Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This is Ferguson: Emotions over Facts

"Truth is the first casualty of the feelings-driven society." -Ben Shapiro

The streets are filled with angry citizens. Screaming, shouting, chanting words of anger, frustration, and disappointment. "No justice, no peace!" Shouts one citizen. Down the road a car sits on the side of the road engulfed in flames. Police and national guardsmen patrol the streets in full body armor and riot gear carrying military grade rifles and driving heavily armored vehicles. Citizens within inches of policemens' face mask screaming in fits of rage and fury.  An armored national guardsmen throws a canister into the rioting crowd. Tear gas starts building from the midst of the crowd from the canister. Citizens cough and cover their faces, yet their shouting grows louder and their tempers grow hotter. A cool winter's breeze blows through the air clearing the gas. Citizens turn their attention to the police and national guardsmen with hate filled eyes. The law enforcers brace themselves. This is going to be a long night...

No, this isn't a scene from the newest Hollywood blockbuster, this is reality. This is Ferguson.

This all stems back to an incident in August in Ferguson Missouri. A white police officer named Darren Wilson  shot and killed an 18 year old black man named Michael Brown. When this happened, accusations of racism were thrown saying that this was a racial crime of hatred. Whites killing blacks. While it is true that awhile man killed a black man, there were no indications of it being racially motivated. 

When the incident happened, riots broke out in the city and across the country. Black citizens rioting and looting claiming that it was injustice and that it was all about the racist whites wanting to kill blacks. Infamous instigators like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson took the stage and pushed the racial killing perspective. Their speeches and words encouraged the rioters to continue the riots. 

On Monday, November 24th, the grand jury announced that Wilson would not be charged with anything. They heard his testimony along with over a dozen eye witness accounts and concluded that Wilson was acting well within the bounds of the law for a police officer to defend himself against an attacker. For the days leading up to the grand jury decision, the media anticipated a riot to occur, and that is just what happened. Looting, property damage, fires burning buildings down. Citizens attacking each other and cops. Citizens blowing up cop cars, ect... 

Th night of the verdict The New York Times reported the following:

"At a news conference on Monday night, President Obama urged protesters to be peaceful, saying that is what Michael Brown’s family wanted.

“Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone,” he said. “We should be honoring their wishes.”

President Obama appealed to law enforcement to show restraint in responding to the protests. "

For a timeline of events that took place that night you can visit: http://tinyurl.com/news-blogs-nytimes

All of this brings me to my point. As I scrolled through my newsfeed on Facebook and Twitter that Monday night almost every post was talking about the verdict. The views were split. About 50 percent were angry statuses disappointed with the verdict, believing that it was an act of racial violence. About 40 percent were those who approved of the verdict and were mad at the allegations of racism. About 10 percent were people, like myself who stepped back from the high emotional tensions of the issue and looked at the solid facts and evidence and acknowledged the tragedy of a young man dying but also believe that the officer did nothing wrong and that there were no racial motivations. People in the latter category urged for prayers and peace and non violence and pleaded with others to see the truth of the facts. 

The group that was upset with the verdict was majority blacks and white liberals. The people who agreed with the verdict were majority whites and black conservatives. The people in the third group were white and black conservatives and liberals who had actually examined the facts and weren't emotionally charged.

Many of the blacks who were upset with the verdict took to posting statuses and links about how white people were hateful bigots and how white cops were racist and how black people are always the victims. Me, being white, am hurt by these claims. I love blacks as much as I love any race. One of my biggest heroes has always been MLK. I have always advocated against racism and for Civil Rights. I believe in everything MLK stood for. I believe that we are all humans and all deserve equal rights and none should ever be discriminated against. I openly criticize those whites i hear making racist remarks. If I were alive during the civil rights era, I would've been standing with the blacks fighting for equal rights. I try not to have a lot of hate in my life, but I hate racism. It infuriates me. So to hear black people say all these things about whites really upsets me, because I, and many others, are not like that at all. Truth be told, Not all cops are bad. Not all black people are criminals. And not all white people are racist.

I understand that this is mob mentality. People are disappointed with the verdict and then instigators like Sharpton and Jackson start talking and people become angry and start rioting and attacking others. Most of these people haven't examined the facts, they have been misled and are full of emotion and anger. Those blind them from the facts. I've experienced mob mentality before when I worked in Washington DC. I was at the Supreme Court awaiting the verdict of the Hobby Lobby case. (The case involved the owners of Hobby Lobby refusing to pay for their employees to get abortions and abortion inducing drugs through insurance. They simply believed that the preborn children were human and that it was wrong to kill an innocent human being. Obamacare called for all businesses provide coverage for 20 different types of "contraceptives". Hobby Lobby owners provided 16 of the 20, but didn't provide 4 because they were against abortion. So the Obama administration was forcing them to provide it or shut down). The Hobby Lobby owners won the case. I was there on the front steps of the Supreme Court setting up a press conference with Students For Life of America. While there abortion supporters showed up to protest. They were furious and were yelling and chanting. Slogans and signs saying things like "Recreational sex is my hobby and I am here to lobby!". The majority of protestors were late teenaged males. Their signs had condoms on them saying that they can't take that away from them and that you can't take contraceptives away from women. I agree with that, we shouldn't take condoms and contraceptives away from them. But these people, just like the angry people in Ferguson refuse to look at the facts. In the Hobby Lobby case, they weren't against providing coverage for contraceptives and condoms to their employees, they were against abortion and abortion inducing drugs (which were only 4). These protestors had been misled into thinking that Hobby Lobby was banning their employees from using any type of contraceptives. When I tried to tell these protestors that, they yelled louder in order to drown out the facts I was sharing. They just wanted to riot and protest regardless of the facts. That is exactly what is going on in Ferguson. Protestors don't even examine the facts, and many of those who side with them refuse to read the facts as well. It's almost like they want the issue to be racism so badly that even though it was proven not to be, they accused those facts as being racist and those telling the facts to be racists because they looked at the facts. Simple mob mentality and disregard for all authority, truth, and opinions that differed from what they wanted the results to be.

I spent over 2 hours reading the grand jury transcript. I read the medical examiner's report, the testimony of officer Wilson, and about half of the eye witnesses. All confirm the accounts told by Officer Wilson. The transcripts can be found here: 

My main point I am trying to get across is that we are all prone to emotional reactions on issues, but we shouldn't allow that to cloud out the truth and solid facts. The facts are unbiased and completely neutral. They are the truth. And you don't have to like the truth, but you should not ignore it or lie about it. John Adams once said:
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

I don't understand why the rioters feel like the verdict justifies robbing stores, attacking people, and burning buildings and vehicles. Even if this were a case about race and the white man got off clean, that still wouldn't justify all of that chaos. I also don't understand why people can't just look at the solid black and white facts. Society would be much better if people were honest and stuck to the facts rather than lie and let their vision be clouded by emotion. I get so frustrated by the ignorance and evil in this world. But I have to keep reminding myself that I was not made for this world and it is not my home. I'm not supposed to be at ease with everyone's attitudes and actions. We are fallen sinful people living in a fallen sinful world. I eagerly await the day where all of the world is perfect and in harmony with God in his kingdom. No more lies, death, tears, sadness, or anger. Oh, how I long for that day. 

Another interesting bit of information about the accusations of white on black crimes can be found here: http://youtu.be/iGTUcS-yQtQ

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin a similar situation happened and a police officer gave this speech, it is equally applicable to the Ferguson situation: http://youtu.be/T7MAO7McNKE

Here is a good explanation as to why Officer Wilson wasn't charged according to the law: