Saturday, November 29, 2014
Ferguson: Stupidity Cubed
(I was going to tell about our bizarre family adventures this past week, but the Grand Jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, and its aftermath, have pushed that aside for the moment. So here's my take.)
Yes, the Grand Jury in the Ferguson case decided not to indict the cop, and the inevitable protests followed. Did any of this seem a little bit planned to you? Did anybody notice that certain not-exactly-elected politicians seemed to expect -- and plan for, and (dare we say) hope for -- a string of nation-wide Black riots on the scale of the Rodney King explosions? And didn't they seem the least bit disappointed when that didn't happen? In fact, doesn't it seem as if those certain political pundits are still trying, despite the slacking energy of outrage with the passage of time, to please-please-please get those Blacks to riot everywhere?
Fat chance. The continuing protests seem to be guided by a little more common sense than expected. For example, the Brown family's own insistence that cops everywhere in the US have constantly-running body-worn videocams, as well as car-cams while on duty, would make a real difference. At the very least, it would put an end to cops trying to stop civilians from filming them; it's already getting hard for cops to persuade judges that being videotaped somehow "interferes" with their ability to do their jobs. Already clips have shown up on the Internet refuting claims by crooked cops, and the presence of cameras that the cops cant control or censor would definitely rein in their thuggish tendencies. This is a reform that would work.
And so far, this is one of the few rays of common sense in the entire miserable business. Another was the the county prosecutor's televised speech describing, in as much detail as he legally could, the reasons for the Grand Jury's decision. It's true that Grand Juries are usually little more than rubber-stamps for cops' arrests, but there are exceptions -- and everyone could see the reasons why this would be an exception. The fact that the jurors were elected months before the Wilson/Brown incident happens means that they weren't chosen specifically for the task of getting the cop off. Also, three of the jurors were Black, and -- as with any other jury -- it would have taken only one contrary vote to stop the decision. Finally, the prosecutor made certain that the Grand Jury got to see/hear all the evidence, of which there was plenty, which is why the deliberations took so long.
What the details of the case, particularly the physical evidence, reveal is lying, incompetence and stupidity on all sides: the kid, the cop, the witnesses on both sides, and even the protesters. From the top:
Brown and his buddy went into a store, and the fool kid swiped some cigars -- surely knowing that the store had security cameras that picked up the incident -- and ran out the door. Stupid! Then, instead of ducking into an alley, sticking to the shadows, running and staying out of sight for a few days until the heat died down, what did the punk do? He swaggered down the middle of the street as if he hadn't a care in the world. Stupid!
Meanwhile, the robbed store-clerk had called the cops and given them Brown's description. Wilson was closest, and was driving toward the store when he saw a kid exactly fitting the robber's description strolling down the street toward him. He could see that Brown wasn't carrying a weapon, so he stopped his patrol car, yelled at the kid to stop, and then started to open his car door. Brown stopped, but he pushed back on the car door while calling the cop a 'pussy'. Stupid! Now Wilson could easily have pulled out his taser -- or even his hand-stunner -- and zapped Brown into safe unconsciousness, but instead he kept wrestling to open the door. Stupid! He pulled out his gun instead. Stupid! He yelled at Brown -- who had now retreated about 25 feet -- to stop and put his hands up. Brown definitely did stop and turn around, and at least partially raised his hands, but from that point the witnesses' statements differ wildly. He either stood still until he was shot down, partly lowered his hands and walked toward the cop, or lowered his hands and charged Wilson -- who shot him several times, missing vital targets, before finally landing a fatal shot. All this at less than 25 feet. Incompetent! Brown then reeled away from the car and collapsed some 20 feet away.
Now the physical evidence includes blood-spray from Brown on the inside of Wilson's patrol car. How did it get there if Brown was 25 feet away when he was shot? One of the witnesses (who happened to be Black) claimed he saw Wilson standing over Brown and shooting him in the back; two autopsies -- one by the county ME's office, one by a private lab at the Brown family's request -- confirm that Brown was never shot in the back, but only from the front. Worse, a lot of the witnesses (who happened to be Black) made repeated statements that contradicted the physical evidence, other witnesses statements, and themselves. Stupid! This, obviously, did not sit well with the Grand Jury.
And then we get to the protests. The Black Community Leaders of Ferguson should have noticed, at their very first march, that a lot of opportunistic punks used the cover of the march to smash windows and loot stores -- which was guaranteed to draw the attention, and action, of the cops. Those protest leaders should have taken care to police their own ranks, appointed some sturdy local folk to watch for punks and stop them before they could smash, loot, and attract cops. But they didn't. Stupid! In fact, a lot of the stores that those punks smashed, looted, and finally burned were Black-owned and Black-managed. Not that the punks cared. Stupid! There are even scattered reports of Jihadist mullahs going around to local mosques and urging young Blacks there (whom the Jihadists have been targeting for some time) to go to Ferguson, join the protests, and "get your own back" from the "Great Satan" (who, of course, is White) -- and tales of gullible Black punks actually doing it. Stupid!
Amid this thundering mess of bigotry, lying, incompetence and above all stupidity, it's hard to find anyone to cheer for.
--Leslie <;)))>< Fish