Now as I start this rant about the situation in Ferguson (yes, I had to write one too), you should know that I am taking neither side on this issue. I want it to be very clear that I don’t agree with the general population, nor the government. HOWEVER. I think at this point, it’s the population’s responsibility to calm down, go home, and stop all the rioting. The police and national guard are not just going to be like “oh, they still won’t go home… Well, we give up. Pack up and go home, boys! Chaos and anarchy have the streets now!” It’s not going to happen, no matter how much you want it to. The situation has now escalated too far, and in order to maintain control and keep this from escalating even further, they will use whatever means necessary. I can fully predict more deaths if this continues as it is much longer. But let’s examine this critically, shall we? Right from the very beginning.
Here we have a random 18 year old, black male. Let’s just say for argument’s sake, that for all intents and purposes, he’s probably a decent fellow. But he made a stupid decision. He figured on stealing a box of cigars. As far as I know, this fact is yet to be debated, so I’m holding it as truth, because the officer in question did as well when he confronted this young man. Perhaps the officer thought the kid had a weapon. Perhaps he thought he was going to run. More than likely his training was less than adequate for the situation, and sadly more idiots are finding jobs in critical positions because we’ve fostered an atmosphere of no failures (that’s a rant for another day). So this underprepared idiot officer shot this young idiot kid. The kid dies, and for a moment we’ll pause events. I think you know where I’m going with this already, but here’s my point anyway: they were both idiots. There were overreactions, stupid choices, and all around it was just a terrible tragedy of a situation. Is it sad? Of course. Is it an opportunity to learn as a species and find ways to prevent it from happening again? Absolutely. Was it a racial issue? No. I don’t believe it ever was. Is it cause to riot in the streets? Hell no. But that’s exactly what people did. And so, I welcome you to stupid decision number three.
Sure the riots began as a peaceful protest. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that on its own, if you set aside the fact that I think it was completely unnecessary, since the protest concerned the idea that it was a racially motivated event, and I don’t believe it was. But you will inevitably get those idiots in any larger protest, who think the perfect way to make their message and their anger heard is to break stuff up and go looting and rioting. Cue the police reaction, trying to disperse the crowd with loud noises, tear gas, etc. you’ll notice, I hope, that they started with non-destructive and non-lethal options. But when the crowd did not in fact disperse, and a curfew was having no effect either, they decided stricter measures were necessary. And that’s why we now find ourselves faced with tanks and other signs of military presence in Ferguson, a small (relatively) town somewhere in Missouri that most people hadn’t even really heard of before a few weeks ago.
It is a tragedy. Don’t get me wrong. But we got to where we are today, with three stupid decisions. Add another stupid decision or two in there, and say goodbye to peace in your own country. There will be civil unrest and death everywhere in the United States. And a small part of me thinks that maybe they need the wake-up call. That they’ve become too complacent, too comfortable in the idea of their own superiority (a problem I find developing in Canada too, much to my dismay). But by and large, I don’t think that any of this is necessary. What IS necessary is educating people on how to get along with each other. How to make sure that we all work together towards a brighter future. How to think critically and make solid, logical decisions. So that stupid shit like this doesn’t happen again.
I’m sorry for what happened, but get your act together, Ferguson. You’re a perfect example of everything that’s wrong with the human race right now.