where “people tell you what they had for breakfast” I’m just going to say one word: #Ferguson. The people I follow on Twitter are the only reason I heard about Ferguson and it is the only reason why we know the truth of what is happening there. They might be able to arrest reporters and shut down the airspace and try to suppress information but the freedom of the people is happening in that medium, much like most uprisings around the world.

In particular, check out Alderman Antonio French who has been present from the beginning. (He’s currently being held in police custody – Lord help us.) If you don’t know about Ferguson, it’s because you’re not paying attention, because your circle of news and information is too small. But go back through his timeline to see what has been going on in great detail. And pray for him.

Churches and people of faith need to rise up together with the oppressed by the state in small ways and in big ways, in policy and in prophetic witness. David Henson, a friend and an Episcopal priest, has challenged other pastors to simply stand in their pulpits on Sunday, silent, with their hands up as a witness.

Or this image below…. This is another example of powerful goodness that needs to happen on our part. Can we make space for the lament and for the grief, for the anger and the fear?

Other churches are marching, organizing protests, standing with the powerless, lobbying their governments, speaking up and using their voices to amplify the oppressed.

And pray. Pray. Pray. With your voice, when your spirit, with groans and tears, with your hands and your ears, with your mind and your feet.

Let justice roll down.

social justice
  • Kathryn Freeman

    I love you Sarah Bessey! Thank you for using your platform to be a voice for the oppressed and justice.

    • black minister

      As long as we see this as a black vs white no resolve will ever be found!!!! This is an injustice that needs unbiased looking at. ONCE colour is left out and whites and blacks work TOGETHER to resolve this then true justice is served.

      • http://Comcast Chris

        Amen!

      • http://NA JBarry

        There are issues in the African American community as a hole. The black population is 13% of the U.S. total and half of all murdered people in this country are black. Please look at the fact that of those black people murdered. 90% are murdered by their fellow black people. If the police officer is culpable the Feds will prosecute him, but allow the process to take its course this rush to judgment is a fools way of justice.

      • Rich

        Thank you for your comment. We are Americans, red,white and blue not brown,white and black.The police brutality has to stop no matter where you are from or what color your skin is. We are seeing beatings and deaths of Blacks, Latinos and Whites. It needs to stop period and every death by an officer needs to be investigated by the FBI. Kelly Thomas(unarmed)a mentally ill white homeless man was beaten to death while he was just trying to sleep and no threat to anyone. Luis Gonzalaz(unarmed) a Latino man was suffocated to death by officers for not showing ID while out on a date with his wife. Eric Garner(unarmed) a Black man was choked to death for selling cigarettes and was not posing a threat.This is happening all over our country.One of the biggest problems with our law enforcement is that they recruit military soldiers with a combat mindset. Iraq war vets have been claiming spots in law enforcement over the past 10 years. We do not need soldiers as police, we need citizens.

    • http://Att George

      Every one please look at many of the other comments well below this list. There are other perspectives. We need to look at all sides and not be too judgmental too soon.

  • http://LetHopeRise.com Jen Wells

    Yes. Thank you. Last night I stayed up watching Twitter, astonished and broken. Thank you for writing what I feel. I too have been waiting for voices to SPEAK.

  • http://nellers.net Nellers

    Amen, thank you for writing this Sarah. May this travel far and be read by many.

  • http://www.janehalton.com janehalton

    Thank you Sarah. This situation must be illuminated and I’m grateful for you using your voice to do it.

  • http://aliajoy.com Alia Joy

    Yes, thank you for going there. I’m saddened to see so many people silent about this. Everyone waiting for ? for what. For more facts because no one wants to really believe this happens. Is happening. My heart is breaking over this.

  • Shari

    Another fact that is disheartening is that in New York City…1/2 of pregnancies in African American women end in abortion. Isn’t that genocide…
    I grew up in Texas where in my experience most people had respect for each other. Your skin color was noted but did not define you. Then I married and moved to Mississippi …the prejudice I found there was frustrating & wrong. It was pervasive & isolating. There were white & black families whose inequal connections went back to slave days. Assumptions were made about the value or lack of value by the color of their skin . I wanted to shake them. When I did say something , they just told me I didn’t know what I was talking about…
    Now as the adoptive mother of 3 First Nations sons & 1 Jamaican daughter, we must face the issue head on. And it is an issue…in canada some places our First Nations kids face prejudice & down south our daughter does. It’s wrong to place value on a person based on the color of his or her skin. The whole family of humans is made in the image of God & are loved by him

    • http://parentise.com Andrea

      Shari – the comment that 1/2 of pregnancies among NYC’s African-American women end in abortion is irresponsible and a distraction from the topic at hand.

      • vIVIAN

        Andrea I agree.

      • http://theduryees.com Rosalie

        Why? Sarah says all black lives matter, that it doesn’t matter whether he was headed to college or not, John Brown’s life matters. The fact that abortion is more common among African-American people is indicative of the problem, not distracting from it. We do not provide support to people of color that empowers them to make different choices (pre or post pregnancy). We do not provide support to people of color who are judged before they open their mouths. We do not provide support for people of color when they are hurting and reeling from tragedy like these. We do not say with our voices and our lives, all the time, “your life matters” and so the statistics reveal that we (collectively) don’t believe those lives matter. Shame on us.

        This post said “This is not that and this is not the time” about black-on-black violence. I don’t know what that means in terms of something to “debate,” but this week 8 people, including a 4 year old, 2 year old and 13 and 14 year olds, were hurt or killed in a drive-by shooting in the 9th Ward in New Orleans. If this is not the time to talk about that, when is? It is no less unjust or terrifying or heart-wrenching that kids can’t play in the front yard of a friends’ house without getting caught in the gunfire of an angry drug dealer’s customer.

        • Daniela Jorge

          The fact that women are able to CHOOSE is indicative of empowerment. Your racist narrative, not so much.

        • Amber
          • Cyrus

            To suggest that the black community is not concerned about interracial violence is wrong, and that is not what I think the NAACP was suggesting. There needs to be a discussion of how generally pervasive violence is in our society, that is an overarching issue. Also, there is a difference between “respectability politics” and actual respect that the NAACP is talking about. Mutual respect between all people and all races would do a lot to prevent all types of heinous killings, whether by police or not.

        • Gregory

          Rosalie you are wrong. It is tragic when anyone dies from violence. However, when the power of the state, that is almost infinite, starts killing a specific minority, that is the height of injustice. Policy changes can start to alleviate the problems causing drive by shootings, but nothing can be done about injustices that come from the state.

          • Tracy

            This case has nothing to do with violence. This has to do with ignorance. When the police ask you to do something, you do it. When you don’t and charge after his gun, punch him in the face, then you get what you get. Sadly, this boy lost his life because he chose to have total disregard for authority. Police are there to protect all of us black or white.
            Maybe they should all be taught how this protect and serve notion works.

        • Molly

          Michael. His name was Michael Brown. If you’re going to twist the narrative away from his murder and try to use it to further your own agenda, at least get his name right.

        • jcjdye

          There is no better time to discuss black-on-black crime. AND, by the way, the looting that we’re not to mention, was an over-the-top exploitation of the death of a young man. Let’s talk about it.

      • Lydia

        Andrea, you should look up Dr. Alveda King on the relevance of Shari’s comment about abortion. It is the very same issue happening in the shadows.

      • Shari

        Why ? All lives matter. Everyone has a destiny to fill

    • Gary L Ware

      Shari,
      What or who is a “First Nations” person? Thanks.

      • Andrea

        In Canada, we use the term First Nations both to describe the indigenous people resident in the land before Europeans arrived, and also as a proper noun to describe the designated lands where indigenous people reside (for example, I live on [Band Name] First Nation, though I am not a member of the band and have no treaty status).

        In Shari’s case, she is saying her sons are Native Canadians.

        • Gary L Ware

          Thanks for the definition.

          • Lynn D. Morrissey

            Thanks for explanation to clarify.

    • Ebonie

      @Shari… Funny how us southerners are so stuck in the Jim Crow era, yet as you described in Texas, we have in SC. Race relations are only so bad when a white person says or does something to a black person. Turn on CNN and msnbc and ferguson is all they talk about for 9 days… so let’s not get it twisted Sarah! You know why it’s on the news still? Because it doesn’t happen as often as you think. In fact, in a 7 year period top more whites died in police custody or during arrest than Blacks. That’s right… 2000 whites 1500 blacks, 1000 Hispanic. That is 71 more whites per year.

      @sarahbessey…
      So little Ms. Tell it like it is, why don’t you stop being biased and actually- tell the truth.

      By the way, before you all accuse me of being a racist white southerner… I’m a black woman from the Midwest but live in SC. And I’m not a traitor so don’t go there. I’m just not a liar or irrational.

      But hey, keep the tensions flaring high- your only increasing black crime every time another biased/wrong report goes out. They get mad. They rob their own community. They get arrested. Or and here’s the big one, they kill each other during protest!

      That is what this anti-white anti-cop, mentality is getting our young black men and women. Thanks to the media for turning anti- white because it makes the whole nation seem to be anti-Black. So another reversal that gets the same outcome: Dead or jail. Not helping.

      • lj

        I agree with your post! And, nothing more frustrating than being called a racist automatically if you believe there aren’t enough facts to know this was a cold, calculated murder. Why this kind of attention to Mike Brown over Jordan Davis, or Eric Garner? At some point personal responsibility and accountability does matter!

    • jcjdye

      AMEN..

  • http://juliewakesup.wordpress.com/ Julie Green

    This.

    This!!!

    Thank you, Sarah.

  • http://bookwi.se Adam Shields

    I am also concerned about the response to a quite reasonable and even handed piece in Christianity Today’s Hermenutic blog (and worse on the facebook comments linking to the blog) that seem to either completely dismiss that anything could be racial about this or that saying that there is a racial issue to this is in fact some type of racism.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2014/august/mike-brown-when-black-victims-become-trending-hashtags.html

    What this says to me more than anything is that people that have no friends of a different race or class rarely have any insight into the broader society. Our world simply is not the same place if you live in different racially divided communities.

  • Koach Keysha

    Thank you Sarah. Well said! Our community and world need more people like you speaking up and out about issues of injustice.

  • http://www.stillforming.com Christianne

    Thank you. You are such a gift.

  • http://www.deidrariggs.com Deidra

    Thank you.

    I’ve been waiting. Holding my breath, really. Wondering if any of my white brothers and sisters would speak to this. I had almost lost hope…

    • Amanda

      I agree completely. I try to go into every news piece with race involved and ask myself (and others) “is this really a race issue?”. Sometimes the answer is no and I get a little annoyed at the attempt by media and others to turn it into one. This time the answer is a resounding YES! It cannot be seen, heard, or witnessed any other way. I am so sad that in today’s time as a country we are still struggling with these issues! I have lived in heavily populated white areas and heavily populated black areas. Honestly the black communities I lived and worked with were much more accepting and kind to others around them. Let’s quit vilifying people and come together and end this nonsense!

  • http://www.justsaskia.wordpress.com Saskia

    This piece of writing “Elegies For Mercy” just made me weep: http://gawker.com/elegies-for-mercy-michael-brown-and-ferguson-mo-1620457694/+jparham

    Thank you for bringing attention to this Sarah

  • Sharifa

    Sarah,

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Sierra

    Sarah, I love your post. But as a resident of St. Louis county, I just want to point out that the looting was not just one night, nor was it minor. The threats of looting continue. They have literally shut down malls and places of business because of fear of those looters. I know they’re not the same people who cry for justice in the town of Ferguson, and is can’t believe that many of them are actual Ferguson residents, but I don’t think you should overlook the looting.

    • Mo

      Sarah, I am new to your blog and respect your post because it is your right to express your opinions. As Sierra stated, you cannot overlook the looting, the same as you cannot associate what happened at the Walmart in Ohio to what has happened in Ferguson. It is completely irresponsible to link the two when you know the facts. That said, I encourage you to look into it closer.

    • http://parentise.com Andrea

      Sierra – didn’t you read the post? She said, “This is NOT about looting. Don’t you dare. Don’t you dare bring up looting in the face of this situation. There was minor looting on one night of violence AFTER police brutality. Looting is not the point. People talk about looting because they cannot bear to face the truth of what is happening and why it is happening, it is a distraction. Same thing with folks who want to debate black-on-black violence right now. This is not that and this is not the time.” Regardless of whether or not there was looting, this is not about looting and it only dilutes the issue to bring it up again. Additionally, you said the “threat” of looting is shutting down malls, etc. There is a difference between a threat and actual instances.

      • Angie

        The looting is a problem, plain and simple. Michael Brown lost his life, and it’s a horrible, sad and sickening event. It shouldn’t have happened. Police brutality is on the rise against all people. Does this particular incident scream of racial discrimination? Yes, but then on the flip side you have people afraid for their lives because of police retaliation over the looting. The police is in full force, others have died. Don’t tell me that the looting isn’t fanning the already burning flames of tensions. There are people out there who are losing their livelihoods because of the looters destroying their jobs. When a mob of people use this kind of situation to destroy their own neighborhood, or the neighborhoods of others, there is more than a race issue here. This is a “type of person” issue. And if they’ll break into stores and burn them down, who’s to say that a person walking down the street that has something they want won’t be the next target… All in the name of justice. You tell me now how a single mom who was working a second job at the now shell of a QT station is supposed to feed her kids. You tell me how the young adult working at QT or any of the destroyed buildings is supposed to pay rent, or pay for their education, or their mandated insurance, cause guess what, with no building, there is no job, there is no paycheck. The reality is that a young man lost his life before it even started, and there are idiots out here making life a living hell for the law abiding citizen. They are bringing down judgment on the ones who are protesting peacefully. That’s how the looting figures in to this.. It happened, you can’t pretend it didn’t have real world consequences, and yes the “Threat” is real, it is scary and ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.

        • Gary L Ware

          You are completely accurate, Angie. The looting continues and the militarized police were brought out again.

        • jcjdye

          Looting occurred. People lost their businesses. Some Ferguson residents
          have no other places to shop, due to lack of transportation. Many of the
          businesses will not return. None of this will remedy any injustice. In fact, unless people VOTE, they have no voice. We have to talk about all of it. I
          think the ROOT is important to discuss.

      • Jen

        Andrea – I am a Ferguson resident. I live 2.1 miles from this mess. It was NOT minor looting. When these people WHO ARE NOT FROM FERGUSON started looting, they created this. They created this chaos. The left a peaceful prayer vigil and did this. That is NO WAY to respect the death of someone. They are simply hurting the community that Mike Brown was a part of. You know no facts of this shooting yet. Nor did I. And when the investigation is over – no matter what the decision is – it will not be good. Someone will be hurt. Someone will be unsatisfied. What police brutality???? Did you read that on Twitter? See it on CNN? Do you have an officer who is a friend who told you that?? That makes no sense. Most of the officers were there as crowd control the night of the looting. You really need to know your facts before you start talking about it. I agree – this is not about black-on-black violence. And people do talk about if because it is easier to paint an ugly picture of “all these black people” which sickens me. It’s gross. Racism makes me so angry. But it is out there. And when anything like this happens, people will most definitely stereotype. Just like people stereotyped the cop. It happens – it isn’t pretty – but it happens.

        • http://Att George

          I’m upset with the original article. I have similar feelings and sorrow, but do not appreciate all the judgmental comments with no facts. Twitter- you’re kidding me?

      • Ebonie

        Why not add in the white men killed by cops as well? There’s a lot. Don’t want to disrupt the narrative that “white people are out to get us” though. Oh my bad. That won’t bring as many viewers, since we are used to them dying.

      • jcjdye

        Looting occurred. People lost their businesses. Some Ferguson residents have no other places to shop, due to lack of transportation. Many of the businesses will not return. Wanna tell me how injustice will be remedied by these criminal acts? We have to talk about all of it. I think the ROOT is important to discuss.

    • Cpickerel

      I agree with Sierra!…..We all need to wait and see what the details of this shooting are. There are ALWAYS two sides to a story. You can’t just jump on the band wagon and start shouting from the rooftops. Looting is a problem, it can’t be ignored either. The police tactics were unbelievably miscalculated and escalated the whole thing.

    • Sam

      I agree with Sierra, to minimize the looting is wrong. it was more then one day and if you ask the shop owners they would think it was a big deal to them.

      • Sabrina

        I find this rather faulty. While the situation at hand is not okay at all, I feel like this extremely biased.

        Twitter is not a credible source of information, even from first hand experience. People blow things out of proportion, misinterpret things, etc.

        Devaluating looting is wrong. Not only is it an issue, it’s putting other lives in danger, fanning the fire, increasing fear in the community. Looting has become a part of the problem, as has rioting.

        Blame should be irrelevant because we do not have the whole story. While we should be up in arms, color should not be an issue, because all colors, genders, and people deal with injustice everyday. Making it a color issue is what makes it worse. I know the statistics,so don’t give them to me. But those are the ones emphasized also. This is blocking out other stories.

        I agree with Sierra. This whole situation affects everyone. Instead of pointing fingers we should be coming together.

        • Ebonie

          Yeah just watch the YouTube videos of it. First hand view of how quickly the crowd convinces witnesses of what they’ve seen. One woman said she was in the shower, asked what happened, within 2 minutes she was screaming to others about what happened like she saw it.

  • http://www.besmallstudios.com Annie Barnett

    Yes. Thank you, Sarah.

  • Cate

    Thank you, Sarah. Thank you.

    Men who happen to be black deserve the right to walk down a street and shop in a store without drawing suspicion. It’s time the white community woke up to the legtimate fears that women of color have for their dear sons.

    • Donna Lawler

      I have concerns over the personalities that are of late rather egomaniacal in City Police!! It’s like they hire racists cops or train them not to care!!

    • Brooke

      So do teenagers. But guess what? They get the stink eye everywhere they go too? Are you saying the world is unfair? Duh! What are you going to do about it is the question. Race baiting is NOT the answer!

    • lj

      Unfortunately, black fear also exists. As long as a majority of violent crime is committed by black males, then suspicion is going to follow, right or wrong. I try to live in a world as is, not the way it should be. I remind my son often about appropriate responses when in certain settings.

  • http://www.leighkramer.com Leigh Kramer

    Many cities are organizing a moment of silence tonight. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/NMOS2014/timeline

  • Jameson

    Thanks Sarah. So you have all the facts on the case to make these statements, and know without a shadow of a doubt what happened between the officer and Mike Brown?

    Just curious. This is a tragic situation, on multiple fronts, I am afraid you are only seeing from one perspective without considering all of the facts. Easy to take a bold stand when you choose to only listen to one angle.

    Not trying to be a jerk, and I appreciate your writings, so this is not an attack against you. Just believe that shouting from the roof tops without knowing the whole story is a tad wrong. My two cents.
    Jameson

    • Josie R.

      I have to agree with Sierra and Jameson. I live in St. Louis. We should not jump to conclusions about things before ALL of the facts are known.

      Pray for peace and calm here. They are pulling out the St. Louis County police from Ferguson, hopefully things are peaceful tonight.

      The looting you said didn’t matter – well tell that to the businesses that were destroyed and the people who lost their jobs. How would you feel to see a business that had been in your family for 30 years being destroyed on live t.v.?

      This is not a one-sided issue. It is a complicated issue. Let’s remember in prayer all of those involved including the Brown family, the protesters and the police officer involved and those that protect us every day.

      • Cpickerel

        Amen! Well said!

      • http://Att George

        Amen! Good comment.

    • http://parentise.com Andrea

      Jameson – does one have to have to have all the facts to present a perspective on an issue? Is not having all of the information without a shadow of a doubt a pre-requisite to having an opinion based on available information? Sarah wrote a post based on widely available information from multiple sources. She isn’t writing from one perspective, she is writing from the perspective of one who is looking at the larger picture. And if we aren’t shouting from the rooftops to ensure that the facts come out and that justice is served, how will those things ever happen. What would happen if we didn’t shout from the rooftops – would the police and the nation have been alerted to the issues facing Ferguson? Would we all be so much more aware of the terrible systemic racism that exists in this community (supported by years worth of validated statistics)? Tell me how all of this works in your world? What happens when we all stop forcing a review of the case and start hoping that the police department that shot this unarmed teenager investigates one of their own and tells us what “really” happened?

      • b

        If one had all the facts they would also be aware that the officer was beat on. Its not like he did what he did for no reason. He was attacked.

      • Jameson

        No, one doesn’t have to have all the face, one should have an informed opinion that considers both perspectives though. It is a tragic crime, and one that is gaining attention because folks have made this into a race issue. What about the information reported the officer was attacked and attempted to be disarmed? Where would the hostility be if this was a white officer with a white suspect? Your comments, Andrea, and others, have no concern for justice. You want revenge against the white police officer, because you and others have made this a race issue. What does justice look like to you? If the white officer is innocent, what does justice look like? Spending my career in justice and law enforcement, I know first hand the reviews that take place of these cases. I know the hell the officer is going through now. I know the danger posed to his life now. I know the fact that when he returns to the street, he is even more danger because he will not want to go through this hell again. I know the chances for his suicide are off the chart because people have made him the villian. This is how my world works. How does your world work, Andrea? Sarah? Others?

        • Laura

          Jameson, though I agree with some of the statements you have made, I must say that until it is naive of you to believe that this is not a racial issue. I’m making an assumption here that you’re a white male (please correct me if I’m wrong), which means that most of the way you look at things is through those lenses (just as I look at situations through my black, female lenses). That being said, it is quite dismissive and hurtful to have the narrative of this particular incident changed to focus on treatment of law enforcement, or looting for that matter. If we’re all honest with ourselves, we know that good police officers outnumber bad ones; that law enforcement is an arduous, often thankless profession; law enforcement agents put their lives on the line daily. I’m sure that we can also agree that looting is counterproductive, as well as detrimental to the community and business owners. What has happened in the past month to Mike Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford III and Ezell Ford boils down to race…period! All black. All unarmed. All murdered by law enforcement. Not roughed up, beat up, or taken into custody, but murdered. So though I agree with you that the officer who murdered him may no longer feel safe, he’s still alive to see another day. He actually has the chance, if he’d like, to move to another city, state or even country. Sadly, this kind of discussion we’re having right now is why I believe we will NEVER live in a “post-racial” America because any time something tragic happens to a minority (black, Latino, Asian, Native American) at the hands of “white establishment” (for lack of a nicer phrase) and it is CLEAR that said tragedy came as a result of their ethnicity, we/they are lambasted for pointing it out, as if it’s the most ridiculous idea ever… Jameson, if you’re a fellow believer and lover of Christ, I’m asking, as your sister in Christ, to please pray for Him to give you a little more compassion. Though I may not think you’re a jerk, you are coming off as having a lack of compassion about the taking of a life.

          • Jack

            It wasn’t a “toy” gun, it was a pellet gun. The Furgeson officer was attacked by a young man who clearly from video strong arm robbed a store for $50 in swisher sweets. Should he have died? No. But he’s not the innocent people made him out to be before the facts came to light. I can only imagine the lack of uproar had that young man killed the cop. But then he’d only of killed the cop because the cop is white and that means he incited it, right? This blog post is so full of misinformation and untrue facts that’s it’s nauseating. Then the one person who disputes your post is called out for being white. Believe it or not, there are non-white people out there who disagree with you.

          • Jameson

            Well Laura, I am a white male. To say that it is naive of me to not think this is a race issue, and then for you to turn it into a complete race issue and then call these all murders – is well, asinine at best. I will say this as compassionately as I can – every time someone is killed by the police, it isn’t murder. It is a homicide, but not murder. I would suggest understanding the difference between the two before you label something that it isn’t. It’s hurtful, wrong, insulting, and not compassionate at all. I really, really, am trying to withhold judgement or opinions in this matter. There simply is not enough information available to the public yet. This a quick to jump on the emotion filled band wagon, and not want justice, but want revenge. Not very Christlike. It is a tragedy. What is becoming another tragedy is the way people are responding without thinking logically, rationally, reasonably. I am not downplaying the death of Mike Brown at all. It is a shame, it is a horrific outcome that I can not imagine at all, as a parent, as a human, as a Christian.

            I am doing my absolute best to see this issue from both perspectives. I am not going to cast judgement on either until I know. I’m not going to try and turn this into something that it isn’t. I am utterly disappointed in many Christians and how they have forgotten the greatest commandment and are destroying people – verbally, emotionally, etc.

    • Connie

      Very well said, Jameson.

  • Nique Eagen

    Thank you so much, Sarah! Much appreciated.

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  • Andrea

    Sarah, thank you for your voice.

    CTV and CBC news outlets are both covering/commenting on what is happening in Ferguson. I am watching the CBC news channel right now, and they are closely examining the aggressive militant response of the police. It’s encouraging to see people begin to call them out.

    • Amanda

      Andrea- I watched a report on national news and the local news companies there are under attack as well. I am really struggling with the fact in the piece there were multiple instances of news people being run off, GASSED, and bullied by the police to stop the filming of events. How can ANYONE be called to account for recent events when even the media is being suppressed?! If… And I this is a BIG if at this point… If the police are/ were doing their jobs in a fair and acceptable ( not to mention legal) way why in the world are they chasing off the media? They would want them there to show they have nothing to hide and the problems are being caused by the protesters. But sadly this is not the case. I am praying for the people of Ferguson right now. They need some serious help!

      • Andrea

        Amanda, yes, suppression of the press is horrific and, I think, a terrible misuse of power (I can see that certain things, like the protection of victims’ identities and the suppression of certain details of crimes may be in service of the greater good, but I don’t think these apply at all here).

        Nevertheless, my initial comment, which was made in response to Sarah’s concern that mainstream media appears to be choosing not to cover the event, still speaks to a source of encouragement for me. Mainstream media in my country is at least trying to find out what is happening (despite the efforts of the police to thwart press access) and I found their efforts at least better than a total disregard. Encouraging, too, were the anchors’ close attention to the violence of police response.

        Nobody can pretend it’s NOT happening, I guess, and I do find that encouraging.

  • http://www.liverenewed.com Emily McClements

    Thank you. Thank you for giving me a post I can share that says so much of what is on my mind and heart.

  • http://adrielbooker.com Adriel Booker

    Thank you Sarah.

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  • Ella Bullock

    I appreciate your perspective. I think the fact that we are spending more time talking about the color of Michael Brown’s skin, the militarization of the police, white privilege, and “the narrative” than the loss of his life is evidence that we don’t even know what the real narrative is anymore. The narrative is that we should be outraged by murder no matter who commits it and no matter who the victim is because murder is wrong and life is valuable. The race conversation in this context actually marginalizes life, and has quite frankly, overshadowed the tragedy of the loss of Michael Brown’s life.

    • Tn mom

      Exactly!

    • Petrina

      Very well said. I totally agree with you. Should not even be about race but about the fact a life was taken.

  • http://twitter.com/jasonvanlue Jason VanLue

    Outstanding.

  • http://www.emilywierenga.com emily wierenga

    thank you, sarah.

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  • http://Www.livesayhaiti.com Tara Livesay

    Sarah,
    Thanks for your cries for justice. Thanks for wanting to be a listener, whether or not it is your experience you’re asking to hear other experiences and to listen no matter how it makes you feel defensive or helpless or guilty. I’m with you in that desire. Any white American that says racism isn’t an issue anymore is utterly blinded by their tiny little boxed up life … That denial is painful for me to see and I so want to shake people that think that way. I know about Ferguson because of Twitter but don’t have any TV news so I’m getting all info from internet media and being in Haiti it’s a bit harder to know what is happening in the USA — I say that to tell you, I’m a Christian “blogger” that wants justice and exposure of all this racism bullshit in the police, media, churches, and ourselves and our attitudes — and cares deeply to understand and stand with my Black friends and scream for change. I get very frustrated with people that say you cannot write about this because you don’t have all the facts. So nobody says or does anything and we sit quietly and wait for the facts to be shared with us by media or police? Well that’s ludicrous. If my kid gets shot, I want you in my corner, Bessey, even if you don’t have all the facts.

  • Becky

    Thank you for writing all this! I live in America, and frankly, I hadn’t heard ANYTHING from ANYONE about this. Ridiculous! Not one of the news outlets have even whispered about this to my knowledge. I’m shocked and horrified and so very grateful that you posted about it. Now I’ll be doing a great deal of research (toddler permitting) and praying for this entire issue.

    • Karen

      This post was a joke and an insult to those of living in the area dealing with the situation.

    • Marlys

      Respectfully, I’m not sure where you get your news, but this has been covered extensively from the beginning by CNN, Fox & every other major network in the U.S. To say that it has been ignored is just untrue. They have interviewed Michael Brown’s companion & others who witnessed the shooting, they have shown the protests and the police (over) response.

    • Brooke

      Really? Do you live under a rock? This is all over the news, along with the news that almost 1000 are dead from Ebola and THOUSANDS have been killed and/or displaced in Iraq and Israel.

  • Michelle L

    Thankyou for writing this, you are spreading the message wide. In Australia, I had little idea of this. I saw one brief story about a teenager being shot by a police officer in the US, but no details. With all the shocking stories that come out of the US, I admit that I didn’t think to look closer and read deeper. Thankyou for opening my eyes to injustices all around our world, you are an angel.

  • Ty

    If you are going to bring up the Walmart shooting, let’s not forget about the mother who died in front of her daughter trying to flee the scene out of fear of this “toy gun”.

    • Leslie

      She had a heart attack after the police started shooting. At least get the facts right.

    • http://parentise.com Andrea

      Why did you place the words “toy gun” in quotes? That would indicate that you don’t believe it was a “toy”. And should we blame the man who went into a Walmart and picked up a toy for the death of a woman who had a heart attack? The only fact we know about that at this moment is that the victim didn’t shoot her with his toy gun. I wonder what would have happened if he had been exerting his “open carry” rights and walking through the store?

  • Leslie

    What is also so interesting (and disheartening) to me is that black witnesses are completely discounted. See, they MUST be lying about what happened because all black people stick together and want to bring down white authority figures, right? Meanwhile, if one white person (and I am one) said they witnessed it, that one person would have more credibility than dozens of black people. It is the most bizarre thing ever.

    • http://parentise.com Andrea

      Thank you!

  • Laura Z.

    I am the wife of a youth pastor in Central PA, the home of Amish Country. It is where both my husband and I grew up, and it is not a terribly diverse area. I shared your post today, Sarah. You know who else shared your post today? An amazing young guy in our youth group who, for a long time, was the only young black male in the group. Your voice resonated with him, this 6’4″ boy with a heart for God. And it resonated because, though you are white and live in Canada, your heart is beating for Jesus. THANK YOU.

    • http://momastery.com Glennon

      This made me cry.

      Sarah, sister. Well done. Hi Laura. Bless you.

      Glennon

  • Michelle

    Wow you have no idea what you are talking about and it’s scary to think that your false message is doing nothing but inciting more violence. I live in St. Louis and there is so much more to the story then you bring up. I hope it is from lack of knowledge. This “child” (who has a history of crime) who had just robbed a store was beating the police officer and trying to take his gun. If he wasn’t putting himself in a dangerous situation he would be alive today.

    The alderman who was brought to jail was also not obaying the law when he was asked to leave the area, asked to protest during the day due to the crime and rioting at night. Rioting which by the way is ruining the very businesses and jobs needed by the community. Schools can’t even start. But hey…no worries just let them keep it up??

    They are now publishing information about our police officers and their families, hacking their websites and shutting down our 911 lines. But who would their first phone call be if they needed help?? Why do they want the police officers name published?? Should we allow him to be murdered by those making death threats? Would that make things right?

    Such a tragedy on all sides.

    • http://parentise.com Andrea

      Wow, the amount of misinformation you are spouting is scary. If any of this is supported by facts please share them.

    • beachbum74

      He has no history of crime. That was social media saying that. He has no record.

  • Bambi

    Excellent summation and so spot on. I’ve been saying the same things today to anyone who will listen. I even held captive my 6 and 10 year old grandsons telling them they had to be aware of these issues and stand up. I’m white but as a therapist worked with many populations and far too often witnessed the injustice of our justice system. I hope to hear more voices like yours. We ALL need to stand up and say NO MORE

  • http://www.joyfuldose.com Sasha

    An Open Letter to the Negative Commenters on Robin William’s Suicide:

    http://www.joyfuldose.com/blog/

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  • Jennifer

    This is THE most ridiculous article I have ever read. I just lost 5 minutes of my life reading this junk. Seriously get your facts straight before you write something like this and furthermore, please don’t ever call the police to help you in anytime of need. Sickening! Absolutely SICKENING!!!!

  • Shannon Beck

    Mike Brown. Mike Brown. Mike Brown.

    Let us make sure that the name we remember from this mess is Mike Brown. Not Ferguson. Not the new police chief. Mike Brown died because he was black. May we will look more seriously at the systems of racism many of us benefit from and change them.

    • Patty

      He did NOT die because he was black! He died because he fought with a police officer and grabbed for his gun then ran towards him when told to stop….

  • Kate in DC

    And you live where? WESTERN CANADA. Have you ever walked your kids to school and had a drunk man howl at you? Open your front door to some man pushing a baby stroller while he smokes his joint (and not some hipster)? This isn’t about just the color of their skin. These guys weren’t just walking the street minding their own business. And ANY one who thinks they were out there acting just like any other upstanding citizen must live in WESTERN CANADA. What’s happening in Ferguson is horrible and sad, but it’s not crazy cops just out killing innocent black people. There are actually millions of black people who ARE upstanding citizens that aren’t getting shot. Let’s not just make this about race. This post is so disappointing.

    • Karen

      I agree.

    • Vanessa In Toronto

      Why the Western Canada all in caps? Canada is a really large country – even larger in land mass than the United States. What do you know about Canada at all – let alone the western portion of it? What are you insinuating with the caps?
      Everyone knows that Americans don’t pay particular attention to what goes on in Canada but we pay VERY close attention to what goes on in the states. And not just parts of Canada are paying attention – ALL of Canada is. And we travel far more frequently to the states than Americans travel to Canada. I’ve been to portions of the states where I felt as if I had stepped back in time 200 years. The treatment of black people, by whites, has left me completely speechless.
      I don’t know any Canadian who isn’t appalled at what is happening in the states. Innocent black people are being gunned down in the streets constantly. White people are left alone to carry assault rifles into the children’s section of Target. A white man drops a gun in Walmart, in Indiana, and shoots a women in the arm and walks away a free man. Dozens of white men show up at a Mother’s Against Gun Violence gathering at a local eatery and stand outside intimidating them with assault rifles. Ask yourself what would have been the result had any of those same people been black?
      Who the hell are you trying to kid? Innocent black people are being killed all over while dangerous white people are walking away from crimes and puking out their second amendment rights verbatim.
      If you don’t see the problems you have in the states then you are the ONLY ones. The whole world sees them and is watching how Americans decide to react. And reacted you have – with more violence to stack on top of the violence already perpetrated.
      The only ones you are kidding are yourselves. And that is the most disappointing fact of all.
      By the way – I’m from Toronto. Born and raised. NOT WESTERN CANADA.

      • Kate in DC

        Sarah herself in her bio calls herself a Western Canadian. I have nothing against Canadians or Western Canadians. Just pointing out that these men probably weren’t like any one walking in Sarah’s town. So let’s not demonize the police here. These men were clearly asked to do something by the police, and they refused, and didn’t do so in a nice respectful way. That doesn’t justify a shooting, but lets not be stupid to think that they were just gunned down for being black. Just as there were “witnesses” that say he was in a surrendered position, there are also “witnesses” that state he was reaching for the police officer’s holstered gun. There’s always another side to the story.

    • http://momastery.com Glennon

      I actually plan to ask Canadians for their opinions more often. Seem to be a fairly sane and happy bunch,

      Glennon

    • Laura

      Wait what? A hipster smoking a joint while caring for a baby would be okay? Not quite following that one.

      (Frankly – the drunk man and the “not-hipster” sound like pretty typical “these are the people in my neighborhood” if you live in an urban area – I always remind myself that there is a difference between “Am I uncomfortable?” and “Am I safe?”)

    • Laura

      Agreed.

    • Andrea

      Hi! I live in Western Canada, too. Let’s examine your assumptions.

      I cannot speak to Sarah’s part of Western Canada, because she is in a completely different province than I, and Western Canada is in fact a vast tract of land which covers nearly 3 million square kilometres (more than one million square miles, to you) and is home to many millions of people of varied ethnicities with a multitude of different experiences. It would be futile for me to speak to Sarah’s experience–nearly as futile as my asking rhetorical questions about your experience in an effort to shut you up–but I can certainly tell you about where I live.

      In my town we have had loud drunks in the schoolyard at recess, a very confused drunk at my door in the wee hours of the morning, and yes, plenty of pot to go around! Though oddly enough, nobody has gotten shot . . .

      We also have children who flee their homes in the middle of the night to take refuge with neighbours and family while their alcoholic parents rage at home (you didn’t ask about them, but they’re here as well). And of course, we have lots of ignorant folk who will insist that the persons I have described to you do these things because of the colour of their skin, weakness of character or “need of the Lord” rather than centuries of oppression, dominionism and religiously-motivated efforts toward a total cultural genocide.

      Because, in my experience as a Western Canadian, some people would rather point everywhere else before they look in a mirror and ask themselves what the hell went wrong, what choices and mores led us to the racial discrimination we deny exists flourish today, and whether or not we just might have a moral obligation to do something about it.

  • yann

    Michael Brown was guilty by trying to take the officer’s weapon. The outcome which resulted in his death is heartbreaking but he brought it on himself.

    • Brandi

      Yann, in no reports did it state that he attempted to take the officer’s weapon. The officer pulled in and he pulled out, when he attempted to run away he was shot. Not once, but several times. Heartbreaking yes, but the statement that he brought this on himself is ignorant.

      • Patty

        No Brandi,
        Yann is right – There was a fight in the police car and the policeman’s weapon was grabbed – it was turned and shot hitting Mike the first time – he backed out and started leaving when the policeman told he and his friend to stop – then (and this is what is in dispute) Mike rushed the policeman….
        They can’t get anyone to tell what they saw….I’d be scared too!

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  • Karen

    This is ridiculous. Come down here for a few days and then maybe you will have some perspective on the looting, police being shot at/ assaulted and the protesting. This part of the city is being destroyed. No reports have been released so I’m not sure where your “facts” about the case came from. Might want to work on that before pretending to know what is going on.

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  • Amanda

    I’m not really sure why Andrea feels the need to police your comments section, and pounce on people who dare to disagree; as if we’re not talking about freedom here, essentially, and you’re not asking people to use all their faculties (think for themselves).
    Many things you wrote resonated with me. I’ve also been following this closely and share your concerns. The truth is, the fact that blacks are disproportionately committed of crimes, coupled with the escalation of militarized police and crushing of all people’s rights, has created a powder keg in our nation. It was only a matter of when people would get tired of witnessing and being the victims of oppression.
    However. It is true that all the facts are not in. And while the details sound sketchy enough for us to doubt any kind of justification on the officers side (I have a hard time imagining one for killing a kid), we weren’t there, haven’t heard all the witness testimony, and while outraged by the outcome, should probably reserve judgement on all the “facts.” Which doesn’t mean we stop asking the right questions and seeking accountability, of course. But if we just lynch the cop, we’re now perpetrating the same evil we claim to be against.

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  • Eric

    This article is a joke. The only reason why people are going crazy is because it was a white officer who killed a black teen. Frankly the guy shouldn’t have been a dumbass and fought a cop.

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  • http://lindsayoaks.com Lindsay Oaks

    Sarah,
    Thanks so much for sharing this passion and insight. My heart is sad at pride and ignorance in America as well as in my own heart. I agree that more white american bloggers need to be voicing the truths.

  • Laura

    Oh my God…….

    Sarah, thank you for this post. I had no idea how bad the situation is in Ferguson. I don’t have a TV and haven’t kept up with the news the last few weeks so I hadn’t really heard anything beyond the bare bones facts that there was a shooting and there were some protests.

    There are no words.

    How are things like this still happening in our country?

  • Elizabeth Belill

    I do wish you had not jumped into the fray ! It’s article like yours only painting one side of the story which continue to stir the fire! Justice will be done, but not by the press or bloggers who think they know the story !
    I understand the human cry and pain from a far! But facts are important…and only showing one side of the story is totally irresponsible!
    Are there rogue cops absolutely! But to paint an entire police force as out of control is unfair! You better believe those same people who are now rioting and looting and calling the cops murders…are the first to call them when they need help!
    Don’t show pictures that only bring forth more anger….that only stir up hatred!
    You could learn some lessons from Ann Voskamp on how to write about pain and suffering through Gods word without becoming part of the story!

    • Sam

      Well said Elizabeth!

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  • http://www.makingmrsm.com Jaelan @ Making Mrs. M

    Just in May an officer shot and killed a 93 year old black woman in a neighboring town where I live. http://www.kbtx.com/home/headlines/Hearne-PD-Officer-Involved-Shooting-leaves-Elderly-Woman-Injured-258213801.html
    He’s going to stand trial, thankfully. It’s heart wrenching.

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  • Joe C

    “This is also about the militarization of police… When we outfit police like the military instead of as officers of the peace, they will treat the citizens as enemies and engage in war tactics. It’s time to ask some serious questions and make changes here.”

    It is not outfitting the police with military style weapons that militarizes them; its their training. Most police academies nowadays are similar to boot camp (I attended an academy for a week before i decided police work was not for me) – its a state of mind. I grew up in a law enforcement family and my father has seen this change during his law enforcement career. Add to this the decreasing educational standard for law enforcement and one begins to understand a bit more why occurrences such as this are increasing.

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  • David Carrel

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTUqOBJsRdg
    Check this link out from a black man talking about the violence. His perspective may be a little different.

  • Sonji

    Thank you Sarah. I, too, have been disappointed by the lack of Christian voices speaking out against police brutality and injustices. I also don’t understand why there are those who think African Americans don’t speak out, demonstrate or fight violent crimes in their own communities. To compare police brutality to gang and other crime related violence is irresponsible if not ignorant. The anger from the black community is directed at both of these issues of violence, however, when a crime is committed by an individual or individuals, there is an arrest and “justice” is served. When police commit a crime, it is dismissed. The fact that black and brown people are often the target of police violence that goes unchecked keeps many communities on edge. It is sad that my son is more afraid of being a target of police brutality than being shot by a gang member. And no, my son is in no way “asking” to be harassed by police by wearing saggy pants or playing loud rap music. But even if he was allowed to sag, would that justify him being judged and executed on the street? Racism is alive and well in America. I see it, experience it daily; whether it is overt or covert in nature. I really wish people would be mindful before passing judgment and/or making assumptions if they haven’t walked in a person of color’s shoes. May God bless you all.

    • Patty

      Sonji- the problem is they DON’T speak out against gang violence and brutality against eachother or to other races. I live in St. Louis and see many of the kids on the streets during this looting that I see most days in the community I work. These kids are using this to be on the street, hang out with friends and walk the streets at night stealing what they can. They have stolen mostly hair extensions, shoes, rims and alcohol – doesn’t sound like random looting to prove a point. They are filling their pockets. As far as the protestors….what are they accomplishing? How long will they protest? What do they want? The police are doing what they can do and the investigation is taking place. The religious leaders here are to afraid to say anything because they may get their churches burned down… The churches that helped to clean up during the day are getting yelled at and things thrown at them. It’s a problem –
      Mike was not “executed” on the street. THIS is the problem with all of it – people that assume details of what actually happened. Mike had just stolen $50 worth of cigars from a store then refused to move out of the street when a policeman told him to get on the sidewalk. Mike then pushed closed the police car then attacked the policeman in his vehicle. Mike got out of the car and when ordered to stop he ran again towards the policeman….
      The policeman of Ferguson do NOT just go around starting something and shooting someone—they are great guys who love their community. No one mentions that Darren Wilson was hurt in all this….how was he hurt if Mike just lifted his hands in surrender?? No one cares about the police side of this….
      Hate that a life had to be taken but let’s get all the story before people start using the word “executed”.
      The kids in Iraq are being executed but no one is marching for them…..

  • Laura

    Sarah, do you realize there are Christians that are being MASSACRED by the thousands in Iraq and Syria and this is what you choose to focus your efforts on?
    As a Christian these are the things we need to be praying and fighting for… not a news story that you don’t even know the full story on.

    • Brooke

      So true!

    • Nancy Slattery

      That’s harsh. But the last part is true, none of us know the full story. I love that Sarah addresses the heartache and chaos in her own backyard. That she speaks out at all is commendable in a world where most people idly stand by and watch it unfold. My question to you would be, what are you doing to make a difference for your brothers and sisters who are being persecuted in the middle east. Maybe we can come along side you.

  • Gary L Ware

    To everyone,

    This and related incidents arouse our emotions and generate dialog. America’s equality problems existed before we were America or Americans. This is the first event of this type and will not be the last.

    I would like to read someone’s proposal for change that would/could affect conflicts between the various ethnic peoples, in this country. Laws, seminars, articles, speeches and blogs have not fixed our problems. The laws pushed resentments underground but did not remove them.

    Everyone has emotion provoking narrative but I fail to read solutions. Am I missing them? Do any of you have a suggestion that could change the fundamental belief system of the genus of this country?

    America is involved in cultural issues overseas, it does NOT understand. Those conflicts are thousands of years old and we arrogantly believe we can FIX their belief differences, when our United States/America is less than 300 years old.

    It seems, to me, we continue painting over the rusted car, without removing the rust. It LOOKS great but the structure continues to deteriorate.

    Thank you.

  • Brooke

    Race is not the issue. Economic inequality is the problem. Wealthy blacks, whites, Asians, Arabs, whoever, have access to privileges that poor people of every race do not. The poorest people in the U.S. are whites living in Appalachia. They couldn’t get justice there if they tried.

  • Nancy Slattery

    “Both of these young men were killed because they are African-American.

    Let’s not kid ourselves. This was murder. This was injustice. This was heinous and evil lack of regard for life or the law on the part of the aggressors.”

    This sounds like an eye-witness account. I know a few people that follow your blog and I read this post today, I think I’ve read one or two of your posts in the past. Your absolute conviction and freedom from doubt as to the motives behind this tragic event lead me to believe you must have been there. “Murder”? That’s a very serious accusation. Perhaps it was murder, but what if it wasn’t? Isn’t everyone entitled to due process prior to conviction? Again, it sounds like you were there. But unless you were there and saw what happened, it is grossly irresponsible to assume that you not only know what happened but the motive behind it.

    “It was murder. Both of these young men were killed because they are African-American.”

    What frightens me most is that your readers who love you, may just wave your flag because they do love you. There will be some that simply wholeheartedly agree with your declaration and believe that how they “feel” about something, makes it so. But there inevitably will be some that follow blindly into that misconception. If you were there, please let us know and please tell the authorities so they can take your statement. If you were not there, you can still say and post whatever you like. I’ll just bet from what I’ve heard about you that you would choose to do no harm and if, just if, your opinion on this matter is harmful, sometimes a different perspective helps.

  • Laurie

    What did I learn about police this week on twitter.
    I think someone posted the statistics nationally for crimes against a racial group by the same racial group? Black against Black? White against white? Hmmm, what were they?
    If we believe that cops are corrupt, trigger happy, racist pigs, why do we call 911?
    Since racism is rampant and epidemic in America, we can not expect the police to help.
    We should, but alas, they are don’t. We have horrible cops.
    They don’t take the abusive husband to jail. They don’t catch the rapists. The don’t respond first to car accidents. They never knock on the door to tell you your daughter died and hold you when you collapse into their arms. They never solve a crime. They don’t catch drug dealers. They don’t talk people off a ledge either.
    Yes , there might be some “good” cops, but not enough. The good cops didn’t do enough good this week in Fergusen or anywhere this week.
    If we got rid of police no one, not any 18 young man or woman, would be shot in Fergusen on anywhere next week.
    Let’s let bloggers , minister, journalists, and community organizers protect us with pens as their weapon of choice. Paper is cheaper than a 10 pound bullet proof vest, anyway. I sure will sleep better.
    This is what twitter tweets and blogs taught me this week.

  • Jen

    I’d love for you to come to my community – Ferguson. You think you know so much: In which I have a few things to tell you about #Ferguson. You “know” what everyone else “knows”. What the press wants you to know. I wholeheartedly agree with some of what you write in this article, but some of it makes me want to throw up. I am 2.1 miles from the QT that was burned. I am .8 miles from the Ferguson Police Station. My entire life has changed this week. I assume you haven’t been awakened at night by the sirens blaring? I assume you haven’t had to go across town to go grocery shopping? Did your kids have to be in before dark this week because the COP requested so? Have you had to leave your house for the day because a “peaceful protest” was happening? I’m guessing not. I live in this community because I do not want my kids to grow up in a community of all white people – in greener pastures. I LOVE my community. I LOVE the diversity. It saddens me and breaks my heart that MB’s mother’s heart is so broken about her son. I would be too. He was shot and killed in the street. She hasn’t even been able to grieve. I have prayed for her heart daily – for the Lord to give her a peace and a willingness to forgive this officer whatever the outcome. PLEASE, I beg of you – don’t tell us about Ferguson…unless you’d like to be my house guest and live here for a week or two with helicopters hovering over your house, police sirens blaring constantly and being home and indoors before dark. I appreciate that you’re using your platform to try to help, but from someone who lives in the middle of this chaos, it seems like you are just another person who watches the news and reads Twitter.

  • Janet

    Sorry this was not my favorite article of your’s. To stay silent and trust God would have been much better.

    • Janet

      Clean, the blog, had a much more encouraging spin on current events. Thanks Lisa!!

      • Janet

        OOPS! I meant thanks Rachel for a great blog post :)

  • Carol

    I don’t understand the wording of the title: “In which I have a few things to tell you about.” That’s a sentence fragment that- in and of itself- means absolutely nothing. What a waste of great space to spark readers’ interest in the article.

  • Lisa

    Lots of great points. I always enjoy your blog. I frequently shop at the same Wal-Mart where the shooting of the young man with the BB rifle happened. I have read many of the local news storied about it. I know being factual is important to you and you might read a few more articles about it, particularly eyewitness accounts that he had a very realistic looking BBC gun out of the box. He left the empty box in the sporting goods section and walked around the store with it until he was shot in the pet supplies section. The man who called 911 claimed he was waving the gun around and pointing it at people. A witness said police told him to drop it a number of times and he raised the gun at them. People were fleeing the store and hiding before police arrived. I have no idea why the young man did that. We will never know. I know eye witness testimony can be faulty, but this was not a looking at a plastic gun in the toy aisle. Still this should not have ended in his death and I grieve for his family who lost a young man so precious to them.

    • Jen

      Thank you for clearing that up…”toy gun” is such a poor representation of your version. It is so sad either way. Life lost hurts terribly.

    • Lisa

      Oops. BB gun. Thanks, autocorrect.

  • Michelle

    Please take a look at http://www.danaloeschradio.com and listen to the audio of Darren Wilson’s side of the story…it might be eye opening for you Sarah.

  • Jen

    May I also add – there is no police presence tonight. “Shots fired” has been reported multiple times on different streets at different times. I am not saying all of those were actual shots – one was confirmed for sure. And the Domino’s pizza is currently burning. So much for your theory of one night of a few looters. My invite to come to my home still stands.

    • James

      Excellent article, Sarah. I appreciate your willingness to use your platform to get the word out.
      I don’t mean for this to sound like a critique, but I’m also trying to wrap my head around the following:
      “I have waited patiently for more white Christian bloggers to speak up, particularly the Americans, trying to give them precedent to respond, but I have been disheartened by minimal response there.”
      I saw another blog, also by a white female, that asks the same question. My response is this, there are plenty of white people out there blogging/tweeting about this. Maybe they’re just not in the circle of “famous” bloggers? Maybe the ones we typically read are too afraid to write about something they know so little about?
      I find it ironic that on one hand, even on this page, a white person’s perspective is questioned due to their white privilege. But then we have white people asking to hear from more white people! I don’t think people in the thicket of Ferguson are stopping to ask “Where are the prophetic voices of those Christian bloggers?”
      I know this is a difficult situation. I’m quite confident it will resolve eventually. Not before we drag young Mike Brown through unending character analysis and criticism. Not before more fighting occurs. And not before we see more online comments from people like me. Sitting in the comfy confines of their 3 bedroom air conditioned home. Far removed from the pain that has plagued so many in Ferguson.

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  • Lauren

    The gravity of this situation is not lost upon me, although it did not take place on my own back yard. I pray for the soul of this young man, only a few years younger than my own son. I also pray for his family, and the entire community of Ferguson. Regardless of anything else, this was a Los of life. I have viewed the video that is posted to Alderman French’s Twitter page. My question to you, as the author of this piece, is about your statement regarding white privilege and “due process”or “wait for the facts to emerge”would be – why are you, an outsider (as I am, not affording these things to Michael Brown in this case? We trust in Christ, and know that he will ultimately judge us all, but how can you come to conclusions as youwere not a first hand witness? Do not get me wrong. I cannot deny soaking up every ounce of information available about thus tragedy (because that’s what it is, a tragedy-regardless of the why or what exactly happened) But I can NOT pass judgment on what is obviously far from being clear cut. You can even hear a “first-hand witness to the shooting” in the video on You-Tube talking about how Michael Brown was running TOWARDS the officers when he was shot, & that they shoot again when he didn’t stop after the initial gunfire. (FOUND around the 6 minute mark) Where is this witness now? Has he repeated this to investigators? I agree that the racial problems on our country are real, are devastating, and terrible in our country. But I think you may have gone a little far a little to quickly in this post. No one can pass judgment that wasn’t there first hand, other than pour Lord. Let’s all save the speculation for the media, and not waste time criticizing them for doing the exact same thing we ourselves are doing by posting an article of this type. Instead, let’s all pray for this family, and all races of this great country – work towards less racial baiting and racial profiling, more towards PEACE as a whole for our young people.

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  • Debra

    I think everyone has forgot that 2 families are affected Michael Browns family and that of the police officer who probably has a wife and kids that are being threatened also. We do not live there and I will not lay blame on either side..But let me ask this one thing. How are the people that are doing the riots makingnit better for either family? Just my thoiughts

    • Jen

      Debra, I do live here and I assure you, more people are affected. People cannot leave the apartments – they cannot get their necessities. It’s awful. The family has pleaded numerous times for all of this chaos to stop. I am a couple miles away and it still greatly affects my family. It is nothing compared to what the family of the deceased or the family of the officer is feeling, I am sure. And for the record, the media does not paint a pretty picture of my community at all. Most of those people creating the chaos are not Ferguson residents.

  • Patty

    So here it is….. I live in St. Louis and work in the municipality that backs up to Ferguson. We have always had a good mix in these areas of black and white and we have lived peacefully for a long time. There has been an increase in robberies as of late and the police have had to be extra vigilant. The story that first came out over this whole incident is that Mike raised his hands and said “don’t shoot”. As more is coming out about all of this now we see Mike in a store stealing and strong-arming the owner just before the shooting. Then he was seen by Darren Wilson(after a call about the theft) walking down the middle of the road with what could have been the merchandise stolen. When the policeman stopped and asked them to go over to the sidewalk Mike pushed the police car closed – when opened again he attacked the policeman in the car and when Darren reached for his gun Mike went for it and had it at one point – it went off in the vehicle before Mike back out of the car. When the policeman told them to stop Mike came at him again and the officer fired – thinking he was possible on something.
    Now, how does THIS make all these people mad? How does THIS boy being shot differ from many of the others shot by drive-by shootings and by other kids? It’s the police. These kids are not raised to respect authority – as you can see when the police tell them to disperse or stop looting and they flip them off.
    I am a Christian and understand we are all sinners. But there are also consequences for your sinning…. I understand the anger of the family but most of these kids don’t even know this family or really care about them If they did they would support their wishes and NOT loot and destroy.
    We need to start praying for families— this is not a police problem, a race problem or a Ferguson problem – this is a respect problem.
    I have worked in North County fo 16 years for the first time I had two boys come into my work and disrespect a senior when she asked about how the boy kept his pants up (she was joking with him but he didn’t take it as a joke). That 16 year old boy called the woman some names and verbally threatened her. We called the police and their parents had to pay a fine to get them out of jail. They claimed we had something against him because of the color of his skin….no, we had something against you threatening a woman- don’t care what race you are. There is no respect……no common decency. THIS is what we need to pray about….
    Looting is just stealing – there is NO justification for it.

  • Amber

    I agree with the majority of this post, but I do have a problem with the looting, even if it is done out of anger and frustration and the need for voices to be heard. I have a problem with it because other minorities are being harmed. What about the Indian family whose store was robbed but a few days later looted because of the video the coos put out. What about his income and his family’s future? The owner of the store did not want to go on camera, but who is standing up for him?
    We have to do something about the police, the racism, the injustice certainly! But we can’t cast aside harm that is coming to others as a result of a frustrated people who take it out on other minorities who also have no voice.

  • Kate in DC

    I wonder if you would write this the same way given all the new information. suprise, surprise… Michael Brown wasn’t just an innocent boy walking the streets doing nothing. he had actually just robbed a store, aggressively assaulting the owner of the store on his way out. Today a video/audio released from the scene is of black witnesses saying that Michael was told to move off the street and he ran, when the officer told him to freeze, he ran AT the officer full force, and having been shot once he continued to go at the police officer. Let’s stop heralding this troubled boy as a martyr. My black husband isn’t going to get gunned down because he is walking down our street on his way to work. If he was stopped by police to get on the sidealk, he would comply. Criminals break the law, and innocent men obey the law and respect authority.

    There is much conversation to be had about Unity in the midst of Diversity. And honestly, I am seeing that in my neighborhood and in my city. If any one wants to learn more I recommend Trillia Newbell’s book United. The way this has been handled by “christian” bloggers, the liberal government, and the black community is dissapointing and troubling. Next time let’s reserve the outcry and riots for truly innocent people. Let’s stop all the “this could be my son next” and “What picture would they use” garbage. This could not be your son, because your son probably obeys the law. Might he get pulled over more? Glanced at more? Perhaps, and that is sad and worth a covnersation. But law abiding citizens are NOT getting shot in cold blood.

    I wish you would retract this post. Lets post something positive about unity. How we can be living in unity with our black and white brothers and sisters. How we can actually make change in the community rather than targeting one group as “right and the other group as “wrong”, One as innocent, and the other evil.

    Time to move on folks. This is not a discussion about race, and making it one actually hurts all the advances that have come in the form of Unity. This is a discussion on crime. Unfortunatley for Michael Brown, his criminal lifestyle led him to death. Let’s teach our chidlren to be law abiding citizens, having a fear of God’s law and a healthy respect and appreciation for civil law.

    • Amber

      I agree.

    • Gary L Ware

      Thank you Kate. You are SO correct.

    • Hilary

      Totally agree. I wish people would have waited for the facts to come out before jumping on the “racist!!!!” train. It does nothing but further the divide.

  • Gary L Ware

    wowwwwwwww… I stopped by to see if anyone had replied to my question/comment. Wow, wow, wow. A LOT of emotion but have we solved anything here?

    BTW, I saw a video of this individual robbing a store, previous to his death. Has that been confirmed? I heard the President of the NAACP comment that the release of the video disturbed him and was unfortunate.

    The police are REALLY being slammed by the media and the public BUT I would remind everyone, the police men and women are COMMANDED by their superiors. Their superiors are directed by the city and state governments.

    Think about it, Please.

  • Jodi

    This was excellent Sarah. Thank you so much!

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  • Melissa Wilson

    Ms.Bessey, I don’t know where you live, but I live in the inner city and you can’t believe any media that you read or see. Unless you were at the scene or live in the city you truely don’t understand what happens day in and day out. Police see and experience more violence and evil than any of us understand. I watch economically challenged inner city people fall to drugs, crimes and abuse. I have young boys play basketball in my drive way and they say they are bored and have nothing to do, all of them have gotten into trouble at school, the adults in their lives give an example of drugs and neglect . I expect unfortunately I will see these young men in the paper some day for a crime or working at McDonalds because no one invests in their lives. Unless you live in the environment like Ferguson, you don’t understand. There was probably wrong on both of the sides of Michael Brown and the police officer, but with what the police have to face, unexpected guns in peoples pants, murder and crimes it is easy to expect the worst in someone when they are being defiant and acting disorderly. Unfortunately it ended in death. What if Michael Brown would have listened and walked on the side walk. People walk in the middle of my road all the time and I don’t understand why they don’t use the side walk. Luckily I live on a quiet street in the city. All of the people I have mentioned are black, I am white. I pray for the boys who play basketball in my driveway, wishing for change in their lives.

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  • seashell

    Every word in this essay is very well said. And true.

  • LaDonna

    I have never read your blog before. But came across it recently. As an African American woman, thank you for posting this. Thank you for trying to understand the pain and the anger.

  • http://www.tsteele93.com Tom Steele

    Sarah,

    Does it bother you that much of what you have written has turned out to be contested or proven false? In your rush to judgement you did not give the officer time to tell his side of the story, or learn the facts. You just assumed it was a white officer that killed an “unarmed teen walking down the street” because was black.

    In reality, we find out that he was a 6’4″, 292 lb adult who was walking down the middle of the street with his “friend” after the two of them had just strong arm robbed a convenience store and stolen a carton of swisher sweet cigars – often hollowed out and used to make matijuana cigars, or blunts – and they encountered an officer who didn’t understand why they were acting irrationally.

    There are witnesses that say this unarmed teen 6’4″ 292# innocent kid bum rushed the officer (who has no disciplinary record during his six years as an officer) and the officer had to shoot in order to make sure that he wasn’t overpowered and his gun taken away.

    Now I will admit something that you won’t… I don’t know for sure what happened that day. But considering that Michael Browns actions that day leave me doubting his character and the law officer has done nothing that we know of to indicate his character is in doubt, I’d like to let due process take place and let’s get the whole story before we rush to rash judgement.

    I won’t mention the looting, since you said we can’t.

    Tom Steele

  • wesleylee

    Sorry Sarah. You’re well meaning, but prejudiced. Not in the lighter skin vs darker skin sense but prejudging the police. Would you mind detailing the police side the story?! There’s a lot of things you don’t know surrounding the incident. Before you say “killed because they are African-American”, you should hear the police side of the story. Do you think, Mr Wilson wanted to kill MB simply because he was black? Do you actually think a police officer in good standing, who has a family would kill just because he doesn’t he doesn’t like the color of his skin. He may be a Chrstian, a follower of Christ, and was doing his job to uphold society. You should know very well the passage from Rom 13:1-7 about authority (both secular and spiritual). Before wagging you finger at the police, look to your own self (the logs) before point out the splinters in other people’s eyes. See the truth without the worldly influences and media. It is deceiving. Don’t get caught up the emotionalism of the moment. Don’t vilify white people, nor elevate black people. Consider each person as a “person” — not black or white or whatever (this is racism), but someone created in God’s image.

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  • Tom Zaytsev

    and just how long do white people have to pay for the sins of their fathers? 50,100,500 years? my guess is never . White guilt is like a rubber band stretch it long enough and one day it will break. my father NEVER OWNED A COTTON PLANTATION, EVER! or bought or sold slaves. yet deep down in side many many white folks are made to feel that way. You want equally? A level playing field? drop the white guilt issue learn from history as to never repeat it. except the fact that Black’s are not the only race on this planet who have been enslaved, at some point in ever one’s history enslavement had occurred . from the Jews to the goths from the Chinese to the Japanese. The sooner we remove the chips on our shoulders the sooner we can get along . my mother was Cherokee do I harbor resentment towards the white man? if I do I guess I have to hate half of my self. One half of me wants to scalp the other half of me the other wants to give my self a blanket full of small poxs. put it down walk away and live to embrace an other day.

    • Rebecca

      Respectfully, Tom, this is not about hating anyone. This is not about harboring resentment against white people. This is about our entire community recognizing that people are treated unequally and unjustly on the basis of race (as you pointed out, this is a global, historical issue) and working together to move toward justice and equality.

      I am not black, so it is not for me to tell others to remove any chips on their shoulders they may have. Instead, what I can do is acknowledge that others have experiences different from mine, and listen to them. Developing this sort of empathy within ourselves is how we will be able to follow your advice and avoid repeating history.

    • tecumseh

      it aint in the past. Who said plantations. She said BLACK MEN SHOT DEAD BY COPS. NOW. Not a history of slavery – but police violence NOW.

      White guys carry guns openly, nothing happens. Black guys walk home from work and get shot. White guys fight physically with cops can maybe get clubbed or tased, or maybe not. Black guys get SHOT DEAD.

      Not the past.

      NOW.

      • Tom Zaytsev

        sadly you miss the point all this madness just didn’t start 10 days ago . We keep repeating the same mistakes over and over please reread my post carefully what I talk about is cause and effect . explain reparations how is it that one can expect others to pay for the sins of our father’s? Read your history these tactics fails every time the treaty of Versailles is one case in point it only lead to the deaths of millions in world war two. As I sadly watch our country being slowly ripped apart I get the feeling most have no interest in coming together but instead through self interests keep apart , if we divided we shall truly fall.

    • Joey, fuck you.

      Race will never change, as long as ignorant people will scream OH LAWDDY, JESUS HELP US and play the race card. It will never be disposed of with ignorace as clearly the whole town uses for rioting and immature, uneducated behavior.

      • Tom Zaytsev

        agreed, basically my observation is white folk for many years now have had a heavy guilt trip placed upon their heads and up till now its been excepted, but now I am seeing a shift not just from comment sections in news feeds but a general attitude in daily life. This shift eventually will come back to haunt minorities be it back brown yellow green or tootie fruttie. whites still outnumber although brown is catching up, at that point things could get really interesting. bottom line, we ALL must burn our race cards.

    • Beauteous Bell

      Yes white people will always be accountable for their ancestors. Want to know why??…..Ok how about the fact that nobody has yet came and apologized to our race and other races about how they have treated us. Whites are known to be bullies. Whites are the only race that has yet to be put into slavery. They took native Americans land, took blacks from their land and treat mexicans like shit. Then have the nerve to say go back where you came from. We learned hate from Whites the world hate because of whites. We dont know our culture because of whites. We don’t know our ancestors or our native language because of whites was to lazy to pick cotton and take care of their babies their selves, Shake your tree a little harder i’m pretty sure you will find a plantation with your family name on it. As for you being half breed you should be mad for your Native side. This was their land and it was taken from them like they were bugs. I would be angry.. So to answer your question again. Whites will always be seen as bullies and cowards. I have white family members but guess what they understand the impact that their people have caused on the world. Get over yourself and deal with reality. We have to everyday.

  • Melissa

    Thank you for this! Beautifully written and thought provoking!

  • Wisdom

    Maybe you should consider waiting for all of the facts to come out before you make the murder verdict. It’s not always good to jump on a bandwagon before you have all the facts, especially a bandwagon that’s on fire.

  • Tony Santoro

    Sarah Bessey, You are a hack.

  • Joe Blow

    Sarah, you so wrong …
    ” Both of these young men were killed because they are African-American.

    Let’s not kid ourselves. This was murder. This was injustice. This was heinous and evil lack of regard for life or the law on the part of the aggressors. And sadly, it is all too common.”

    Total and complete B.S. Darren Wilson a murder?? Since you think you’re a prosecutor, SHOW THE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT YOU ACCUSATION! You just a naive light skin female, who see things only in black and white. You’ll read this drivel of a blog in a few months, and be embarrassed.

    • tecumseh

      unarmed, shot from a distance too great to do harm without a firearm, shot six times. What POSSIBLE PLAUSIBLE justification could there be?

      • Joe Blow

        How about self-defense. MB is 6’4″, almost 300lbs — the size of an NFL lineman. If man like is this charging you head-on to separate your head from your body, what do you do? There are witnesseses which corroborate this event, including the police officer himself. It is also known that MB is not the “gentle giant” that has been described in the media. He was high on marijuana, and used his size to bully and intimidate the store clerk just moments earlier. People hear only what their itching ears want to hear. Do you actually think Darren Wilson wanted to “execute” MB as his family’s lawyer describes this. Get the facts first, then form a reasoned opinion.

        • Joe Blow

          and now this:

          “Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket in the fracas, and was left dazed by the initial confrontation, the source said. He is now “traumatized, scared for his life and his family, injured and terrified” that a grand jury, which began hearing evidence on Wednesday, will “make some kind of example out of him,” the source said.”

  • http://batman-news.com DiverseThinker

    Learn from history so we don’t repeat it: excellent idea, and when the curriculum in the United states includes the in depth true history of America, not the lies and half truths we have all learned, we might all come to an understanding of how to treat one another equally. I know people of all nations have been subject to slavery at some point in history, but tell me, why are blacks in America STILL TREATED THIS WAY? Look at what other nations in the world like Egypt, China, even the U.N. are saying. They see this crisis for what it is. I understand the white people, many I count as friends, who are tired of paying for the sins of their fathers, but white americans also STILL REAP THE BENEFITS OF THOSE SINS! Knowing your history will help you understand how and why. Maybe you don’t understand because you think that american laws were made to include slaves. Really? What country had ever made laws to benefit their oppressed?

  • http://batman-news.com DiverseThinker

    Great blog, thank you

  • Holly

    You are judge and jury before all the facts are presented…only one side has been told through the pinhole view of the media.

  • http://www.thisradmom.com/ Alex Chase

    Each time I hear about Michael Brown, I start crying, grieving, and I’m not sure how to move on. I have two Black sons and two white sons. One of my [Black] sons has developmental delays. My son C (who has delays) misunderstands so much. All I can picture is C, my beloved son, gunned down and his body left for hours. [And, in his case, I picture it over a misunderstanding.] My children are precious. Our children are precious. How can we let this happen?

    • Joe Blow

      Train your child in way he should go, and he will not depart from it (Prov 22:6). Being darker skin does not make a person guilty — it’s his actions.

  • Concerned

    So it is ok to take an officer’s gun?? And what about making death threats on him, his wife, and children??

  • Erin

    Besides the fact that you’re passing judgement before all the facts are out, I’m shocked that you would suggest that Twitter is the place to get information! Anyone can say absolutely anything on there with no shred of evidence, and you honestly think that’s reliable!?! I agree that mainstream media is biased (though I always thought it was a liberal bias, and this doesn’t really feel liberal to me), and I take what they say with a grain of salt, but I would take social media with even more salt because it’s just people’s opinions.

    I have loved and respected your views of women in the church, among other issues, but this post scares me. I am the wife of a police officer and in no way has he ever been told or trained, whether overtly or covertly, to treat anyone differently from anyone else. Clearly something went horribly wrong in this case, but to use words like “aggressors”, “oppressors”, “murder” (which is defined as premeditated, by the way), “state sanctioned violence”, “militarization of police”, “treat citizens as enemies”, “engage in war tactics”, “oppressed by the state”, is incredibly irresponsible and just pushes us deeper into hatred. Good god you sound like you’re talking about North Korea, Afghanistan, or Iraq! Is that really how Canadians view us? Or is that how your biased media in Canada would have you believe it?

    You say you waited four days to speak out, but it sure feels like you have instead just jumped on the same bandwagon as so many others, making the very same mistake you are accusing the media of. You say they are showing bias against this boy. What about the bias you show against this officer as portraying him as a racist trigger-happy murderer before you even get his side of the story!

  • LEELA

    In which I recant my own racial snap judgment? No? Didn’t think so.

    In which I recognize the fact that the ONLY way I can sit behind my shiny computer and write pretending to be part of the solution- but really being a part of the problem- is because brave men and women patrol the streets everyday putting their own lives on the line? Hmm. Guess not.

    In which I at least admit even though I write as if I am omniscient, I am not- in fact- God. Nor am I judge and jury. Nor do I have a single fact or shred of evidence for my claims. Not that either, huh?

    What about- In which I report actual facts like: the officer involved suffer facial fractures in the altercation?

    I mean, I’m giving you a thousand options here. Nothing you do or say actually matters, nor will it bring any remedy to the situation or any peace the officer’s life going forward- the damage there is done. But people like you must be held accountable for spewing hate and judgement. So, I guess we do agree on one thing.

    Let justice roll down.

  • J

    This issue has spun crazily out of proportion. Maybe the officer killed brown unjustly , and if so he should be prosecuted appropriately , but the sensationalized notion that issues of blatant racism are plaguing the black community each day is overstated.

    A figure was thrown out recently that one black teen is killed by a cop or vigilante every 28 hours — that’s a little over 300 a year or 1 killed per million people in the United States. Even if every single of one of those killings was unjust and based on racist notions, it hardly justifies the attention and protesting that’s gone on around the country , not just in ferguson.

    So many more blacks are killed by black on black violence , or die from serious health conditions at higher rates than non African Americans , but people aren’t coming together or rallying behind these issues that are truly an epidemic. They instead get overthrown in emotion of a story like this and get distracted from coming together to make real progress against real issues.

    All the facts still aren’t out on what happened between brown and officer wilson, but the focus needs to shift and something much greater than an isolated incident that represents at best a very small number of situations each year, and if facts do come out to support brown going for Wilson’s gun and physical altercation , perhaps a better message to spread on this very issue is that it’s not in our best interest to assault officers or to have a disregard to the law.

  • Robert Wilson

    You are as racist in your comments on Your prejudged out come here, without most of the facts even yet unveiled, as you think this Cop was. As you think all white cops are apparently. This towns rush to judgement, as well as your selfs, before ANY real facts are assembled and judged in a proper light, reminds me of the lynching mentality of the South by whites of blacks back when. Racism runs both ways. It turns out also, that you have yet to mention the depressing fact that 91% of ALL black murders, are caused by, what must be also RACIST other Blacks. All the witnesses that have said that this Teen was JUST being harrassed, was shot in the back, had is hands up, was shot, executed while on the ground, ALL WERE LYING on scene to try to convict a COP at all costs of the truth. The Cops Eye socket was broken. By the thug Faries. The Cops gun has the Teens blood on it from the first shot from INSIDE the Cops car. Again thug Fairies. The Image of this nice Teen POLITELY taking his Marijuana Delivery Devises from the Evil Store Clerk, was again, made up by the Thug Fairies. And now that this Teens side Kick has admitted they both actually did Strong Arm Rob the store prior to the shooting, I am thinking the Thug Fairies are really out to get this Nice 300#, massive gentle giant.
    You have met the Racistm, and it is yourself. Grow up.

  • Parker Hanson

    Sarah, now that all the facts are in, don’t you feel a little stupid? Your “shoot from hip” commentary is partly responsible for the continuance of violence in Ferguson and elsewhere.

    Now that we know the truth Sarah, I fully expect you to re-write a story that supports an officer’s right to defend him or her self from getting pummeled to the point of having their orbital socket fractured.

    If there is so much “injustice” against young black men by white police officers as you claim there is, it shouldn’t be hard for you to pick a different “Poster Child” for your next vile laced campaign. This time however, use a more recent and accurate photograph to fairly portray your “victim”.

  • concerned

    I think that we all should be very concerned about the militarization of the police in the US. For those is us in Canada we need to be concerned as well because our police tend to trend in policing with what happens south of the border. Take the police patch off the officers who are geared up in the pics from Ferguson and they look like combat troops or SWAT officers not policemen. Liberal and conservatives alike should be concerned about this trend and folks have been sounding off on it for quite some time from both liberal and conservative sources.

    That being said….I think Sarah’s points are way out of context, completely from emotion and are not taking into account all the fuzzy facts. I say fuzzy because we do not know what happened yet. We know a officer shot a 18 year old guy who did not have a gun but there are lots of conflicting stories as to what happened before he was shot and whether the officer was being beaten, felt his life was threatened versus “jump to the conclusion that the white racist cop shot a young defenseless black man.” What happened is a tragedy and the media is making a freaking circus out of it. What is tragic is how it has been handled. What is tragic is that parents lost a son but before we go off half cocked THINK…. don’t just emotively vomit about racism and injustice, etc.

    Sarah…..you want to talk about injustice why are you not talking about people being butchered in Iraq? Christians being slaughtered for their faith or Yazidi’s being shot for being “devil worshippers.” Where is your outrage? What about Calgary last week? Those who blame the Gaza War (another tragedy) on Israel were gathered (close to 1000) and some counter protestors across the street…..like 6-7 of them…. were beaten and threatened because they dared to express some solidarity with Israel. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Canada and aorund the world but are you speaking out on that? Even when Hamas has admitted they touched this all off by killing three innocent Israeli youth and then it escalated to “let’s all hate Israel.” Where is your outrage over that? Or that one of the leaders at the U of Calgary…a female who leads “peace studies” is openly anti-Semitic and has facebooked her support for what happened with these people being beaten? Where is your outrage over that? Or that the Muslim mayor of Calgary has been silent as to what happened with these people being beat on his watch (and in fact the police stood by and watched it happen) as has the regular media. Where is your outrage? Or….are you just writing for attention and an audience because you have need to be heard versus actually caring about injustice?

    • Erin

      I agree completely with your second two paragraphs – very well said! However I’m continually confused by this “militarization of the police” thing. American police do not dress like that every day. They suit up like that only for extreme situations, such as rioting or when large crowds seem out of control and potentially violent. They are trained to use the least deadly tools available to them first, i.e. tear gas or pepper spray before tasers before rubber bullets before real bullets. How would you prefer they deal with these situations? Walk around asking people politely to stop yelling, fighting, and destroying people’s properties? I just don’t get it!

      • seashell

        By virtue of the Pentagon’s give-aways of war weapons to small, local police departments, we no longer have a “serve and protect” police culture, but a mentality that thinks crowd control needs humvees, SWAT teams, and sniper and automatic rifles pointed at American citizens, who are supposed to be constitutionally protected from exactly such weapons.

        The police could do as they did last night, which was to peacefully remove the 1 or 2 troublemakers from each group and let the others continue with their constitutionally protected peaceful protests. No violence necessary on the part of the police.

      • concerned

        Hi Erin. The US military is handing out lots of surplus equipment to police forces that is left over from Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. Some if it is legit, some I question. Case in point……why does a police force need racks of M4 carbines capable of full automatic fire (in Canada it is called the C4 and is made up here)? Does their Swat Team need that? Yes….but officers on the street? And they are not just using equipment like this in situations like Ferguson…..their dress and manner is becoming more and more military. Why does any officer in Ferguson facing a crowd need to be projecting the image of a soldier ready for combat with 3-4 30 round clips on his chest and a bella clava on his face?

        It is almost a given (and has been historically) that many US policemen are military veterans and now today combat vets. However this is not Iraq or Afghanistan…it is the US (case in point I have a cousin in the US who is a policeman in a major city and another about to become….both vets. They both get credit in their police pensions for time served in the US military).

        I am all for police being given defensive items like body armor and other things they can use to protect themselves and do their jobs but I have a huge problem with offensive weapons, tactics and a blurred line between being in the military and being a police officer. They are not the same. They serve the public to keep law and order, they are NOT doing what a military is designed to do….kill the enemy.

        Case and point would be Waco, TX and Ruby Ridge, ID where law enforcement (federal mind you) killed innocent people with military style tactics versus policing. I do not care whether it is local, provincial, state or federal police…they exist to serve and protect the public not steamroll them. I firmly believe that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and we are on a slippery slope if we allow police forces to become militarized.

        For the record I am an advocate for the right to self defense and the right to bear arms (which is not a right in Canada sadly. I am also an active gun owner and shooter). I also have a son working towards a career as a police officer. We have had some good discussions about this. Hope this clarifies my thinking. I respect the police greatly, they have a tough and dangerous job but it must be balanced with the public interest or we will become an armed police state and lose our civil liberities.

        • Erin

          Concerned – thank you for your detailed response. I still have some questions. I don’t know which agencies are getting these items you listed. My husband’s 100-officer agency has never received any of these. Granted we’re obviously not in a large metropolitan area, but still.

          I don’t understand why having vets as police officers is a problem. We live near a major fort and have a few vet officers, though fewer than you might think. Anyway, they go through the same training as everyone else, which includes the use of less lethals and when and why to use them. Do you advocate restricting vets from certain occupations because of their past experience? Seems you might be suggesting that they would be unable to differentiate between combat and police work, which isn’t fair to them.

          I cannot defend what happened at Waco or Ruby Ridge, and as you pointed out, these were federal, not local police. However, I can give you another example: the North Hollywood shootout of 1997. Check out how the police were armed versus the suspects. These were Americans, by the way, and they killed both American police and American civilians during the standoff. This is just the sort of situation that demonstrates the need for better fire power for the police for certain extreme circumstances.

          • Erin

            Oops, made a mistake. The officers and civilians were injured, not killed. Hence, why one should always double-check their sources, Sarah!

          • concerned

            Hi Erin…..no I am not against vets serving, they make great police officers just as long as they are thoroughly trained and screened and know the difference between being a combat soldier and a police officer and operate as such as professionals. You also have COMBAT vets who have PSTD from what they saw and experienced in combat zones. I think they can serve and be good officers but how your respond in combat and on the street in North America when things get hot…..that’s where I’d want to be very sure. The military takes a soldier and breaks them down and builds them back up to kill the enemy and do it like a machine. That’s what I fear in a tight spot…..obviously it’s an issue of individual self control and you cannot blanket everyone.

            The North Hollywood shootout was a SWAT problem not a street officer problem. In the end the gunmen were all shot by SWAT snipers. The problem in LA was also bullet calibre (9mm and not .40 or .45 which many depts have gone too) and the bad guys had body armor. 9mm rounds were bouncing off them until some officers got smart and started shooting for where body armor did not protect. Shotgun rounds were not effective because no one could get close enough as these guys had AK’s or AK variants in a larger calibre…..equivalent to a .308 bullet which packs lots of punch. This was a situation that most officers will never encounter and if they did…..SWAT is designed for this.

            Police should be properly armed but their demeanor, dress and equipment can project something that does not have a place in a free democratic society except in exceptional circumstances and that is what SWAT is for.

  • Think differently

    Questions to all: what do you think our world would look like if we didn’t have law enforcement? Do you think you’d be safe? Do you think you would be able to stand up for yourself when another human – whether black or white – tries to take something of yours from you? Do you really believe it’s always whites against the blacks?

    It amazes me over and over how ignorant people are. I don’t believe the full story has been told but yet here we are judging others. How can any one person make a definitive stance against one group over another without knowing the truth?

    You mention that this is not about looting – you are right that initially it isn’t – but why do people act like animals and inhuman at times like these? What purpose does that solve other than to show the world that they may be right in thinking that “those” kind of people are savages.

    Too many times black people have demanded respect BUT don’t show respect in return. Self righteousness doesn’t get you anywhere. You want respect, dignity, and fairness – teach the world how instead of demanding it! Stop judging one race against another – we are all equals – we all deserve the chance to WORK for our footing in this world. God didn’t make anyone lesser than another – but he did give you freedom of choice to make your own decision. Choose wisely & you will be rewarded. Choose unwisely – pay the consequence! Stop being self righteous.

  • dean simon

    You said, “Both of these young men were killed because they are African-American.”
    How do you know this? You speak as though it’s fact…Very irresponsible and is very much against what us Christians should be doing…We are called to make no distinction based on ethnicity and to carefully discern. There is absolutely no proof that this is the reason officer Wilson shot Mike Brown.

  • LEELA

    **crickets** Looks like Sarah Bessey can think of no way to defend her salty words and is therefore pretending this post doesn’t exist. That’s a good reason to be very careful of what you say BEFORE you say it.

    • Sarah

      She’s an emotional feminist… it’s what I would expect from someone who is like that…..
      More evidence is out now that Darren was defending himself. I wonder what Sarah Bessey would be saying if Big Mike killed the officer (as it seems he was trying to do). A bullet didn’t get fired in the police car by accident. There was an altercation going on!!

  • Juddha

    People are treated unequally on the basis of race because statistics show African Americans commit crimes at a higher rate than white people. Ya, police don’t pull over white kids in nice neighborhoods as often because statistically speaking, there probably not doing anything wrong. I live in the south and every single person I now who has worked, lived or visited downtown had been mugged, shot at or beat up by black people. Call it what you want, stereotyping is the wrong word. Obama said recently he knew once what it was like to walk down the street and hear people locking their car doors. If black people don’t want to be “stereotyped” then they need to stop stealing cars, selling drugs and robbing and shooting people. One out of every three African American males will end up in jail at some point in their lives. Lately, sharks have been coming closer to our coastal waters, if that statistic was shown to hold true for sharks, no one would get in the water. I wish our jail system was a lot different and we had better rehabilitation programs and better opportunities for the education and well being of everyone. But as it stands, if I see a thug come up to my car I’m locking it.

  • Loba

    White people, in America especially, need a facilitated space/place to work through their white guilt collectively. It’s a hard process. But so is owning up to and working through the guilt of realizing one has an unearned privilege, of any type. I want you to know, Sarah, that I balled my eyes out reading this. Really. Because I have come to expect nothing like this from most white people. I, as a Black youth who grew up in South Central Los Angeles, learned to live with a creeping sense of terror, that at any moment, the police from any level of US government, would/will come out of nowhere and arrest and detain me for whatever reason they want and I would loose my freedom and nothing would/will happen to get me out. Because that has been the fate of so many people in my community. I feel like I am living on borrowed time because I do not feel like I have the ultimate say so in the direction of my life. Everyday, I fight with myself not to walk on eggshells. I try to make the most of the time I have as a free person, anticipating that any day I will loose that freedom and my life will be turned over to the torture chamber for Black people that is prison. Unfortunately, many people do not know how bad it is in prison or in places where the police terrorize us on the streets everyday. It is truly a sad way to live and NO ONE DESERVES TO LIVE THIS WAY. PERIOD. WE ARE NOT GUILTY FOR BEING BLACK. WE ARE BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEINGS. The way we are being treated is a crime. To ignore our suffering, to use whatever logic you need to rely on to turn a blind eye, because the pain is too much for you, that is your privilege. Because I, as a Black person living in America, cannot do that. I must feel the reality of the terror in my body. Every day.

    • Juddha

      Umm, what kind of guilt workshops would you reccomend? And if your neighborhood is so terrible, how many children have you decided to raise? I’m assuming all your peers worked together and decided it would be best to wait to have children until you had stable relationships and an adequate income to move to a better area with a better school system, so your children could get a better education and not suffer the horrors that you describe. Also, I’m sure as a forward thinking independent woman you encouraged your peers to wait until they have a bit of money to help their children start college so the next generation wouldn’t suffer the same horrors you have. I’m glad to see that happening all over America.

  • Marla Taviano

    Thank you so much for this, Sarah. I’m so discouraged (and angry) by the hateful words I’m seeing everywhere any time a white Jesus-follower speaks up for racial reconciliation. How can so many people in this country call themselves Christians and get this SO WRONG? Don’t give up. Keep speaking truth and love. And listening. This is right.

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  • Sarah

    Um, you’re really off here. Why is it that only blacks are looting? I know of several instances where a WHITE boy was shot and there was never any looting. This white boy being killed was an unjustified shooting yet we whites never thought once about looting or acting like these blacks have acted. Hmmm. Makes me think twice.

  • Beauteous Bell

    I wonder how whites would feel if we put them into slavery, beat them senseless, hung them, gave them viruses that they couldn’t treat, rape their women, killed their kids, told them to leave the united states that we don’t want them here anymore. It will never be fair until they have felt it for their selves. And they have the nerve to cry about why they have to take responsibility for their ancestors actions. Because your white that’s why end of converstaion.

    • sherry52il

      I guess you’d have to go back many years ago & ask them! That doesn’t exist today, move past it! How can we today be held responsible for what our ancestors did many years ago?

    • Kevin VandeWettering

      None of that ever happened to you did it? None of my ancestors did anything to your ancestors. At least for 400 years that I know about. What do I owe you?

  • Tom Zaytsev

    about 2/3 of your response is inaccurate but since you are not in my history class I will not try and educate you, that you must do for your self. ok on behalf of all white we say to you that we are sorry, ok? sorry. now do you feel all better? see wasn’t that easy? now you can go on with your life not feeling bitter and resentful. now all you have to do is get the Mexican and the Asian to apologies and you should feel whole, just saying.

  • Tom Zaytsev

    Your living in the past and the “white man” is keeping you there because you let him. so that still makes you a slave without chains mentally. what you do now is your choice.

  • Mainlander

    Disingenous white liberal. Congrats.

  • Tom Zaytsev

    I just watched Al Sharpton give a speech at ferguson to day.i now have a better understanding where all your hate comes from. Sharpton is the pied piper and you are the rat , I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t stand for being made into a rat. I hate no one I don’t dwell on the past nor expect others to apologies for what they might have done to my ancestry. doing so seems fruitless. but you are free to think as you please feel as to please. interesting you call me a half breed, am I offended? not in the least it’s a fact. clutch to your hateful beliefs and you will in the end die a bitter old woman.

  • Judas

    Ya, they were shot because they displayed behavior that authorities are accustomed to based on the perpetrators actions, race, and socioeconomic status. It sounds harsh, but if it was my life on the line… Give us one good reason to trust you not to kill me. Obviously, you can’t spell, and your only argument is that they were killed because they are Black. Well, come to the south fellow Son of God, downtown B’ham, Al. Good and honest black men trying to make a difference in the lives of others have been mugged, shot at and beat up by their own race.

    • Joe Blow

      Sarah and other are making this a race issue. In the beginning at the point of altercation, it probably was NOT. Let’s see some of the facts, the policeman face was hit so hard that bones were SHATTERED near his eye socket. MB leaves, then charges the officer again. The officer is left with no choice but to defend himself and shoot. MB is NOT some average teenager. He’s 6’4″ weights almost 300 lbs. Certainly big enough and strong enough to crush someone’s head with a few blows. This is not about race; it’s about SELF-DEFENSE and an attack on a police officer.

      I applaud the protesters who stood up justice – to help keep the peace in the face of fires in Ferguson. People such as Sarah get caught up in the Twitter/Facebook-incited emotionalism without seeking the TRUTH. Courage is when one stands up for TRUTH; not yammering about some Twitter-feeds that are filled with half/quarter/eighth truths and flat-out lies.

  • Mazzif Fizzam

    In this video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yttZGoOlHU8 ) between 0:33 and 0:55 or so you can see officials approach and cover the body and one witness asks for the time and gets response 12:17
    Was not 3 or 4 hours, merely minutes. Not to distract from anything you say, but where is the “it took hours to even cover the body” coming from? If were going to be correct, lets be correct about everything.

  • Igor Ivanovich Polcheski III

    The words of a dying man have always captured my attention, right or wrong, they are worth reading. I believe what this dying man has to say has a lot of truth. May not be what some will want to hear.

    I wanted to clear up a few black and white questions and answers. The things I state are facts. They are not downloaded from some media website, not propaganda, just observations from a 70 year old black man, born in America .

    I was told by my parents (yes, a married man and woman with my last name), that I was nigger. We lived in ” Nigger Town ” in a small Texas town, no A/C, grass growing through the floor, no car, no TV. We washed our bodies with lye soap that my mother made, by hand. I thought I was a nigger, until I graduated high school, went to college, did an enlistment in the Army, and got a job. I am now retired, own my own home, have 6 children by ONE WOMAN, and we all have the same last name. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, a Master’s Degree in Sociology. My retirement, VA disability from combat in the Korean War (I only have one leg), and part-time pay in a local college, is about $125,000 a year. From dirt poor nigger, to old, black, proud American.

    Yes, I am black, and I can say “nigger”, because I understand the true meaning of the word.

    Let’s clear up a few things about the Michael Brown incident.

    -Fact: It is not called “shoplifting or stealing”, it’s called “robbery”, which is a felony. Brown stole something and assaulted someone, that means ROBBERY. It’s on video, and it’s a fact. Not shoplifting, not theft, not “lifting” a few cigars, but ROBBERY!

    -Michael Brown, like Trayvon, was portrayed by the media as a “little black boy”, cute little headphones, and his cap and gown photo, gunned down by a ruthless police assassin, executed by “whitey”. First, I have never seen a cop drag a person into their car’s driver door to arrest them. So, let us be clear, Michael Brown was a nigger; a sorry assed, criminal, hoodlum, nigger. Nobody wants to say that, but I will. He had a criminal record a mile long, was known for numerous assaults, robberies, including the one you saw with your own eyes, and still refuse to call it a robbery. He was, like so many others, living a life that he thought he was “entitled” to, just for being alive. Gangsta rap, weed, drinking, guns, and those stupid-assed low profile rims, makes him some kind of bad-ass nigger.

    -I have fought communist Chinese and North Korean soldiers in the 1950’s with more honor than that nigger. Yep, I peeled potatoes and shot communists. That’s the only job a nigger soldier could get.

    -Rodney King? Black Riots!

    -Trayvon? Black Riots!

    -Hurricane Katrina? Black Riots! Stealing TV’s, designer clothes, etc.

    -O.J. Simpson kills white man and white woman, found NOT GUILTY? Did white folks riot? Nope!

    -In fact, when is the last time white people rioted? Civil War, maybe? That’s because they are, relatively, civilized people, much like many black Americans. Protesting is one thing, , I’m all for it. Even if you are an ignorant idiot, you have a right to protest.

    -Stop only showing the young black “cap and gown” photos of Michael. Charles Manson may have a few of those laying around, as well. Show the nigger “gangsta” photos of the “poor unarmed teenager” (grown man) pics that have been removed from his Facebook page, holding the loaded pistol, smoking weed, with a mouthful of money.

    -Militarization? The stupid-assed media that publicizes this has no idea what “militarization” really is. Cops wear helmets and vests, and drive armored vehicle because unemployed niggers thrown bricks at them, moron! You put on an “Adam 12″ uniform and walk down the streets of Ferguson during the criminal riots. I can guarantee that you’ll jump into the first armored “military tank” that you see.

    -You only “want the police” when you “need the police”, otherwise, you mock and fear what you do not understand about the police. And by the way, the police are trained to take your shit, but I wouldn’t mess around with those Army National Guard, they aren’t as well disciplined “culturally” to take your shit like police do every day. They will ventilate your black asses with M-16s, with military precision and extreme prejudice.

    -And finally, the way we protest and demand justice, is run down the streets breaking shit, looting stores, and acting like a bunch of untrained monkeys? Hell, after Rodney King, criminal niggers were actually killing people, thinking they were entitled to be worse criminals than they already were. For those black criminals that do that, you are a disgrace to your race, inflamed by idiots like Al Sharpton, instead of listening to logic from proud black Americans, like Bill Cosby, Samuel Jackson, Colin Powell, Allen West, me, etc.

    -You blame white people for your ignorance, criminal acts, unemployed laziness, etc.

    -You blame white people for 89% of the prisons in America being full of blacks. They did nothing wrong, the racists white cops framed them all, right? No chance at school, no chance for college, military, employment? BULL SHIT!

    -More niggers kill niggers, than niggers killing whites, whites killing niggers, and whites killing whites. . ..COMBINED. I find this astounding.

    -It’s not white peoples’ faults, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by a white man years ago. You can go to school, get a job, buy a house, and vote, JUST LIKE WHITE FOLKS!!!! You are not a slave, you are not discriminated against! Slavery is abolished, and nobody alive today, was alive when it was popular. Get over it! You are discriminated against because you are a criminal, sorry-assed nigger. Otherwise, black Americans are treated like everyone else.

    -If you choose to create “baby daddy and baby mama”, and fake disabilities as an excuse for laziness to draw social security disability. . .. . . instead of husband, wife, family, job, mortgage, it’s YOUR FAULT, not white folks. And there are a lot of proud black Americans that will tell you the same, as I AM ONE OF THEM!!!

    -Remember, the way you act on the camera, is remembered by everyone who sees it. They will never forget it. It shows them how you, as the black race, responds to situation that don’t particularly go the way you think they should. It will become a reference standard, something they expect from you when the next media report doesn’t go your way. Stop being stupid niggers, and be a proud black American. My parents raised me well, but they were wrong about one thing, I am not a nigger.

    I will not be around long. While my mind is still sharp, and my aim is still good, my body is eating away with cancer. It started in the prostate, and is spreading rapidly. After I die, I have asked my children to publish my writings, and include my name. Although I am not expecting any miracles, I can only hope that American will stop blaming color, start blaming criminals, and see people for what they really are. We have too many countries that want us dead. We should not be fighting each other.

    • Kevin VandeWettering

      I like what you wrote there Sir. I respect it and your service. I’m a little younger than you are, but being a poor white boy doesn’t sound too much different. You have rotten black kids and we have rotten white kids and they are all capable of getting themselves shot if they don’t understand the basic principles you wrote so well right here.

      They don’t even have to be that rotten. But even mouthing off to a cop is asking for it. You leave people alone and they generally won’t shoot you. A little polite for everybody would help a lot.

  • Brett FISH Anderson

    Wow, Sarah, such a powerful piece. I do love your work [and need to just flippin read your book already!] but this piece really moved me deeply – have spent the last two days reading so much Ferguson related stuff and generally keeping an eye on it since we left Americaland after three years of living there to return to South Africa [yup, no race issues here!] which is why it has been huge on my heart and i have been reading so much cos of trying to write my own piece on White Privielege: http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/im-not-sure-youre-against-that-thing-you-think-youre-against-white-privilege

    In the hope that for my friends and others it will spark some conversation and deeper engagement and that we can face our own questions and issues [as you are doing in Canada].

    So ja, thank you for this piece and your voice [and even the humility and wisdom of waiting to post but also refusing to not not post when others were silent] You rock.

    love brett fish

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  • http://writingtheleftunsaid.blogspot.com Heather

    Sarah I have to say that while I respect your voice and passion for compassion, I find it sad that in an effort for justice and mercy you have also already labeled this Police Officer in question as a murderer and jumped to many conclusions about him, the same conclusions that have resulted in so much violence in Ferguson. It should not be a Christian issue to persecute this police officer, and this sentiment makes me deeply saddened as a fellow follower of Jesus. I would encourage you to consider what brand of justice you are really advocating for here, and my prayers are with you and your family.

    http://writingtheleftunsaid.blogspot.com/2014/09/adressing-reverse-racism-and.html

  • chimphandler

    How do you feel now LOL. The best part is how the people of ferguson or what ever the name of the Ghetto is called, “be demanding” their town’s stores get fixed or things are gonna get ugly. They mess up their town then demand it gets fixed? Why so the can steal more from the poor shop owners, which i hope do not rebuild. TNB always ooking and eking.

  • Good Grief

    Thank you Sarah for not being afraid to speak the truth.

  • abernahi

    there are no black people on the Ferguson City Council because no black people ran for office. Take control through the democratic process and something positive may happen.

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