What came first? The chicken or the egg? That has always been a question that has intrigued us for generations. If you know the definite answer, I would really like to hear it.
Here is an easier question. What came first? The crime or the arrest? Ahhhh, this one should be an easy answer, but that darn answer just seems to get in the way of our media when it comes to reporting.
Let me ask another, more delicate question. Do you feel more or less racially biased since Barack Obama became POTUS?
I need to explain a little of my background before I go further. I was raised in a household that was somewhat bigoted. Not to the point of being zealots about the matter, but certainly there were some non-flattering things said about people of other racial extractions. In many respects we were an equal opportunity household….we didn’t target one race or nationality, we pretty much targeted them all! For example, my uncle fought in the Pacific during WWII. His opponents were therefore Japs. My grandfather fought in WWI. Germans were Krauts. We called native Americans, Indians. (Why can Florida State be the Seminoles, but North Dakota could not be the Fighting Sioux?) As you can imagine, we had more non-flattering names for people of other extractions. Our family was not unique in this regard. I believe it was pretty darn common.
While I was in late grade school, we had two or three black families that moved into our school district. One of these black students was in my class. One day, an incident occurred at the school. There was a fight, and the fight got out of hand. I became a witness to that fight after three black males were surrounded by about 50 older, bigger, white boys. I didn’t see the start, but one of the black males had a folded knife hidden in his hand. Not a switch blade or anything that exotic, but a work knife like many of us carried on the farm. (Yes – many of us carried knives in our pockets to school. No one thought a thing about it. Especially when the teacher would ask, “does anyone have a knife I can borrow?” There would be 8-10 available to choose from.) It got very, very tense. But luckily, the buses were leaving to take students home, and no one wanted to miss their bus, as many students lived 20 miles away. The fight dissolved like a lump of sugar in coffee. No hits, no runs, and luckily no errors. That occurred in late spring right before summer vacation. The next fall, all of the black families had moved out of our school area. This did not happen in the deep south, this happened in the shallow Midwest.
I went to college and earned a commission as a lieutenant upon graduation in the Army. The Army was the first organization to fully integrate in 1948. The one thing that the Army did for me was to make me colorblind. I knew that to reach a particular rank, regardless of race or sex, everyone had to obtain the same milestones. One of the best sergeants I ever knew was a Hispanic by the name of CSM Mendoza. He had the distinction of having fought in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. How many people can say that? I had the opportunity of meeting fantastic, dedicated soldiers of many different ethnic backgrounds. I also had the privilege of working with outstanding female officers and NCOs (non-commissioned officers).
Now I am retired. What concerns me is the events that occurred in New York surrounding the death of Eric Garner (I can’t breathe), and the riots in Ferguson, Missouri following the grand jury decision not to prosecute Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown. I find the subsequent shooting of police officers in New York and elsewhere, and the destruction done by supposed ‘protesters’ in Ferguson to be appalling.
This gets back to one of my earlier questions, ‘what came first, the arrest or the crime?’
Did you know that Eric Garner had 34 arrests in the previous 30 years? Some of these arrests were for assault and larceny. He was on probation at the time of his ordered arrest. Who ordered the arrest? Why, it was ordered by the captain of the police precinct—the black captain of the police precinct! Who supervised the arrest? That would be the black female sergeant ordered to oversee the arrest. Did you not hear those details during all that media coverage? All that was seen and reported was the white guys wrestling with and strangling this innocent black guy. An innocent black guy very much resisting arrest as he was already on probation!
Michael Brown is another enigma. There is much discussion and debate about what type of person the 6’4″ Brown actually was, other than he was big. But here it is. Previous to his death, he just robbed a convenience store with his friend. Once confronted, he pushed the clerk into a display case. The clerk calls the police, and Darren Wilson responds to the call. Brown is killed. After deliberating for months, meticulously examining evidence and interviewing witnesses, the grand jury decided not to pursue a court trial for Officer Wilson. Then the fun begins.
I, being a person of common sense, am having the most difficult time of my life equating how the tragic death of a robber of a convenience store justifies pillaging, looting and vandalism.
I am also equally appalled that the unfortunate death of a habitual law-breaker justifies opening a hunting season on law enforcement officers.
In a prior blog, I discussed our available news sources while Grandma P and I were cruising. I pointed out that our only two news sources, while on ship, were FOX and the BBC. We were sailing around the Caribbean when the Ferguson, Missouri riots erupted. I witnessed something on one of those news sources that I had assumed to be common knowledge. It was funny and appalling at the same time, if that is possible. Someone had made a video of one of the ‘protesters’ lighting a Molotov cocktail. I assumed everyone in the US had seen this, but apparently not. A Molotov cocktail is a bottle filled with gasoline, that once lighted, was going to be thrown at the police line that was seen in the distance. This is a simple weapon designed to kill, in this case, the police. The funny part is that this video showed this moron lighting his arm on fire! Yup, Mr. Smart ‘protester’ apparently got some gasoline on the sleeve of his jacket. When he lit the wick on the bomb, he lit his arm as well. Unfortunately, the video did not show how this ended. It did show Mr. Smart ‘protester’ attempting to stamp out his flaming sleeve while he was still holding the lit Molotov cocktail. This brings up another question. What comes first, extinguishing the sleeve or the ‘boom?’
How many of you saw this video? When does a ‘protester’ become a terrorist? This ‘protester’ was deliberately trying to kill the police!
I blame the media and selected individuals that would do anything to be in the forefront of the media,for all of the violence.
The media will deliberately leave out information to sell their services or papers. They do not need to lie, they just don’t need to tell all the facts. I have given examples in the paragraphs preceding. Riots cause a media frenzy – which results in media dollars.
The Reverend Al Sharpton comes to mind as one who craves media attention. He is the self-proclaimed advisor to our POTUS on racial affairs. Really? You have a black President and a black Attorney General and you need the guy that said, ” Who defines terrorists? Today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s friend,” as your advisor? What does that say about the quality of the advisor? What does it say about the quality of the people that selected the advisor?
The Reverend Al Sharpton is a Baptist minister. Aren’t ministers purportedly men of peace and men of God? Then why is this racial baiter getting all this media attention while practically sanctioning violence caused by the black community. This guy does nothing but stirs the black community into doing stupid, destructive behavior. He comes into a town, ie Ferguson, Missouri; Sanford, Florida (Trayvon Martin), Wappinger Falls, NY (Tawana Brawley), and NY, NY (Eric Garner), throws a racial grenade into an already racially charged crowd, and then sets himself up as the black savior. He has done more harm for the black race than good. He never stays in one place long enough to see the full effect of his racial baiting. He appears to be on the brink of being a bigoted racial terrorist with all the dissention he has created, but is yet welcomed into the White House.
I blame the White House for racial baiting, also. The POTUS, or his Attorney General have either injected themselves or their opinions in most of the same situations as the Reverend Sharpton. They were in Sanford, Ferguson and New York. Rather than defending the court system, or praising our law enforcement for the dangerous jobs they are required to perform, they, through indecisiveness and lack of clarity and direction have unwittingly sanctioned the illegal activity of the black community. Never mind the fact that laws were broken.
So back to my original question. Do you feel more or less rationally biased since Barack Obama, the ‘unification president,’ took office? Its a tough question. I know my racial tachometer is wavering. My tachometer for intolerance of law breakers and terrorists has not wavered. It is still pegged out!
Afterthought: All of the families of the slain black men were contacted by the White House expressing condolences for their deaths. The widow of Chris Kyle, Taya Kyle, was never contacted by the White House. He was a Navy Seal that served four tours of duty in Iraq in the defense of his country. He was the author and inspiration for the book and movie titled, American Sniper. He was shot by a Marine he was attempting to help. He was a true hero.