A letter to Ferguson

Dear Ferguson,

I get it; you’re mad. A young man’s life was taken away far too soon and you feel as though no justice was served from the officer’s indictment. His parents are without a son, his extended family is without a cousin, a grandson, and a nephew, and his friends have lost who I’m sure was a great friend. However, this does not, in any way whatsoever, make burning the American flag okay by any means. All these protests and riots started because of the shooting of one young man. That flag though? 1.2 million Americans of all different racial backgrounds died for the freedoms that flag represents. For protestors to just burn it because they feel as though the outcome was unjust is inexcusable. Have some respect, seriously. If you really hate all the freedoms and privileges with living in America, why are you here? But I digress.

Dear Ferguson,
What ever happened to peaceful presentations? Marches down the street, sit-ins, etc? Did you really feel the need to set fire to innocent people’s cars and break innocent shop owners windows? All you’re doing is making yourself look like criminals. You have handled this situation in the most immature and irresponsible way possible. You are giving the police of Ferguson reason to approach you and question you and suspect you of these crimes.

Dear Ferguson,

Now, I’m not completely saying that Michael Brown was guilty. No police officer should feel the need to shoot a young man like that as many times as he did. I can’t speak for what was going through the officer’s mind in that moment or how much adrenaline must have been pumping through his system, but I’m sure he felt that his safety was in danger. He could have shot Michael Brown in the leg or in the arm though instead if he really thought his safety was in danger, not shoot him until he was dead.

But Dear Ferguson,

Let’s not forget why Michael Brown was even approached by the police officer in the first place. Michael Brown had been reported for stealing cigars from a store and for strong-arming a clerk when approached for doing so. This decision was a poor decision for Michael Brown, and ultimately may be the cause for how he lost his life. You see, if he had never even made this decision, he would not have been confronted by the officer in the first place. Because he made this poor decision though, he was bound to face the consequences of his actions (although death is not the proper consequence for this action).

So Ferguson, like I’ve said time and time again, I know you’re mad, because a young man lost his life over stolen cigars, but you have to understand me when I explain this. It wasn’t because he was black. All around our country, there are people who are innocently shot and killed, most likely because of gang violence or initiations. Recently for example, there was a five-year old WHITE girl shot and killed. She was not even outside; she was sitting on her grandfather’s lap in the comfort of their home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was killed by a gang of black men who clearly intended on killing someone in that home that day. The victim’s name was Laylah Peterson, but  how would you know that? We don’t see her face or this case blasted all across the news around the country. Instead, it has been primarily a local story that only received a little bit of national coverage when her family decided to donate her heart to someone in need. My point here is simple, race is still an issue in our country, I’m not denying that. However, the way our media portrays these stories is a bigger issue. Think about it, our media receives these stories from leads and pursue anything that looks somewhat juicy. They purposely spin things to act like race was a key player in the story, when in fact, that’s not always the case. Our media also picks and chooses WHICH stories they decide to air on television. Therefore, a white individual may be shot and killed by another white person or a black person, or a black person may kill another black person, and it will only be covered by local news, but our national media sources won’t pick up these stories because they know that our nation will react more to a white person shooting a black person than the other way around, especially when said shooter is a law enforcement officer.

Dear Ferguson,

I’m sorry that you feel the need to ruin innocent individuals shops and cars and what not over one boys death. I’m sorry that the decision did not go the way you hoped. And most importantly, I’m sorry that Michael Brown is resting in peace in a better place, while we’re all stuck here in madness and chaos. Racism is an issue, but so is ignorance and media portrayals of crime.

Dear Ferguson,

As appalled as I am by the events that occurred in your town last night, I just hope that one day, you will understand that you are truly privileged to have even had your story shared around the nation. You had the opportunity to have support from people all over the country. Social media timelines are filled with debates from people of all ethnic backgrounds arguing both sides of the issue. Many victims of similar shootings are not as fortunate, simply because of the color of their skin. Michael Brown may be resting in peace now, but in fifty years, his name and his story may end up in history books all across the country. For better or for worse, last nights events will go down in the history of this country.

So Dear Ferguson, I leave you with this. Michael Brown’s life was taken away far too soon, but so are many other people’s lives. If we all were to get this worked up every time a situation like this happened, our country would be burned to the ground. I understand the anger you felt last night, however, I think there are better ways to go about venting said anger than by burning someone’s business or car or the symbol of our country. I hope that instead, you all can shift your anger to support and help Michael Brown’s family through this situation. Laslty, I hope that we can move past this and celebrate the lives of not just Michael Brown, but any and all victims to ever have their lives cut short due to intentional gunfire.

Sincerely,

An appalled Citizen

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