I watched part of the funeral proceedings of 18-year-old Michael Brown on television on August 25th. I wasn’t surprised by the emotion, per se; after all, it was a funeral. I was put off by the emotionalism: a woman stomping and shaking her head, Martin Luther III imploring the heavens with open arms. The ceremony was attended by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Spike Lee among other black luminaries. What should have been a private ceremony was turned into an international event in which angry Black America shook its fist at White America over the police shooting of the unarmed black teen.
There was very little of Michael Brown, from what I saw. The family apparently only came up with the one snapshot of the youth giving a questioning, sullen look at the camera in the one still shown in the media. It matched in character the video where Mr. Brown, the size of an NFL lineman, stole a handful of cigars from a convenience store, showing the small (Asian?) store owner out of the way, in leaving.
There was so little of Michael Brown in the ceremony that one could almost imagine that the whole thing was a set up, a hoax. Did he ever have a birthday party, go on a class trip? Did he ever smile? Was he just another young thug in training like Trayvon Martin?
The Reverend Al Sharpton seemed to sense that Michael Brown was a weak case on which to rally black support against the police by saying that they, the black community, wanted the police and they recognized the black-on-black crime problem merited a mention. Looking ahead, Sharpton could probably see that obtaining murder one against a reasonable looking white police officer would be difficult if not impossible once the details came out in a grand jury. Will anyone believe that Police Officer Wilson gunned down young Michael Brown in cold blood? Really?
One of the stories floating around out there is that Michael Brown had once confided to someone that one day the whole world would know his name Was this entire episode a bid for fame gone wrong, or a deliberate attempt at suicide by cop?
The way I see it, the situation breaks down like this.
A black man, often a large black man, commits a petty crime. In the case of Rodney King, the crime was speeding. The suspect was approached by the police who try to arrest the subject. The subject resists arrest. This is where things quickly go downhill. Eric Garner, the 350-pound Staten Island man who police were trying to arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes, died while police were wrestling with him on the ground. The initial take-down as shown in the video taken by a bystander, was a headlock. It is unclear from the video if that ever developed into a choke-hold. None of this would have happened if Mr. Garner had not resisted arrest.
Rodney King was badly beaten; Eric Garner died of asphyxiation; and Michael Brown was shot to death by Police Officer Wilson. All three black men were unarmed. Act three of this drama occurs when the news races through the black community and, as if on signal, the black community loots and burns the neighborhood. It’s almost as if they think its their right to do so. The Los Angeles riots in 1991 killed 53 people. Remember those Koreans defending their business with gunfire? They were non-whites. Many of the looted and torched business in Ferguson, Missouri were owned by non-whites. No matter. They got punished too.
What is to be done?
Some black activists say that the police should allow petty crime and concentrate on serious offenses. Lately, Mayor de Blasio has staunchly defended the “broken windows” police polity exacted by his police commissioner Bill Bratton, insisting that the little things count, just as they did in the Giuliani administration, where Mr. Bratton first served as police commissioner. By tackling the quality of life crimes, which began the big turnaround in New York City during those years. It took years of tough policing using policies like stop ‘n frisk to bring down the high murder rate to the low levels of today.
In other words, you can’t allow Michael Brown to steal cigars and get away with it.
If you were to ask any of the male black leaders present at the funeral ceremony who commits what types of crimes in New York City, you will not get a straight answer. This is because they do not want to admit the truth, which is that the overwhelming amount of street crime is committed by young black and Hispanic males, according to police statistics.
So, the paradigm, at least in the large metropolis, is not the black kid assaulted by the white police department, but all of society put as risk at the hands of the Destructive Black Male, as I have dubbed him in my essay “Trayvon Martin and Race In America.” There are reasons why this black male came into being and reasons why he will be outside the walls of the new city states in America. This essay is available on Amazon.com.
The Ferguson police now wear body cameras.
By Hudson Owen – All Rights Reserved