Leonard Pitts Jr. Ferguson Hurtlocker
August 16, 2014

In his opinion piece Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean, which originally appeared in the print edition of the Detroit Free Press under the title "Why good people should pay attention to Ferguson riots", Leonard Pitts Jr. writes that the reaction to the killing of Michael Brown
. . . is about the bitter sense of siege that lives in African-American men, a sense that it is perpetually open season on us.

Supporting that statement, Pitts offers a list of black men who have been beaten, abused or killed by white people or white police officers:

. . . this is not just about Brown. It's about Eric Garner, choked to death in a confrontation with New York City Police. It's about Jordan Davis, shot to death in Jacksonville, Fla., because he played his music too loud. It's about Trayvon Martin, shot to death in Sanford, Fla., because a self-appointed neighborhood guardian judged him a thug. It's about Oscar Grant, shot by a police officer in an Oakland, Calif., subway station as cell phone cameras watched. It's about Amadou Diallo, executed in that vestibule and Abner Louima, sodomized with that broomstick. It's about Rodney King.
I'm familiar with most of those names. Back in 1990 or 1991, Rodney King led police on a reckless high speed chase. When he finally stopped, he did not surrender to police. He kept lunging at them. That hit him with Tasers, but he would just get up and lunge atain. This whole confrontation was recorded on video camera. When the cops finally got the better of him, they pummelled him with their nightsticks. The final beating was broadcast over and over again on TV stations all over America. They never showed the events that led up to that beating. So when a jury acquitted the officers of brutality (or whatever), terrible riots broke out all over the U.S.A. and especially in Los Angeles. But even to this day, people like Leonard Pitts Jr. mention the Rodney King incident as if the police were beating him just for the fun of it.

We have a more recent situation with Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman did not shoot him because he "judged him a thug." Zimmerman shot Martin because Martin was on top of him, beating the crap out of him and going for his gun. But the truth just doesn't fit into the Leonard Pitts Hurtlocker, so he supports his paranoid world-view by believing something other than the truth.

Amadou Diallo was shot and killed by police in New York City in 1999. The officers were acquitted of criminal charges. Perhaps they were wrongly acquitted. I'm not highly familiar with the case. Anyway, New York City ended up paying his survivors $3,000,000 to settle a lawsuit.

Abner Louima was seriously abused by police officers in 1997. Two of the officers went to trial and were found guilty. One of the officers is still in prison.

My point in mentioning Diallo and Louima is that we Americans really do take police misconduct seriously. White police, black victims, black police, white victims, whatever. We probably don't take it seriously enough, but we do take it seriously. We want punishment for the perpetrators, justice for the victims, regardless of race, creed or color. We want the truth about what happened in Ferguson to come out. We want appropriate measures taken if there was any misconduct. We don't want riots.

We would like, in general, to have racial peace. We white people should be hopeful enough, positive enough to accept racial peace as a real possibility. But we also need to be mature enough to realize it might never happen. That is why good white people should pay attention to insane black people like Leonard Pitts Jr.

This is a big country. Every year, there will be encounters between black and white police or civilians where one party is killed. Will Pitts treat us and his fellow black people to another outburst of racial paranoia every time a white individual is found "not guilty" in some ambiguous situation? Will he be forever besieged by the ghosts of Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, and Rodney King?

Will the riots that follow engulf our entire nation and push us past a tipping point into a racial Armageddon?

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Addendum, Jan 30, 2015:

Check out: Enjoying the Race Wars? Thank the Media by Gavin McInnes, Takimag.com, January 30, 2015. The article gives a summary of violent incidents apparently committed in retaliation for the killings of the thugs Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, etc. I guess we have a few too many Lefties in America who want to turn back the clock -- all the way to 1943!
 

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